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California vehicle codes and incorrect address

Discussion in 'Parking Tickets, Towing, Impound' started by teefaw, Apr 23, 2007.

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  1. teefaw

    teefaw Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I recently received a citation under CVC 21651(a)(2) for crossing double double yellow lines which I believe to be incorrect. It may seem pedantic but my interpretation of this from the extract below is as follows: whilst driving along a divided highway the driver deliberately ignores the dbl dbl yellows to make a turn.

    Extract from California VC 21651:

    21651. (a) Whenever a highway has been divided into two or more roadways by means of intermittent barriers or by means of a dividing section of not less than two feet in width, either unpaved or delineated by curbs, double-parallel lines, or other markings on the roadway, it is unlawful to do either of the following:

    (1) To drive any vehicle over, upon, or across the dividing section.

    (2) To make any left, semicircular, or U-turn with the vehicle on the divided highway, except through an opening in the barrier designated and intended by public authorities for the use of vehicles or through a plainly marked opening in the dividing section.​

    What I did was to join the road from a parking lot, cross the lines and turn left into the appropriate lane. Clearly, that is an infraction - I do not deny it - but I believe it to be 21651(a)(1). My act was not deliberate. There was no indication at the parking lot exit to say that only right turns were permitted and by the time I had entered the roadway and actually saw the dbl dbl yellows it would have been imprudent of me to do anything other than continue across. As it happened, the officer that issued the citation was actually sat astride his motorcycle across the road in the other parking lot - I did not deliberately flaunt the rules.

    Clearly, I feel pretty hard done by. The 'right turn only' is neither obvious nor signposted in any way and the dbl dbl yellows do not leap out at you as you exit the parking lot - I was looking at the traffic (and the officers) as I pulled out. As this was the only time I have ever used that exit I drove back there a couple of days later to check that I hadn't missed something. It is true that once aware of the dbl dbl yellows you can see them (if you are looking for them) before you pull out of the lot. However, what was interesting is that in the approx 3 minutes that I was there I saw 5 cars exit both that parking lot (and the one directly across the road, again with no signs saying 'right turn only' because I checked that too) and only one car actually turned right. That's 4 contravening 21651(a)(1). I also saw 3 cars turn left into the parking lots!

    Again, I stress that I did contravene a CVC but it was not deliberate, as the ciatation would suggest. I would really like to highlight the fact that this particular 'junction' should be marked appropriately and much more obviously. Dbl dbl yellows are supposed to help prevent potentially hazardous manouevres. If this is a hazardous part of the road then the lines are inadequate (my infraction plus 4 out of 5 others in the space of 3 minutes). Dare I say that it's probably a really lucrative money-spinner! Just as an aside, the location of the infraction as stated on the ticket is incorrect.

    How should I proceed? Plead guilty, pay the $159 bail, plus $39 and $25 for traffic school or do otherwise. I do not want any points on my license but I'm not sure I can apply for traffic school if I don't just suck it all up! I really want to ask the police why they're sat in that particular parking lot (there were 3 of them, by the way) and not out stopping the idiots that drive at 60 in a 35 zone or jump red light after red light.

    I may be guilty of 21651(a)(1) but some are more guilty than others! What advice plaese?

    (By the way, I submitted this question earlier but don't think it actually got sent. If it did, I apologise)
     
  2. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    ...It may seem pedantic but my interpretation of this from the extract below is as follows: whilst driving along a divided highway the driver deliberately ignores the dbl dbl yellows to make a turn....

    No; there is no intention required in the statute. It doesn't make any difference if the driver intended to do this or not, only that he did do it.
     
  3. teefaw

    teefaw Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am not denying that "I did it", it's what I did that I'm asking about. As I described the situation, do you think that the citation is correct or incorrect, does the fact that the location of the infraction stated on the ticket is incorrect matter and do I have any means of bringing to the attention of the court the fact that this area is pretty much a ticket trap (in my opinion)?
     
  4. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    ...Again, I stress that I did contravene a CVC but it was not deliberate, as the ciatation would suggest....

    I agree with you; you're guilty.

    "It's a ticket trap" is totally irrelevant to your guilt or innocence.
     
  5. teefaw

    teefaw Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Wonder if they'll use the $198 they get from me to put up a "Right Turn Only" sign!!! Thanks for your time.
     
  6. teefaw

    teefaw Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Guess what? No need to spend my $198 on a new sign. Just drove by the spot today and saw that the dbl dbl yellows have been painted over! Just makes me feel even more hard done-by now. It's now legal (and safe, presumably) to cross from one parking lot to the other or to turn left coming out of the lot (as I did). Nothing else has changed so would this have any bearing at all on my circumstances?
     
  7. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    If they have changed the crossing, I'd take a photo and go into court with it. It just might convince the judge to render a decision in your favor.

    Since the statute you were cited for indicates a left turn (which you made) it is certainly arguably a valid subsection to cite. I doubt that you will prevail if the judge is not willing to cut you a break ... but, you never know.

    As for posting a right turn sign, the city is not obligated to do this from private property. They can sometimes mandate that the property owner so post a sign, but it is not required.

    - Carl
     
  8. teefaw

    teefaw Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for your advice and comments. Really can't decide whether to plead or not. I don't want the point that will go on my license but no matter how unfair (and unneccessary it would now appear) I felt the dbl dbl yellows were I did still cross them (even if it was unintentionally). Does the point always accompany the fine (bail) or would a judge have some leeway, particularly now that thelines are gone?
     
  9. lwpat

    lwpat Moderator

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    California traffic ticket

    You might want to do a TBD. You can do this by mail. If the officer does not reply they have to dismiss or with a picture you may be able to convince the judge to find you not guilty. I would check with the clerk of court to see whether you will lose your right to TS if you do a TBD. The information will be on your courtesy notice. I just love that term. First they give you a ticket and then they send you a "courtesy notice."
     

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