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Fighting citation for CA traffic code 21650 Driving in Wrong Lane

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by vabsings, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. vabsings

    vabsings Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    I was cited for traffic code 21650 violation - Driving on the wrong side
    I seek your advice as to how much merit my case has and how I should fight the case- In person or by written trial

    Here is description of the event-
    It was about 7:30 PM in May and I was driving on a surface street and there was very less traffic on either sides.
    As I was driving I noticed that ahead of me my side of the street was blocked by a police car with flashing lights.
    There was no traffic coming from the other side. There was no cop to guide the traffic. But I saw a cop standing in the middle of the other side of the street.
    I did not know where I was supposed to go. I slowed to down to 5 miles per hour and went close to the cop to ask for direction as where I was supposed to go. As soon as the cop saw me he said " you are on the wrong side of the street and I will have to site you a ticket".
    He was not in the mood to listen to anything I would say. I was pulled over and cited a ticket.


    After a few minutes of being pulled over and while i was waiting in my car- I noticed that there were some cars driving on the same side as I was and did exactly what I did - slowed down and try to come to the cop to ask where should they go thinking that the traffic was being diverted.
    The cop did not give ticket to any of those drivers and let them go with a warning.

    I noticed that the reason there was no oncoming traffic was that at say 100 feet distance from where the cop was standing the other side of the street was also blocked.
    I then noticed that there might have been an accident before at the location and cops where there to investigate.


    Now as per the code 21650 (F)-
    21650. Upon all highways, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right
    half of the roadway, except as follows:
    (F) When the vehicle is necessarily traveling so slowly as to
    impede the normal movement of traffic, that portion of the highway
    adjacent to the right edge of the roadway may be utilized temporarily
    when in a condition permitting safe operation.
    Can I use this part of the code in my defense? I want to give a fight to this ticket. I am also open to arguing in person before the judge or to a written trial.

    This is my first ever ticket in 13 years of driving in the USA and I really don't think I made any mistake in this case. I did not put anyone's life in danger; I was driving at 5 miles per hours and my intention was only to ask the cop where I am supposed to go.

    Please advice.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Well, that's an obvious contradiction.

    If this was a two way street and you drove into the lane for oncoming traffic, you're guilty of the infraction.

    You should have just come to a stop in your lane and waited there for instructions. That would have made a lot more sense.

    Irrelevant.

    You did. You crossed over into the oncoming lane when you should have stopped in your lane and waited or gotten out of your car and walked up to the officer.

    Sure you did. You could have been hit head on then second you moved over into the oncoming lane. That it didn't happen was just luck.

    That's a confession to breaking the law.

    You're welcome to plead not guilty and raise all of your comments as a defense. Whether you succeed or not is anybody's guess but at least now you know what you are up against.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can't win when they stack the deck.
    You can win by taking traffic school, if its allowed.
    Ask and it shall be made known to you, hopefully.
     
  4. vabsings

    vabsings Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Army Judge for your reply.
    Before I take the traffic school option I want to make sure that that is the correct option to go with.

    Adjuster- I wanted to say that there was no cop guiding the traffic the cop I saw was way far standing in the middle of the incoming lane which was also blocked as shown bellow in the little cartoon. You can see the road was blocked from both sides so how could me going at 5 mph would cause any oncoming traffic to hit me?

    Yes I could have waited there but when I saw there is no incoming traffic in the other lane which was blocked by the cop- it meant to me that the traffic might have been diverted and I went into the lane to ask the cop. How long could I have waited there if the cop would never show up to my car? Why should I get out of my car and cause danger to anyone coming behind me?
    Please see attached pdf sketch taht shows locations of where the cop's car were and where I was.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Not much more we can suggest, mate.
    I'll add that fewer than 5% of defendants in traffic court cases NATIONALLY prevail.
    On the other hand, 100% of those who complete traffic school, if its allowed, DO prevail.

    Even those who hire lawyers don't fare much better, about 20-25% of those defendants walk away smiling.

    Traffic citations and traffic courts claim it's about safety.

    Truth is, it's about revenue generation for government.

    A driver runs a stop sign.
    He or she pays fines, fees, and costs.
    The person's driving record is dinged.
    The driver's insurance costs increase.
    Hopefully, serial offenders learn a lesson.
    Truthfully, even after losing the driving privilege, most risk more trouble by driving an uninsured car without insurance.

    Naw, the whole thing IS a revenue generation scheme.

    But, no one is mandated to play their little game.

    All one ever needs to do is OBEY all of their laws all the time.
     
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  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    What you aren't understanding is that you had no business entering the oncoming lane under the circumstances you describe.

    As long as it would have taken to resolve the situation.

    You move to right, you stop, you turn on your emergency flashers, you carefully look behind you before opening your door, then you get out and walk over to the officer.

    I looked at it. Doesn't change anything. I know you don't want to accept this, but there was an obvious questionable and potentially dangerous situation up ahead. You made the wrong move.

    You can try explaining your position to the judge and hope he buys it.
     
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  7. vabsings

    vabsings Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you both for the answers. I am glad I posted here to see if I should invest time and energy in fighting this.From your replies I think I should just do the traffic school.
    Any recommendation on should I do it in person at a school or do it online?
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Do it online if you have that option. No travel and you can sit around in your underwear, take breaks, have snacks. Very convenient.
     

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