Traffic Court in Dekalb County - Jaya Franklin

Now, I have another bad experience to add to my mental list of nightmares: Traffic Court in Dekalb County is my latest addition.

When I first found out that I was required to make a court appearance, if my $141.00 wasn't paid in advance, I just knew that it was going to be a disaster.

It took the court about two whole months to even register the ticket in the automated system, so that I could pay it. By the time they did it, my court date was a couple of days away.

Upon arrival at traffic court on Camp Circle in Decatur, I saw about 100 people standing in line outside the building. Cars were stuck in traffic all the way down the street, and traffic was pretty jammed in all directions.

I could see cars stretching all the way past the county jail, which is across the street from the traffic court building, facing Memorial Drive. All of the parking lots for visitors was filled to capacity and I ended up having to park across the street from traffic court.

This wasn't as simple as crossing a two-lane road. I had to cross Memorial Drive, which is a major street on the east side of Atlanta that can take you all the way to the west side of Atlanta. Crossing Memorial Drive is equivalent to trying to get across Eagle's Landing Parkway in Henry County. It's basically something that you want to try to avoid.

So, when I finally got to an area that appeared to be a pedestrian walkway, I and three others realized that the indicator that tells you when to walk and stop (of course) wasn't working.

So, I thought to myself, I'll just cross this street and look both ways and hope and pray that I don't end up on the Five O'clock News. After getting across the street, it was time to stand in line. As soon as I got in line, I heard people complaining about the unorganized process.

"This is ridiculous," one lady said, as she stood in line with her citation. I was thinking to myself the word ridiculous is an understatement. This is more like a mistake. I was really wishing I hadn't been speeding. Or at least, that I had slowed down before the cop pulled me over. I didn't even realize that I was doing 55 in a 45-miles-per-hour area.

I have to be more careful next time.

Jaya Franklin covers government for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached via e-mail at jfranklin@henryherald.com.