> That tag is virtually unquestioned proof that your car is registered and
Unless you are in Park Ridge, Illinois. A few years ago I had worked a
telethon at a radio station in the wee hours and was wending my way
homewards at 1am or so. I was driving through Park Ridge when I saw a cop in
the side street. Sure enough, he pulled out behind me and followed me up
this 25mph hiway. I set my cruise control to 24mph and behaved myself. A
mile or two up the road, just as I was about to leave his jurisdiction, he
turns on his lights and pulls me over (he really wanted to catch me
speeding, but that wasn't happening). He assures me that my license plate
lights weren't working, that a headlight was out (it was, but it had been
fine a couple days previous when I had last checked it), and that my plates
were expired, despite the fact that it had a perfectly valid sticker on the
plate and I had a perfectly valid registration in my hand.
He was right about the headlight, but the license plate light was working
(not my fault Ford used a dim bulb), and he couldn't argue too hard with a
valid registration card. He ended up giving me a "compliance ticket" on the
headlight, which meant I had to fix it, take proof of fixing it to the Park
Ridge city hall, AND pay Park Ridge $40 to boot. It seems the bank where my
wife had bought the registration that year had lost the paperwork, so the
state never received it.
Park Ridge just happens to be the epitome of "Serve and Collect". I work for
the next village over from them and if we have a stoplight die, we send
someone over to direct traffic, even if it is an insignificant intersection.
If Park Ridge loses a stoplight on the main drag during rush hour, they send
out a couple of cops to write tickets.
A couple months later, I was in the Niles Senior Center to fix something and
one of the girls working there made the mistake of introducing me to a guy
and told me his son was the chief of police for Park Ridge. He sure got an