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Snowy conditions last week = wreck = failure to control

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  • Snowy conditions last week = wreck = failure to control

    Two weeks ago, I was on my way to work in Cleveland driving along the Ohio turnpike from Youngstown. We had 4-5 inches of snow the night before and it was still coming down. At about 7:10am, I hit an icy or snowy spot, lost control of the vehicle and hit the guardrail. I know it is standard procedure to be cited with failure to control whenever there is an accident. I'd like to go to court and see if I can get it dropped though because I had taken steps to avoid causing an accident; was going only 50 mph while other cars and trucks were still flying by me at 65-70 mph, and had moved over to the right lane. Obviously, I guess I was ultimately still going too fast, but based on the flow of traffic and the fact that it was the turnpike, I figured I was being responsible.

    How has anyone treated this in the past? I have found a couple instances on some other forums where people have had it reduced, but would like some input before I decide what to do.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Unless you were driving like an idiot and caused an accident I do not understand why some depts automatically charge you with an offense. I will never in my career unless you are being a jacka** and cause a huge wreck. It's bad enough that on your accident rpt you get blasted for the reasons why you wrecked but getting a ticket too its outrageous.
    DISCLAIMER: All opinions are mine, they do not reflect the opinions or position of my employing agency nor do they reflect any position of my agency.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure about your neck of the woods, but here the Interstates are "taken" care of by road crews to permit a safe speed of around 40 mph. If you drive off the road you are going too fast for the conditions. The troops give tickets for that all the time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kycop28 View Post
        Unless you were driving like an idiot and caused an accident I do not understand why some depts automatically charge you with an offense. I will never in my career unless you are being a jacka** and cause a huge wreck. It's bad enough that on your accident rpt you get blasted for the reasons why you wrecked but getting a ticket too its outrageous.
        I was driving more like a grandma than anything else. Its hard to drive much slower in those kind of conditions when you have semi trucks blowing by you at full speed. I have decided to go to court and tell the Judge just that in a kind and professional manner. Hopefully he will see my side of it.

        Thanks for the posts. Any other tips are welcome.

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        • #5
          so if all those other vehicles were traveling 65-70, why didn't they crash and you did?? Seems like you were the cause of the crash, thus you got the ticket. If you are found innocent by the court that is their function not the trooper who gave you the ticket. That is how it works on the Ohio Turnpike

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TRoman84 View Post
            Two weeks ago, I was on my way to work in Cleveland driving along the Ohio turnpike from Youngstown. We had 4-5 inches of snow the night before and it was still coming down. At about 7:10am, I hit an icy or snowy spot, lost control of the vehicle and hit the guardrail. I know it is standard procedure to be cited with failure to control whenever there is an accident. I'd like to go to court and see if I can get it dropped though because I had taken steps to avoid causing an accident; was going only 50 mph while other cars and trucks were still flying by me at 65-70 mph, and had moved over to the right lane. Obviously, I guess I was ultimately still going too fast, but based on the flow of traffic and the fact that it was the turnpike, I figured I was being responsible.

            How has anyone treated this in the past? I have found a couple instances on some other forums where people have had it reduced, but would like some input before I decide what to do.

            Thanks!
            I am sure that the trooper checked the box that contained the weather condition's and the road condition's for the time of your crash. If it were me I would go to court and plead no contest with an explination and explain what happened. I would Let the court then decide if I was guilty or not and to what degree. I would also contact OHP and get the number of accident's that had been reported that day. Hope this helps.

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            • #7
              the amount of accidents that day has nothing to do with anything, what might make a difference would be how many crashes were at this same location, if this was the only crash at this site then no doubt it all falls on the this drivers shoulders

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              • #8
                Troop I partially agree with you. The number of accident's at that location play's a huge part. However, if there is inclimate weather and that particular road is plowed and salted, before or after the accident or the roadway doesn't have a high traffic volume these could be contributing factors to this accident and the total number of accident's at that location. If there is inclimate weather and there is say 200 accidents reported for that county during the inclimate weather, then the court may take that into consideration when making a determination. The law is the law. Failure to control is failure to control no matter what. However, I know the judges in my county tend to show leniacy to inclimate weather accident citations.

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                • #9
                  Hey fellas, how about, failure to control means just that. There's no if's, and's, or but's about it. Just because another driver decides to drive 65-70, I'll fail to control MY vehicle, and drive at an unreasonable rate of speed (considering the road conditions)...jeez dude. You know, if someone told you to jump off a bridge because you would be cool, you probably would. Sorry bro, but that is lame. Ok, maybe finding out the number of accidents at that particular location may help. But dude, it's still failure to control. You being a reasonable person should know that if it's been snowing outside, and you hit snow in the wrong spot in any way, there's that possibility that you...i don't know...

                  1) May slide off the road
                  2) May hit someone head on
                  3) May kill someone while driving in conditions 1/2
                  4) May not be able to control your vehicle

                  So please, do me a favor and just man up to your reasonableness? You don't understand how painstaking this is for us LEOs. When I pull someone over for speed, do you know what the normal/average response to people's legal justification as to why they were speeding? "I didn't know I was going that fast." Come on....born yesterday, not last night. I think LEOs should be allotted one day per year, to truly say whatever they wanted to say. Just one day....that would be great!! On that day, I would say exactly what I have written in this post. Sorry, you gotta man up dude.

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                  • #10
                    Hey T. I hate to argue with you, But it's not failure to control. It is reasonable control. So, who defines what reasonable is? Your arguement would work for someone who say lost their serpintine belt, or breaks as well as for the snow. I agree he got the stub so he should man up and take his lumps. But, I have seen judges dismiss tickets for reasonable control that were issued in crashes during inclimate weather.

                    I do agree with you though. Law enforcement should have an amnesty day. They give amnesty day's for knuckle heads who don't pay their ticket's. Why not for us to say how we truly feel. THAT WOULD BE SWEEEETTTTT!!!!!

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