Jews & Traffic Tickets

I got a traffic ticket Wednesday for turning right on Roxbury off Pico Blvd beside the Museum of Tolerance. I realized later there are two big posted signs saying you can’t turn right between 3pm and 7pm. Every Jew I tell this to says I should fight the traffic ticket even though I am as guilty as sin. “It’s a game,” says one. “We pay a disproportionate share of tax [at least in theory], and these tickets are just another form of tax,” says another. Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist, I have the ingrained sensibility that when I do something wrong, I should admit it and pay the price. I’m such a goy.

“It’s a game” is what members of a closely identifying in-group say about competition with out-groups.

Chaim Amalek writes: “What right have the goyim to write you a ticket outside the Museum of Tolerance?”

DAs tell me about racial differences between criminals. When orientals are caught doing something wrong, they typically say, “I want to accept my punishment.” When blacks are caught doing something wrong, they often blame racist cops and claim they’re innocent. Latinos primarily get caught practicing Mexican foreplay aka domestic battery as well as driving while intoxicated and various sex crimes. They’re much more polite, on average, than blacks to the police. Whites tend to be polite towards the police when they’re arrested but not as docile and welcoming of their punishment as orientals, who, on average, are more law abiding than whites.

For WASPs, Japanese, and Germans, when you are guilty of a traffic infraction and you get a ticket, you pay it like a good citizen, you don’t fight it. Other ethnic groups have different
approaches to this question.

For WASPs in particular, citizenship is a sacred obligation. You don’t try to get out of your obligations and you don’t fight things you are guilty of. Maybe I am missing something, but I never hear about non-Asian tribes in America regarding their American citizenship as a sacred obligation.

A German-American Jew tells me: “I was taught it [American citizenship] was a sacred obligation. You hang out with a Torah crowd.”

How many American Jews you know feel that American citizenship is a sacred obligation? I’d say fewer than 25% of the American Jews I know, as compared to at least 60% for American WASPs I know.

Jeff* emails:

Dear Luke,

I think this is really the incorrect approach toward analyzing traffic tickets.

Except for when the ticketed person is demonstrating unsafe conduct, most traffic violations are ticky-tack. For instance failing to stop at a stop sign because you slow down and make a rolling stop if it turns out no one is around may be illegal, but it is not unsafe. Speeding whether in a residential zone or on the freeway is rarely unsafe unless it rises to the standard of reckless driving.

Unfortunately, the insurance consequences of having a point (or two or three) on your record are very severe financial penalties which may have no relation to the risk you pose as a driver.

When fighting tickets, approximately one third the time the officer who cites you fails to appear, and if that happens the ticket is dismissed. You can only take traffic school once every 18 months so if you can’t do that, you might as well take a chance on fighting the ticket.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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