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just some frustration(7 posts)

just some frustrationmk_42
Oct 1, 2001 5:03 PM
I'm having in internal struggle:

I'm a cyclist and I face cars every day and I believe that gives me a special perspective on driving. Especially as it affect cyclists. Specifically on right hand turns.
I'm a good driver. I speed, that is to say I go with traffic, and I often don't completely stop at stop signs, but I still believe I'm a good driver.
I'm a person that believes that if I do something wrong and get caught I should accept the consequence. I don't like it when people get off just because they can, without considering if they should or deserve to.
Which brings me to a ticket I got recently. It was for a right turn not from a right lane. I understand and totally agree with the spirit of the law. The CA vehivle code says that "whenever practicable" a turn should be made out of and into a right lane. "Practicable." What exactly does that mean? As far as I know it means "possible," but anything is possible, after all. It is "possible" to make a right turn through/over me and my bike. Unless it means something specific in law terms (lawyers?) that just seems like a law that is intentionally umbiguous. Shouldn't it read "whenever safe?" Does it matter what it "should" say?
For the moment lets assume that the law was misapplied and the ticket was wrongly given (as I believe it was). What are my options? Can I go there and say I lived up to the spirit of the law if not the letter? Can I really go there and say that I'm a cyclist and that safe right turns are a pet peeve of mine and that all of mine are safe? I don't really want to get off per se. I can (and probably will) go to traffic school to get it erased. But I would like to go to court to argue to a judge that the law was misapplied and have him admit on my behalf that the spirit of the law was obeyed, and that my turn was safe. But I know that the only way I would get any satisfaction would be a not guilty technicality, like the cop not showing, and is that really justice either?

I want to go there and fight it. But I think it will just drain time out of my life and I'd loose. Could I really get them to admit that the intersection is wrong and not me?

So what can I do about it? Nothing, other than (to borrow a line from Liar Liar) "piss and moan like an impotent jerk and then bend over and take it up the tailpipe."


(sorry for the mostly unrelatedness of the subject)
re: just some frustrationmackgoo
Oct 1, 2001 5:23 PM
Sorry didn't read your whole post, but if this was a two lane road and you took a right turn from the left lane you probably should just pay and stop driving like a dope.
What are the facts?bikedodger
Oct 2, 2001 7:26 AM
I didn't see any thing in your post that would explain why you were not in the right hand lane when you turned. Were you on a bike or in a car?

From what I have heard (second hand reports only), the judge will take a police person's word over your word every time. You will need some hard facts, i.e., pictures of the roadway thet shows a problem with the right hand lane, to be found not guilty.

It's not about the specifics...mk_42
Oct 2, 2001 9:38 AM
Actually one specific: I was in my car. Can you actually get a ticket on a bike? Can't you just say you don't have a license?

Anyway I don't mind giving details but I wasn't talking about the specifics. Just about the feeling that I would like to stand up and defend myself because I believe a mistake has been made but because of the way the system is setup it's a LOT of effort to stand up and say that, and very little chance that anyone will listen. Partly I left out details because it's a complicated situation to explain. Bottom line is I did break the [literal] law, but there wasn't a way to go through that intersection and not break the [literal] law, and I believe that I broke it in the safest way possible and the cop disagreed.

Yes, you can get a ticket.Kristin
Oct 2, 2001 2:18 PM
I know several people who've gotten them. I had fun riding with a fast guy this summer who couldn't stay with the lead pack because he had to stop fully at every stop sign. He was under supervision for ignoring a stop sign (on his bike).
Pay up and move onjtolleson
Oct 2, 2001 2:02 PM
No, it means just what it says. Whenever practicable. Ie., if the right lane is coned off, you can't turn from it. If there's a semi with its flashers on sitting still in the lane, you can go around and turn from another lane. Why use the statute's flexibility to claim mistreatment?

Pay up and move on.
I probably will.mk_42
Oct 2, 2001 4:16 PM
But the frustrating part is that the right lane and the intersection were blocked.
The pay up is not a problem, it's the move on I'm having issues with...