Road Rage

Without meaning to be boastful, I am a good driver. I never get tickets. Not strictly true. In 1960, I was awarded a speeding ticket on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. But there was an extenuating circumstance. Coming back to New Jersey from the second game of the Yankees-Pirates World Series—the Bucs had lost 15-1, but later went on to win the series in the seventh game with Maz’s immortal dinger—Aunt Lil was in the back seat dishing about our Pittsburgh kinky family. Apparently, I was driving at 75 mph, completely unaware of the violation because of my rapt attention to the family dirt about Cousin Judy and Cousin Ilene fighting over a priest they were both dating, unbeknownst to their trusting husbands. The apologetic State Trooper said he had tried to get my attention with his flashing lights and bull horn before pulling us over. But lately my rap sheet is as clean as a whistle.

My good driving record was broken in March.

A moving traffic violation notice was received in the mail. The citation was for making a right turn at a red light in Englewood Cliffs. A photo camera at the corner had recorded the incident.

This was odd since right turns on red lights were legal in New Jersey

Several weeks later, a second traffic violation notice was received. Same corner. Same right turn. Same photo camera. I was sure it was just a coincidence

A week later, our car was ticketed in our hometown. This third ticket of the month was really strange. The car was parked outside our bank, admittedly in a nominally no-parking zone, never enforced. Especially since we have a handicap plate. My wife was sitting in the passenger seat, her cane by her side, texting. When I came out of the bank after a fast deposit, there was a ticket attached to the window. The local police officer may have banged on the window, and instructed her to move. But she is hearing-challenged. And she was texting. Everybody knows it is a violation to text while driving. But texting while not driving? Was this a new law?

Then suddenly our EZ-Pass stopped working for the first time. When my wife called up to report this weird event, the car they have listed was four cars earlier. For some reason, our records were in total confusion.

As they say in the garment center, there seemed to be a pattern here.

I don’t want to seem paranoid, but why were tickets suddenly descending on the Kitman household like acid rain? I racked my brain, or whatever is left of it after 35 years of my life of crime as TV critic.

Could this have something to do with all the columns I’ve been writing about Bridgegate?

Our governor is a well-known believer in the first amendment, even though he has not taken any questions about the Bridgegate scandal since the first press conference in January. And why should he?

Wasn’t he exonerated of any possible wrong doing, albeit by his own legal firm, who is being paying over a million dollars of taxpayer money.

Is it possible they are out to get me, whoever they might be?

Come on now, how petty could the governor’s office get? Well, there are some who say closing the two lanes at the GWB last September just to get even with a mayor was mighty petty compared to the state’s other problems, like the Pulaski Skyway on the verge of falling down.

And why me? After all the support I have given the governor in his troubled times!. I have written 16 installments for a sitcom or a soap opera, titled “For Whom the Bridge Tolls,” all of which portray the governor as a victim.

Why had I become the unlikely target of Chris Christie’s famous wrath, if it is true he or is henchpersons are behind the campaign of harassment?

True, I have poked a little fun at him from time to time in the 16 episodes, but the first amendment is designed to protect people like me.

It was hard to believe my serial running afoul of the law was due to my duties as an investigative reporter. After all, I was the one who went on record and said Chris Christie was the best governor New Jersey has.

I was the one who went out on the limb predicted the governor will beat the rap in the GWB scandal. Oh, they might nail an aide or two, but not His Magnificence.


I was the one who first noticed he is losing weight. That bariatric surgery is beginning to pay off in a thinner Christie. Not that he is wasting away. I mean, he is down to two chins. A sure sign that a leaner, hungrier Christie is getting ready for a run for the Roses in the GOP presidential nomination horse race in 2016.

But why go on with all the good things I’ve said in his behalf.

What could have caused this outbreak of motorcide that is besmirching my record as a safe and sane driver?

Will a smoking email emerge in Trenton, explaining the outrageous ticketmania?

“Time for some traffic problems for Kitman…”

In the meanwhile, if you see anybody tooling along at 25 mph in a 25 mph speed zone, it’s probably me. Honk or blink twice, if you think the Christie administration abuse of Kitman must stop.


Marvin Kitman
May 20, 2014

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789.” “George Washington’s Expense Account” by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.) was the best-selling expense account in publishing history.