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Old 06-20-2000, 12:25 PM   #1
Siper2
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Unhappy I got another ticket today..!!

I can't believe this... Yesterday... YESTERDAY... I had my court date for the 60-in-a-55 speeding ticket that I got in February. I talked to the cop and we decided to put me on probation for a year. No violations, the ticket is erased.

Today, I'm driving to the bank, and come up to a stop light. In front of me is a kid in a Driver Education car who hits the brakes right when the light turns yellow. I had two options (and I wasn't even very close to him): try to stop in time, or go around.
I opted to go around. Of course I checked for interfering traffic first, but that's what I did. Cut to the left lane and went around him.

Behind me, two bicycle cops pull up next to me and tell me to pull over. They gave me a ticket. I told them I was trying to avoid a damned accident, they didn't care.

I can't believe this, this is so disheartening. For someone who tries SO hard to be careful, I get two lame tickets for a minimal speed-over-limit, and now I get nailed for trying to AVOID an accident.

I don't even know what to do.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 12:56 PM   #2
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They nailed you coz they knew that student driver was watching. They wanted to display their authority to the newbie driver. Too bad you had to be the victim.

You said you weren't that close behind him when he suddenly braked hard - which meant that you also had time and distance to stop since you were further behind. Uh oh. Again, sorry about your ticket.

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Old 06-20-2000, 02:01 PM   #3
Siper2
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Well I'm already set to take Defensive Driving as part of the agreement, hell maybe I"ll call the local police dept. and tell them my story and include that part, see what they say.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 02:04 PM   #4
8Complex

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Yeah I'd have to get out of my car and make fun of their Huffy's if I ever got stopped by a bike cop. Then ask them why they weren't in cars and acuse them of having DUI's and losing their licenses and making fun of them in front of the general public and have everyone laugh at them.

Just kidding. More likely I'd just cry that I was going SLOW enough to be stopped by a bike cop.
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Old 06-20-2000, 02:10 PM   #5
Siper2
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I was at a stoplight dude. It's a cramped city street, a middle (straight) lane, a left-turn lane and a right-turn lane, with a few lights in a row. The first one I went through (and it WAS yellow), I stopped at the second one. Which was a stale yellow. So it's not like I don't friggin' pay attention, this cop was just bored and I'm going to be penalized for trying to keep myself and others out of danger.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:04 PM   #6
Siper2
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This stinks...

This just really, really stinks....

Sorry......really bad day....
Really .....bad day...
-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:22 PM   #7
8Complex

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Wow... ok well consider yourself lucky. I don't know what your ticket reads (cause you never said!), I'll assume not obeying a traffic control device. You still have at least one other ticket you COULD have gotten - illegal lane usage for passing in a turn lane.

Trust me, rather then try to deny what the ticket is about, just accept it... It'll tear at you less.

If you had time to look for other traffic around, you definitely had more then enough time to stop - especially if you had a decent following distance.

Not flogging you or anything, but just some advice. I've had something like 6 or 7 speeding tickets in the 6 years I've been driving and one not obeying a traffic control device (blowing a light). I accepted them all and went on with my life. Oh, you haven't lived til you pay $115 fine and then have to give up 8 hours of a Saturday (waking up way early and all) to go to a boring driving school where you could recite everything the teacher says to the class without looking at a book.

Yeah, I've had a total of about 24 hours of the s**ty defensive driving courses my state offers as an alternative to putting tickets on your record (which is BS, they still show up, just not to the cops - found that out when I went to court for one of the tickets). Guess what? I still drive like a "maniac". Albeit, a maniac who has never hit or been hit by another vehicle (and caused damage - I've been bumped a few times, nothing serious).
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:32 PM   #8
Siper2
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Nonono, it's not like I looked around for other traffic, I just had enough time to be alert enough to notice that nobody was coming.

Here's the part where you say "well then you should've been alert enough to stop."

Wrong! See the guy did a half stop, then rolled, then stopped again. So I did back off, but still didn't want to risk anything, so I took the safe route.

Problem being that it cost me.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:45 PM   #9
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If the light was yellow, you should have stopped...I'd just pay it and go on my way.
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:46 PM   #10
Siper2
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It had JUST TURNED yellow, well within the white solid line space. Which is the allowable point to drive through the light if it had just turned.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:52 PM   #11
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Actually, technically you shouldn't drive through the light if it was yellow at all. I usually go by if I think I can make it to the other side's white line (and past) before it hits red.

The night I got my ticket for blowing the light, I was following someone who went through a yellow and I had no clue where I was going... and the cop was a dick (not saying more here) and gave the guy in front of me a ticket too since he stopped as well even though he clearly entered the intersection during a green. *shrug*

I figured that I'd blown enough red lights in my time to pay for one of them.
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:54 PM   #12
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Again, that's not what my state's handbook says. Always stop on yellow unless you cannot safely stop.

Maybe you couldn't stop in time to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you-- but if you changed lanes and went through the intersection you could probably have changed lanes and stopped.

I usually stop on yellow. In Texas you get rear-ended and shot at.
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Old 06-20-2000, 03:55 PM   #13
Overtime
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Speaking as probably the biggest newbie driver here, I'll try and explain...

When you're in a student driving car now, you are required to do the limit. Which is cool, but the problem is that no one drives the limit anymore except for student drivers, semis, and people over 60. So you're going with the flow of traffic with a bunch of panicked people (who wants to be around a new driver?) at a speed too slow for the road with an instructor who is probably yelling at you to keep your eyes directed while he wolfs down valium like a psychopath.

Also keep in mind that the instructor has access to a brake pedal that he can slam on should the kid go a little too fast. You want a jolt, try having the brakes hit when you're going 5 over the limit. The girl I was with almost hit a mailbox because of that brake pedal (well, that and her problems with backing up-she was a good driver going forward).

The best thing to do with student drivers is to avoid them or treat them like old women, because the former means you're safe and the latter means you're prepared. I was there two years ago, so I know what to expect. I usually try and wave, give them some space, and relax a little. After all, it's bad enough when you KNOW you're screwing up learning how to drive. It's even worse when you have a bunch of people riding your tail.

Sorry about your ticket. I hope everything gets resolved quickly, quietly, and inexpensively. Insurance rates suck.
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:11 PM   #14
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I don't believe no one here believes in the law. I probably have gotten pulled over more times in the last 2 years than all the other people on the MWIC combined. Do I drive dangerously? No. Do I speed? Yes, all the time. I drive a LOT of mileage [probably 30k a year+] and I drive a lot of high speed driving doing this mileage.

That said, I have no tickets on my record in the past 6 years. I have probably been to court 12 times in the past 12 months, and I've had at least 6 tickets in addition to those where I didn't appear. Why? Because I use a lawyer. A typical 10 over speeding ticket in my state brings along with it a $75 to $105 fine, 4 hours of traffic school, and 6 months probation. This is for a first time violation within a 24 month period.

A first time speeding ticket for a lawyer in my county costs about $50 for the lawyer, a $25 court fine, 30 days or less probation, and no traffic school.

A second time speeding ticket while on probation in our fine state carries with it a fine of close to $200, an 8 hour traffic school, and 1 year probation, plus additional court costs in some occasions depending on the speed. A second time speeding ticket while on probation with a lawyer costs $75 to $100, a $25 court fine, no traffic school, and 30 days probation.

Where am I going with this? I get pulled over. A lot. The cops on my typical route know me, and usually pull me over to warn me if I am getting to far over the limit. The cops that don't know me will usually write me a ticket. I am usually on the phone with my lawyer within an hour of the ticket or at least the next morning, and I move the court cases up to the next possible date. My lawyer walks into court at the set time, talks to the DA, gets the violations dropped in exchange for the fine and probation, and no record. Of course, the more tickets you get, the higher the fine and the longer the "probation."

Now you can't get away with it forever. My last ticket I had to do 4 hours of traffic school and paid a $300 fine. But it was probably my 10th ticket in the state in the past 12 months. If I had really had even 5 speeders [most of my speeders are 5-10MPH over in a 55MPH zone], I would have lost my license, and my insurance would be triple or worse.

I would NEVER go to court with a lawyer. Get a lawyer who has served in your local county court as a DA or assistant DA or another county-sided legal assistant. This way they know the judges, they know the DAs, they know the clerks. Tell him you don't want to pay a high court fine and you don't want more than 30 days supervision. YOu will get it.

Not using a lawyer is the closest thing to be a moron in America as I can imagine. People get pi$$ed, moan, complain, curse at the cops, all because they got caught. I get caught. I don't get angry, I don't throw tantrums or complain on the boards, I do what the law set aside for me to do, I hire an overpaid, underworked, a-hole attorney who knows how I feel about him, and I get out of trouble. People who loose their licenses are schnooks. So are people who drive recklessly. But if you're like me or the rest of us who get caught for barely breaking the law, then use the law to your best possible outcome.

By the way, I get pulled over a lot because I drive a bright red OBS with the hood scoop and 17" gold rims. Cops tell me I am a target, more so than most sports cars, just because of the way my car looks when its NOT even speeding. It just looks fast on the highway
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:17 PM   #15
Siper2
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Wow... awesome reply.

Thanks so much, I'll look in to it for sure!

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:23 PM   #16
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Dada is correct. You would be surprised at what a lawyer can do. After all, this country is about who you know. One lawyer got me out of a sticky situation involving a head-on collison. The judge took one look at the guy and said "oh no, not you again... Case dismissed."
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:23 PM   #17
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Interesting point is that I grew up in CA and moved to Florida. I changed my driver license to FLorida for the year I lived there. Then I moved to Maryland and soon after arriving changed the license to Maryland. While I was in CA I got 1 ticket for window tint, in Florida I got cited for being at a illegal drag race, in Maryland I got a hefty speeding ticket of 52 in a 30. I moved to NY and changed my license. The nice part was that at no time does any of the states relay my actual driving record to the new state. All of the states show my record as being spotless. I wasn't trying to achieve that result but its nice it worked out that way. The idea of saying every car brakes the same is pretty inaccurate. If it were true then there would be no specs on a cars braking distance in the manuals, car mags, and with NTSB. The Impreza is a pretty heavy car. It may have been a safer move for you to avoid it but since its all second hand and hindsight we really will never know. You'd probably be best with getting a lawyer. It may cost you some cash but it also may be worth it. Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2000, 04:40 PM   #18
Siper2
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Yeah, I just... man I'm embarrassed as hell about this.
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Old 06-20-2000, 06:34 PM   #19
Siper2
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Listen, if anyone has any tips for me or anything, I'd appreciate Emails too....
siper2@worldpath.net but it's in my profile anyway.

Thanks folks... Bad day for me today...
Gonna be out of town tomorrow through Sunday, maybe it'll take my mind off things, provided I don't get pulled over in transit.

-S2-
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Old 06-20-2000, 09:36 PM   #20
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Siper2,

You should have left enough room to stop, you have ABS and these RS's can stop FAST!

It's just a matter of poor judgement, not considering consequences, and maybe some impulsive speeding behaviour in the recent past...

If you were in Colorado and under 21 years old, I could put you on Ritalin to improve your attention to driving details

Larry

PS: just kidding, okay !?!?! now I gotta go take a prozac...
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Old 06-21-2000, 01:00 AM   #21
Formula1
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Have a Nice Day?

S2,

Don't worry about it...... I have gotten 4 tickets in one week, and 2 of them in one day! Now that is a week in hell!

Don't sweat it

John

P.S. 2 speeding tickets, 1 racing on the highway & 1 improper start!
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Old 06-21-2000, 01:00 AM   #22
dada21
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Ugh, don't even try to use that story with a judge or even a cop. Driver's Ed cars have large signs above them that are there to give warnings to people that they're being driven by students. Let others take this as a lesson to NEVER drive behind one of these cars. They're always right lane drivers, they always drive at or under the speed limit, and there are only two traffic light colors to newbies - green and stop.

The court room that I like to spend time in once a month [helps to get to know the judges, cops, and DA's when its time for me to be up there] I probably hear it at least once a month: "Well, I was driving behind this student driver, and..." or "The car in front of me did something and something so I broke the law to avoid an accident" neither of them will ever work, student driver or not. Why won't they work? The law is designed so that if something was to happen in front of you, and you were obeying the law, you will have enough time to stop before getting in an accident.

This is the reason that most people get a ticket when they rear-end someone, even if the person in front of them was braking hard to avoid killing a squirrel. If we followed the law to a 'T', we would leave enough space in front of our cars to brake no matter what was happening. Unfortunately we also learn the hard way that all too often we tailgate much closer than the law allows, and when we get into trouble to avoid an accident, and get ticketed, there's no recourse.

You said you weren't following all that close. Why couldn't you brake in time to stop behind the student driver? Are you telling me the student driver was driving a car that was lighter and quicker to stop than your Impreza? I think not. The fact of the matter is you screwed up, broke the law, and now you're in trouble with 2 tickets instead of one.

My recommendation? Go get a lawyer. You can get on a 2 probation with a large fine [upwards of $500 or more] and then both tickets will be removed from your record if you're ticket-free for the next 2 years in your county. It's painful, but the reality is you will save money in the insurance increase in the long run [up to 5 years depending on your state].

Newbie drivers suck, I've learned over the years to avoid driving behind them no matter what. And from the number of violations I've gotten over the years, I also know not to tailgate no matter what when I am behind a car doing the speed limit or less, no matter who is behind the wheel.

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Old 06-21-2000, 01:08 AM   #23
Siper2
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I wasn't tailgating. I said that. I never tailgate. However, he did a jerky stop. A half-stop, then roll, then fast stop. So by the time I figured out whether he was going to stop or not, I had to do something to avoid an accident. Two choices: hit him, or
go around with no traffic coming. Now which do you think is obvious?

The law says you're supposed to be a telephone pole-distance's length from the person in front of you. Uh-huh. Like that works in a city. Someone will pull in that space in a second, it's inevitable. Period.
I was at least two car lengths behind him.
Could I have stopped in time, I have no idea.
But rather than risking my neck and someone else's, I took the safe route, and got f*ck*d for it. I love the law.

As for the lawyer... I don't see how a lawyer could help me.

-S2-
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Old 06-21-2000, 01:17 AM   #24
Snoopy
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Well, his indecision is typical of newbies. You should have anticipated his worst move especially when the light turned yellow.

Sorry to say, but you just have to take it in the chin....again.
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Old 06-21-2000, 01:18 AM   #25
ColinL
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Actually in my state the handbook says to follow no closer than 2 seconds. I say bullcrap and I've never rear-ended anyone. I've been rear-ended 3 or 4 times though, and I brake early and conservatively.

As far as the lawyer, you would be surprised what they can do.
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