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Traffic Citation/Austin(10 posts)

Traffic Citation/Austinstemshim
Feb 3, 2004 3:06 PM
I rec'd a citation for rolling through a four way stop, residential neighborhood - right turn- no cars present - close to curb - about 10mph here in Austin TX. The ticket is for $151 and will go on my driving record. Anyone have experience pleading such a case in municipal court?
I'm guilty as charged, but this seems ridiculous. Any insights? Thanks.
re: Traffic Citation/Austinstemshim
Feb 3, 2004 3:23 PM
On my Bicycle, of course.
Feb 4, 2004 10:41 AM
I got the ticket on Shoal Creek - at the North end of the Shoal Creek loop- heading East on Foster to turn South onto Shoal Creek. Officer didn't mention complaints - but I felt he did have an attitude - he got out of car with ticket book and was writing as he approached me.
I got a ticket when...ChazWicked
Feb 3, 2004 3:28 PM
I blew through a stop sign. 3 way, no traffic (except the cop behind me that I didn't see until...

The fine was different (California) for a car vs. a bike. My co-worker got busted with me and he had the bicycle price while I had the car price... a clerical mistake of sorts. So I went to court to change it. I ended up paying the lower fee and did *NOT* get points on my license. The judge laughed and told me that the points would go on my bicycle license though... he was joking.

I think the point of it is that a typical scene at in the courtroom is a horde of people pleading their cases and making up stupid excuses and stories and it wasn't all traffic related. It included small crimes and such. The judge sees all these sad and petty cases all day long. The excuses and reasons that people come up with for stealing x or speeding at 120+mph is amazing.

In that context, a bicycle running a stop sign seems a laughable crime.

I think the key courtroom strategy is to be straight forward about your guilt and simply ask that there be no points added to your license. If you somehow introduce the fact that it was a lonely residential street and that you won't do it again, that would probably be a good thing.
re: Where At?teoteoteo
Feb 3, 2004 8:15 PM
I'm an Austin kid so I am just curious if you'd be so kind as to tell me...
Feb 4, 2004 4:18 AM
My suggestion would be to go ahead and set it for court. When the court date has been set, contact the prosecutor and talk with them about your options. Very likely you will be able to work out a comprimise with the prosecutor. If not, go ahead and take it to court. Our muni court judges are pretty loose and liberal, and if you are able to explain that you slowed for the stop sign, made sure there was no other traffic and then preceeded through the intersection without disrupting any other traffic, you will probably get a favorable verdict. I'm actually pretty suprised to hear an Austin Police Officer issued you a citation for this....probably came from some sort of citizen complaint about cyclists and/or cars running that particular sign. What was the location?
Play by the Ruleschbarr
Feb 4, 2004 5:56 AM
As cyclists, we insist that we are vehicles on the road, due the same respect as a car, and subject to the same laws. IMHO, if we expect cars to treat us as vehicles, we can't complain about receiving a ticket when we violate the rules that would apply to any other vehicle.
Feb 4, 2004 5:59 AM
Didn't mean to imply that you should get points on your driving record--after all, what would they do if I had no driver's license.
in Austin?steve-z
Feb 4, 2004 9:51 AM

How could this possibly happen in Austin? After all, it's the absolute best place in the world for cycling, music, food, open-mindedness, etc. How could it be that traffic laws are enforced there??? That's just sooo Dallas/Houston!
Can you afford $151 and the pointsbimini
Feb 4, 2004 10:51 AM
If not, you may want to take it to court but is the hassle factor worth it to you. (would not be to me).

If the points are a BIG problem the hire a lawyer.

Plead your case in court. The cop might not show up, or they may decide to reduce the fine or not charge you the points.

I joke that if I ever got a speeding ticket on my bike, I would thank the officer and frame the ticket. Don't think I would frame one for running a stop sign.

I believe in bicycles being treated like any other vehicle on the road. You have to take the good with the bad.