terça-feira, 2 de abril de 2013

A tale of a street crossing fine

Just got a fine from the police for crossing on the red light on foot. This terrible small street between the Opera tram stop and Renoma where often there are no cars but you need to wait on the red light.

The worse is that I have absolutely no memory of crossing it at all. I was walking distracted, absorved in my own thoughts and looking at the stores to find one which sells watches. I remember going near the church just before the crossing and after the crossing I turned left, but the crossing itself is totally absent from my memory, thought obviously I did it.

The policemen were some 50m from the crossing, behind the clock sculpture, so when I turned left they had to come after me:

-Do you know why we are stopping you?
-No-I answered completely disorientated
-You crossed on the red light.
-What? Red light? oh ..... I don't remember crossing any lights at all. There is no light there.
-No light? Follow me...

So we walked a bit back and to my surprise there it was: The implacable red light.

They were young and quite determined, so there was no space to talk my way out of it. I had some hope that my portuguese ID would be a too great complication for them, but no, nothing helped. One of them recognized from the ID that I am actually brazilian from the ID info, quite rare, most people are completely lost when they see a portuguese ID. We had a nice, thought ackward, chat and a lot of information filling and there it went: 100zł flying out of my wallet. It is a funny thing to get a fine going back or to work: You get a felling that the day worked was rather fruitless if you have to pay so much for going to work.

My second fine in Poland in 3 years. The other one was a tram trip ticket going to work while I had a valid tick for 2 months till 1 day before the fine and starting again for 5 more months 1 day after the file. Also 100zł. Curiously I never got a police fine in 23 years in Brazil. Thought those kinds of fines are impossible there. Crossing the street on foot in the red is not illegal and in the bus you pay inside to a cashier.

So distracted people watch out: You might be minutes away from loosing 100zł ...

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