By Dick Fish
officer, what did I do?" The police officer explained to
my friend that there was no moving violation. His registration
had been canceled. Now that cruisers have computers on board,
it seems that ‘running a plate’ at random has become common practice.
My pal had
overlooked the date on his car’s inspection sticker and was past
due for a trip to his local garage. In the not too distant past,
the officer would have handed him a warning form, but that didn’t
happen on King Street last Saturday. Now that computers so tightly
link everything, the Registry had automatically lifted my friend’s
registration after the inspection date had been missed. What’s
worse, their policy is to do that without any sort of notice to
the owner of the car. And so the officer impounded my friend’s
car, removed the plates and ordered up a tow truck.
It was $100
for the impound tow, and $25 storage charges each day thereafter.
On Monday, there was the ‘new’ registration for $50, and a further
$30 charge for the plates that the police officer had removed,
which are considered by the Registry as lost.
Registry cancels the registration, he was told, the insurance
company automatically cancels the insurance – again, without any
notice to the insured. So the Registry clerk sent my friend off
to the insurance agent, where he learned that he needed to pay
$1,000 for a whole year in advance, since he had had some late
payments, and this was going to be a ‘new’ policy.
There was the car inspection, of course, and now my friend must
miss a morning at work and go to court to prove that his paperwork
is in order and to admit that he is, like the rest of us, sometimes
imperfect. The mole’s hill has been magically made into Pike’s
Peak. What nonsense.
So my friend
learned a very costly, and I believe, an unfair lesson. And in addition,
I learned that perhaps our public agencies and the insurance industry
have become just a bit too arrogant and non-communicative in their
treatment of the folks who pay their salaries. No, make that more
than a bit.
Fish is a resident of Holyoke