One of the questions on the VA application for a REAL ID is this: Have you ever been found guilty of a crime other than parking violations?
The phrasing indicated to me that the government wanted any speeding or moving violations included. So I had to fess up. Yes, I am guilty of the most heinous of all moving violations: Evasion of a traffic control device.
Let me state for the record, your honor, that until I committed this infraction, I wasn’t even aware there was a law against it.
Several years ago I visited a friend who had recently moved. When we talked about how navigation had brought me to her home, she nodded and said there was a great shortcut that didn’t usually pop up because the road had just recently opened.
So when I left to return home, I took the shortcut. Unfortunately, traffic was backed up at the one traffic light in the town. Needing to turn right at the light, I saw I could cut through a small shopping area’s parking lot to reach the road. And I did just that.
Suddenly a police car with lights and siren was behind me. Figuring the officer was responding to an emergency and with no shoulder for me to move over onto, I turned right into a side street so he could get by. Uh, yep, he pulled in behind me.
Apparently, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, traffic code 46.2-833.1 states that, “It shall be unlawful for the driver of any motor vehicle to drive off the roadway and onto or across any public or private property in order to evade any stop sign, yield sign, traffic light, or other traffic control device.”
This moving violation cost me three points on my license.
Clearly, I didn’t intend to break the law. And now, with the REAL ID paperwork, it’s back to haunt me. I can only hope that my REAL ID (assuming I eventually obtain enough decades-old documentation to prove who I am) won’t identify me in some way as a violent offender.
Read about the VA REAL ID in my Who Do You Think You Are? post from July 30, 2019