As I read William G. Chadwick's report on Philadelphia Traffic Court and the news articles that surrounded it, several questions leaped to mind. For example, why, in the age of the smartphone, is it necessary to drive all the way to Eighth and Spring Garden to get a ticket fixed? And, if guilty people are being found not guilty because of whom they know, does that mean that not-guilty people are being found guilty to make up for the lost revenue?
But the question that really stumped me was this: How exactly does someone flunk the Traffic Court judge test? After all, even most teenagers are intimately familiar with the rules of the road, which they have to learn to get their drivers' licenses.
I imagine the Traffic Court test to be a lot like the Wonderlic IQ test, which the NFL gives to potential draft picks. It includes provocative questions such as:
The ninth month of the year is:
I have never seen the test for Traffic Court judges, but I would imagine it asks Wonderlic-type questions like:
When a driver sees a red sign that says "STOP," he should:
b) Sorta stop.
c) Keep going.
The answer seems obvious to anyone with a license. But for an aspiring Traffic Court judge, perhaps the correct answer is d) Not enough information.
The problem is that the question fails to note whether the driver approaching the stop sign is what the Chadwick report describes as "politically connected." In other words, is this driver too lazy or stupid to call his ward leader? It's only with that information that the correct answer can be divined.