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Posted: 10/5/2004 12:05:17 PM EST
So I'm driving today and I was about 10-15 feet to intersection when the light turned yellow. Obviously this is not enough distance to stop the car in time. So I drove through the intersection with the light still being yellow. There was no squad car behind me. He must have been on the other street. So a about two blocks later I get pulled over. This guy asks me for lic. and reg. I give it to him. He asks if I am in a hurry. I said no. He then says that I "passed" the light. He goes into his car and comes back with a ticket saying that I ran the red light. I said to him that it was yellow and what was I supposed to do stop in the middle intersection. He then says to contest it in the court.

Now, I filled out the form to contest in the court. I know that I did not run a red light. How would I go about proving this in the court? Anyone?
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:06:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 12:06:37 PM EST by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:07:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
Take it like a man, let the popo stick it in your pooper and post pics. hr


Lol I dont know about that hinking.gif
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:08:14 PM EST
doning the flame suit.....
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:08:51 PM EST
Tell them to prove you did run the light. Kindly remind the court that they work for you and if they cannot show any proof besides the officers word that you did anything wrong the can go FOAD!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:09:27 PM EST
Pay your tax, citizen.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:11:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By 2whiskeyP:
Tell them to prove you did run the light. Kindly remind the court that they work for you and if they cannot show any proof besides the officers word that you did anything wrong the can go FOAD!




An excellent use of FOAD, i must confess.


- BG
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:12:40 PM EST
Btw this was in Chicago errrr Shitcago. I'll be damned if I give 1 cent to Daley and his cronies.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:15:51 PM EST
You are screwed. The cops can say whatever they want to because they are above the law and you are a mere citizen. Most you can do is to pay the fine and move on with your life.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:16:09 PM EST
Come on dude, it was a fresh red.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:18:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stormtrooper:
You are screwed. The cops can say whatever they want to because they are above the law and you are a mere citizen. Most you can do is to pay the fine and move on with your life.



Not true, if you really want to beat it get one of those lawyers that specializes in tickets they have a number of tricks that they use!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:19:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By mike45acp:

Originally Posted By Stormtrooper:
You are screwed. The cops can say whatever they want to because they are above the law and you are a mere citizen. Most you can do is to pay the fine and move on with your life.



Not true, if you really want to beat it get one of those lawyers that specializes in tickets they have a number of tricks that they use!



That sounds like it's worth it for an $80 ticket....
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:22:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stormtrooper:
You are screwed. The cops can say whatever they want to because they are above the law and you are a mere citizen. Most you can do is to pay the fine and move on with your life.



Depends if you get a "hanging judge."

Pay attnetion at your court date. Figger out if the judge was like my last traffic court judge - anyone who wanted a bench trial she UPPED the fine amount, proceeded with the trial, then found them guilty

Let's just say I took my whoopin', paid my fine, and moved on. No bench trial for me.



Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:27:48 PM EST
You might want to take a look at the timing of the light. A year or two ago, the city came through and installed new traffic lights around my work. Soon after, I began to notice that I frequently seemed to be running one particular light... it would change to yellow, and despite me being too close to stop safely, I'd see it turn red as I passed through the intersection. Coincidentally, ever since then, police have been hanging out here in that kind of "ticket assembly line" income-producing operation.

I began paying more attention to this light, and would count how many seconds were between yellow and red... it was 3 seconds, clearly much too short for a major intersection of this size (6 lanes crossing 4 lanes). Other similar intersections in the area give 4 seconds. Smaller side-street crossings have 3 seconds, and stopping at these is no problem.

Anyway, go watch the light in question. Maybe it's unsafely short.

--Mike
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 12:28:29 PM EST
If you can afford the time off, ask for a trial, but do your homework. Time how long the yellow light is. If you can show that when you saw it 15 feet away and given your rate of speed, it was still yellow when you went through, then you might have a chance.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:00:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 1:06:54 PM EST by Joe_Blacke]
What was your speed at the time you observed the light change?

This is very important. For instance, if you were travelling at 45 MPH, that equates to 66 feet per second (mph x 1.47=feet per second). Then you need to take in the average human reaction time of .75 to 1 sec. If you had a "good" reaction time of .75 sec then you would have travelled a minimum of 49.6 feet before you could actually start applying the brakes.

Now, if you say that you were approximately 40 feet from the intersection, factoring in response time and feet per second, then you were already 9+ feet into the intersection before you could start braking. Add in the stopping distance, and you would have been "X" feet BEYOND the intersection by the time you stopped.

So, if you ask for a trial you need to find out from the officer where he was positioned. How far away was he. Did he have a clear line of sight. What did he estimate your distance to the "prolongations of the lateral curb lines" when the light turned yellow, and then again when it was red. Finally, what did he estimate was your speed. Ask all of this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and before you offer any other testimony in court.

Then you need to quickly do the math. If his testimony doesn't add up, you should win based on a preponderance of the evidence (if civil traffic) or reasonable doubt (if criminal).

If cop says that you were 75 feet from the intersection when the light changed, and you were travelling at 45 mph, then you couldn't reasonably stop. You would cover well over half that distance by the time you reacted and with the stopping distance you would have ended up in the middle of the intersection. If cop says you were 75 feet from the intersection at travelling at 50 MPH, then you would have covered the full 75 feet (if slow reaction time of 1 sec) before you could even brake.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:08:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:10:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Joe_Blacke:
What was your speed at the time you observed the light change?

This is very important. For instance, if you were travelling at 45 MPH, that equates to 66 feet per second (mph x 1.47=feet per second). Then you need to take in the average human reaction time of .75 to 1 sec. If you had a "good" reaction time of .75 sec then you would have travelled a minimum of 49.6 feet before you could actually start applying the brakes.

Now, if you say that you were approximately 40 feet from the intersection, factoring in response time and feet per second, then you were already 9+ feet into the intersection before you could start braking. Add in the stopping distance, and you would have been "X" feet BEYOND the intersection by the time you stopped.

So, if you ask for a trial you need to find out from the officer where he was positioned. How far away was he. Did he have a clear line of sight. What did he estimate your distance to the "prolongations of the lateral curb lines" when the light turned yellow, and then again when it was red. Finally, what did he estimate was your speed. Ask all of this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and before you offer any other testimony in court.

Then you need to quickly do the math. If his testimony doesn't add up, you should win based on a preponderance of the evidence (if civil traffic) or reasonable doubt (if criminal).

If cop says that you were 75 feet from the intersection when the light changed, and you were travelling at 45 mph, then you couldn't reasonably stop. You would cover well over half that distance by the time you reacted and with the stopping distance you would have ended up in the middle of the intersection. If cop says you were 75 feet from the intersection at travelling at 50 MPH, then you would have covered the full 75 feet (if slow reaction time of 1 sec) before you could even brake.



Sounds logical to me...I would guess this all depends on your ability to get the cop to give all the vital info prior to anything else being talked about (your argument).
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:11:23 PM EST
Find the book "Fight your Ticket" it might help. Court is going to piss you off even more.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:15:23 PM EST
I can't speak for his location, but in AZ most traffic is dealt with as a civil violation. In a trial, the winner should be based on a preponderance of the evidence. Our trial structure is set up so that the officer begins the evidiciary proceedings with his testimony, "On such and such a date, at such and such time, I officer Smith was parked in my marked patrol vehicle at the intersection of such and such. I was performing routine traffic enforcement duties, payin special attention to red light violators at this intersection due to a rapid increase of traffic collisions...blah blah blah". Then it's the violators turn. He can offer his testimony, or question the officer and then offer testimony.

If it were me, I'd let the officer run his yap, then I'd ask him questions then offer my own testimony. The officer should have a chance to rebut my direct testimony, and if necessary the defendant can offer a final statement. Then the judge decides.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:17:16 PM EST
From the Illinois Complied Statues (625 ILCS 5/ Illinois Vehicle Code: (edited for size)


Sec. 11‑306. Traffic‑control signal legend. Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic‑control signals exhibiting different colored lights or color lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red and yellow shall be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and the lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

(b) Steady yellow indication.
1. Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular yellow
or yellow arrow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter.



So, if I understand this, entering the intersection on a yellow is (still) not illegal.

You should probably lawyer up. Although you might not have to (story time):

When I got hit for the same charge (I was about 20 or so) I was driving my parent's station wagon, which had a leak in the gas tank. Coming back from a concert (and probably gently stoned from the contact high), I looked down and realized I needed gas. Continued through an intersection and tyurned left into the gas station. Got out, and was filling my gas tank in full punker regalia, when a CPD cruiser pulls in, blues lit up. I of couse think "great... I just pulled into a hold-up", but the officer calls me over, and asks for my license.

I tell him it's in my pocket, and ask if I can reach for it. He's a little taken aback by the request, but says OK. Tells me to finish getting my gas while he writes the ticket.

"Ticket for what?"

"For running the red light back there. You did see that it was red, didn't you?"

Reflex answer "I thought it was yellow" (DUMB)

Cop looks at me for a second, then tells me to finish getting my gas.

I do so, and return to the squad. As he is handing me the ticket, I offered to pay a cash bond. The officer turns to me like a shot - realizing my offer might be mistaken for a bribe attempt, I quickly amend my offer to follow him to the precinct and obtain a receipt for it at the desk. He told me that they don't accept cash bonds for traffic offenses, and told me "go to court... they won't hurt you in court".

Of course, being "altered" and in full punker gear, I think to myself: "So, does that mean you won't be hurting me here?". Luckily, survival reflex keeps the mouth firmly SHUT.

I show up in court three weeks later in a skinny lapelled suit coat. When my name is called, I stand up and answered the clerk, and approached the stand.

After talking with a guy in a suit for a moment, the judge says "Mr. Tango, after consultation with the Corporate Consel, and in recognition of your good driving record (hah! no tickets in Chicago as yet), you're free to go." tears my stapled license off of a file folder, and hands it down to me.

This was the friday before a weekend party. Felt good to be an "adjudged innocent" man AND have an extra $50 in my wallet!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:29:17 PM EST
Like the cop said, take it to court. Sometimes the judge will listen if you explain the situation. I had a BS ticket a year ago and the judge told me that he wasn't going to spoil my perfect driving record and threw it out. I was ready to ask for a trial if necessary. They have more important things to deal with. A lot of times the officer will not be able to make the trial for a minor violation either.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 2:40:15 PM EST
you have no credibility since everyone knows that such an error is impossible
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 2:46:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By 2whiskeyP:
Tell them to prove you did run the light. Kindly remind the court that they work for you and if they cannot show any proof besides the officers word that you did anything wrong the can go FOAD!



A man that has no clue how the system really works...!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 2:48:47 PM EST
Your best bet is to find out where he was. Subpoena his report, and find out how he saw the light change. I bet he is mistaken.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 2:54:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 2:58:02 PM EST
Yup. That's what IL is famous for now. It's traffic police, ala the ISP and the scary "Wolf Pack" honor brigade tollway traffic enforcement cvnts, aka a bunch of old farts near retirement that ride their dead-end handout state careers writing 4-9 mile over traffic tickets on empty rural roads, then spend weekends teaching traffic school so the previous offenders can have the infractions removed from their licenses for $150. Of course, much of that $150 goes to the teaching officers' pockets. By the way, private classes are prohibited. Fuck you Illinois.

I'm real impressed. So much so I took my productive, well-employed Republican ass and moved somewhere where it is appreciated.

Nice liberal shithole, Illinois. Not one regret about leaving there, especially not the traffic Nazis of the tollways.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:01:52 PM EST
The cop may not even bother to show. In FL, if the officer doesn't appear, the case is dismissed.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:04:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By MC_Man:
The cop may not even bother to show. In FL, if the officer doesn't appear, the case is dismissed.


Thats very unlikely.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:18:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 3:19:01 PM EST by ColtM4]
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:18:21 PM EST
I just had this type of "Fun" about 3-4 weeks ago. There is only two light that I have to go through until I'm on the freeway home. I've often noticed that around the last two weeks of each month(Not that there are quotas or anything! ) , the townships PD likes to sit and catch anyone who misses the lights. I was behind a box van, traveling at slightly below posted speeds(45mph)(no really) and as the box van entered the intersection, the light turned yellow. I passed less than 2-3 seconds behind it. The light was still yellow, and stayed yellow until after I was well past the intersection. I heard the Cop before I saw him Blast up behind Me & thought that he was after someone else. I pulled to the side of the road, only to see him pull up behind ME!

I gave the Officer My license and POR when asked, and answered "No, I don't know why you stopped Me. I know I wasn't speeding, and I know that the light had just turned yellow.....Why did you stop Me?"

I was told that "In this township, You must yield to a yellow light." I foolishly stated "So I should cause an accident by slamming on My brakes if a light turns yellow as I approach an intersection sir?" I got the "You dare question My Authority Civilian!" Stare as My answer.
Then a nice little Ticket($110)+A nice safety lecture(I drive 60miles a day for 18 years without a ticket of any kind in Michigan Weather & traffic.) on "How sometimes we are just in too much of a hurry, or are distracted by work or the radio, Etc."

In order to "Fight" this I would have to take a day off of work + Expect the Cop not to show up +/or Expect the judge to side with Me against the Cop. I know LONG odds when I see them. I Paid My tax, reluctantly, then Walked away.

Tall Shadow
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:20:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 4:28:01 PM EST by gutshot]
What does your local law state?
Where I live, if you are already leagally into the intersection when the light turns red your okay.
What this means is that if you break the curbline before red light your good to go.

I know what I'm talking about. I like to write tickets for running stop signs and redlights in high accident intersections.

Not into the BS tickets. I'm after the people who just plain ol' blow the intersection.


Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:28:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:34:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Take it to court.

If everybody took every ticket they got to court, the cops would have to stop giving tickets because every one of them would spend his entire day in court and the streets would be patrolled by nobody.

I wish everybody WOULD take their tickets to court just on principle.

The court systems would choke to death. Until judges started dismissing tickets en masse. Which would be a good thing, either way.


CJ



Yes, in IL to ingratiate the public the local magistrate usually lets 1/3 of all minor infractions slide without penalty as a little something for the little guy.

Kind of French don't you think?

If you're going to bother to pull someone over, make sure its worth a fucking court appointment. God I hate traffic cops from ILLINOIS!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 5:02:19 PM EST
Whatever you do, (and I'd go to court!) don't come off as a knowitall prick. Suck up. Let them have their authority buzz for the day and they stand a better chance of not bending you over the bench and giving you the plunger. I wouldn't roll out complicated algebraic equations either, unless things were really going badly.. 2+2=5 if Hizzoner says it does.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:14:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:21:48 PM EST
Defeinitely do not pull the "you work for me" routine. That will get the book thrown at you in a hurry. Buying the book that was mentioned might not be a bad idea, but I would definitely go to court. I think running a red light is a bad one for your car insurance.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:22:47 PM EST
Been there, LOST that.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:25:32 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:37:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:
I call them "almost yellow"

I REALLY HATE IT when they have one that stays yellow for 3 seconds year after year after year.

Then they switch it to 2.5 seconds and have a few cops hanging out. Those must be "need revenue" warnings or something...



It didn't bother the city of Portland after installing the "red light cameras". They didn't get enough violators so they decreased the yellow light time. They were caught red handed, but noone so much as lost a job over it.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:54:31 PM EST
Plead not guilty and request a trial by jury.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:01:21 PM EST
Go to court and take a chance that the cop doesn't show up.

In my city, plenty of people just ignore traffic lights or treat them more like stop signs, especially late at night. Cops do it as well.

'Round here, the cops don't care what happens unless there's a body on the ground. I sort of like that attitude from them!

-Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:03:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 8:03:36 PM EST by sgtar15]
i am going to go out on a limb here and suggest the following.

1. You are young, probably under 25

2. You are not giving us the whole story. I would like to hear the cops side.

3. I am willing to bet the light was red at some time while you were crossing the intersection. The cop can look at the light or your car, but not both. SO he bases his judgment on his experience, which out weights your experience.

4. I am almost certain you gave the cop an attitude which made your situation worse.

5. You will be found guilty.


Sgtar15


PS No charge for this assesment
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:05:17 PM EST
I dont stop at them, I have been hit twice at traffic lights, Both times I was stopped at yellow lights.

First time someone goes around me and hits me doing that,

2nd time person in front of me stops, I stop. 10 seconds later I get hit in the back of my car.


No insurance on either one of the dirvers


I'll go through a yellow one now. Better then getting hit by uninsured people
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:15:43 PM EST
Falsely ticketed???? You're not "falsely ticketed" until a judge says you are.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:17:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Falsely ticketed???? You're not "falsely ticketed" until a judge says you are.



I have little or no faith in what alot of judges say, most of the ones at local level I really dont trust.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:22:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Taxman:

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Falsely ticketed???? You're not "falsely ticketed" until a judge says you are.



I have little or no faith in what alot of judges say, most of the ones at local level I really dont trust.



I don't disagree with you. I'm just stating facts. A guy can bitch and moan all over the net about how he was "falsely ticketed". Until a Judge makes the call, It's only a matter of opinion.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:27:41 PM EST
[sarcasm]your just lucky he didnt shoot your dog[/sarcasm]
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:27:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 9:25:43 PM EST
Ask the cop in court how he knows you had a red light. if he wasnt behind you he was not in a position to see the light. even if he had a green, it doesnt mean you had a red. The light may have malfunctioned and gave him a green while you still had a yellow.

Of course if the cop is on his toes he will answer that he could see the reflection of your red traffic light in your windshield.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 3:20:14 AM EST
I'll have to second the question of "who writes reports on traffic tickets?".


if he wasnt behind you he was not in a position to see the light
- This really depends on how the lights are set-up. It is entirely possible around here to be able to see the lights if you are sitting at a 90 degree angle to them. No need in being directly behind the vehicle.
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