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Posted: 6/29/2003 6:34:28 PM EDT
I hope you appreciate this because every time I post this I get flamed by some JBT for giving this info out. Most states have rules and regs about the height requirement for all traffic signs, if a traffic sign (speeding, stop sign or any other traffic sign) is not above the required height [b]it is as if it [red]did not[/red] exist[/b]. The law here in New Jersey says the bottom of the sign must be at least 7 feet above the surface of the ground it is planted in. First look up your state laws and regs concerning the traffic sign height and then go measure the height of the sign that was just before where you were tagged for speeding, if it below the state min. then you have a winner. You still might have to hire a lawyer to make sure the Judge follows the law but you should win. I have beaten at least 5 tickets on these grounds and the local prosecutors don't want the case being brought in open court because everyone in the court room will ask for an ajournment so they can go measure the sign that they got ticketed for. You will need your state DOT not the federal one. I will also tell you that the public works guys that install these signs usually know the height requirements too, so if you see some of these guys putting in traffic signs stop and ask them.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:29:53 AM EDT
Warning...This doesn not work inside the city limits. Atleast, not around here. The judge says, "Are you aware of the statute that states the default speed limit in a residential area is 30 mph unless posted otherwise?" "No, your honor." "It's in the books...guilty, fine and courts cost."
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:36:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 5:41:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lordtrader: Argue the calibration, positioning of the officer(cosine effect), and flow of traffic(if you were slower you would be impeding traffic).
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I believe the cosine error could only work to the driver's advantage. If the driver is going head on straight at the cop, he will get a correct reading from the radar gun (cosine of a 0 deg. angle is 1). As the cop moves farther and farther offline the direction of travel, the indicated speed goes down. I figured by now, they would have upgraded the radar guns to correct for cosine error! -Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 6:30:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 6:53:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Langadune: Warning...This doesn not work inside the city limits. Atleast, not around here. The judge says, "Are you aware of the statute that states the default speed limit in a residential area is 30 mph unless posted otherwise?" "No, your honor." "It's in the books...guilty, fine and courts cost."
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I didn't say it worked everywhere but I'll bet that if the state laws or codes are in conflict that the defendant gets the benefit of the conflicted laws. If your state has a height requirement then the signs have to be at that height or they are void. I know they work for probably all stop signs, there's no default or failsafe for stop signs I'm pretty sure. This also works for those pesky traffis lights too, if they aren't registered with the state DOT they are also void in mnay states.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 2:19:30 PM EDT
my personal experience has proved that just the act of showing up at court , in person , requesting at least a reduction in speeding ticket/fine has always worked. did not eliminate fine, but anything under 15mph over will not be reflected on auto insurance. (very important as costs go) in one example i had 29 mph over reduced to 14 over. result was 2pts on license instead of 3, plus no auto ins increase. the prosecutor wants to expedite the numerous traffic cases before the court. your protection is in the fact that until you plead: guilty, innocent, or no-lo , you havent plead and the prosecutor cannnot proceed. be polite, but do not plead until you are satisfied with the compromise , or stall until prosecutor backs down. in a crowded court this works well. if prosecutor will not back down, you can always request a continuance in order to consult with legal counsel. be warned though this only works once. if you return to court again ,(w/o an attorney) and happen to run into the same prosecutor , they may not reduce charges at all and schedule a trial date(if you plead innocent)(which is very expensive unless you want to represent yourself). moral is if your willing to put your time on the line, you will almost always be rewarded. too many people plead guilty, mail in their fines , and bend over for whatever L/E agency is involved.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 3:05:33 PM EDT
[b]jrzy:[/b] I posted this in the contentious [b]ComputerGuy[/b] thread, but I'll put it here, too. I see by your latest post in this thread that you have clarified that this is not an absolute. However, I think you're also over-generalizing the case when you claim that anytime there is a conflict between the local and state regulations, the driver (defendant) wins. That seems to be a very broad statement without basis in fact. I also think that your claim that the PA won't argue the point is because they're afraid everyone will ask for a continuance tp run out and measure signs is hyperbole and downright silly.
[b]jrzy[/b]: I've been thinking about your adamant assertions about the sign height as a defense. I must say that it is a unique approach, but it is subject to the vagueries of local statutes. Consider the case of Overland Park, Kansas, where my office is located, and I formerly lived. Specific to your contention, the Overland Park Municipal Code (OPMC) addresses the issue of traffic control devices in section 12.04.011. If you want to read along, you can look it up at [url]http://www.opkansas.org/_Assets/law/opmc/opmc_by_chapter/12-04.pdf[/url]. Unfortunately, it's a 136-page document, and you'll have to scroll down to page 25 manually. At any rate, the above-referenced section reads as follows:
12.04.011 Manuals and Specifications for Traffic Control Devices. All traffic control devices shall conform to the manual and specifications as adopted by the state department of transportation with the exception of handicapped parking signs as defined in 12.04.087
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Well, that seems pretty direct, basically saying that all signs must be correct and proper. However, there is something interesting in the following statute, 12.04.012, in particular subsection (c). I won't attempt to transcribe the entire regulation, but what 12.04.012 says is that drivers must obey the signs. I will, however, transcribe the contents of (c) for the purpose of this discussion.
(c) Whenever official traffic-control devices are placed in position [red]approximately[/red] conforming to the requirements of this ordinance, such devices shall be presumed to have been placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority, [blue]unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence[/blue]. (Red and blue emphasis added by DzlBenz)
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So what this particular city is saying (in red) is that if the sign is "approximately" where it is supposed to be, (and they get to decide what "close enough" means) then it's as good as if the sign were [b]exactly[/b] where it was supposed to be. There is an out, though, and that is what is in blue. If, through competent evidence, it can be shown that the sign was deliberately placed in a position contrary to the state specifications, then the sign is not official. However, this statute is vague on the term "competent evidence" as well. Only the judge hearing the case can decide if the presented evidence is competent or not. In cities where there is no allowance for "approximate" location of traffic control devices, your scheme may work. Indeed, you say that it has worked for you on 5 separate occasions. However, I think that it is less than prudent for you to strongly assert that such defense will work in all cases. The OPMC is one example of where it appears that the statutes have been specifically crafted to [s]allow[/s] [green]disallow[/green] such (arguably frivolous) defenses.
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