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Think, then act

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Think, then act

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 16, 2013

A reader offered a excellent suggestion for avoiding the exorbitant court costs that are levied by the McHenry County Circuit Court. He wrote, "I've found a way to avoid the high court costs...don't violate the law. Just a suggestion"

He is, of course, right.

Each one of us can avoid those costs by obeying the laws, whether the traffic laws, civil laws or criminal laws. If we drivers re-read the Illinois Rules of the Road and pay attention to our driving, we are quite likely never to get stopped or ticketed. Watch the traffic signs. Don't speed. Stop (fully) at stop signs. Don't run red lights. Driving a car is not rocket science.

Keep your checkbook balanced. Look at the balance, before you write a check or use your debit card. Stay away from negative balances.

Don't steal or damage another's property and harm another person or animal.

Life really is pretty simple, isn't it?

The big problem is when we act without thinking. Try thinking, then acting. Think of the consequences. Is it worth $180 to violate a curfew? Is it worth $280 to blow that stop sign or drive "10 over". Remember that there is no "the cops give you 10 over". They don't. They shouldn't.

But they do; for example, on the Illinois Tollway. Thus they condone speeding. If you are just "going with the pack" and not lane-jumping or tail-gating, you'll probably get away with 10-15MPH (or even 20MPH) over the posted speed limit.

Years ago I went on a ride-along with the "Wolf Pack" on I-90. Five troopers worked speed-limit enforcement near Route 59 and ticketed many drivers for 88MPH and higher in the 55 zone. Then, when we went to lunch, the trooper with whom I was riding drove 70MPH (in the 55 zone) to the restaurant. I wondered, "What's wrong with this picture?"

I also know a trooper who was chastised by a supervisor for driving 55MPH in the right lane on the Edens. It seems that trooper was holding up traffic, and a number of motorists (or one bigwig) called to complain. And the supervisor didn't have the guts to stand up for the trooper.

So, think, then act. Consider the consequences of your actions. Are you willing to pay the price? Then, if you get a ticket, pay it and don't gripe about it.

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