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Increase in speed to avoid accident

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  • Increase in speed to avoid accident

    Hello,

    A few days ago I was following a car on a rural 2 lane road with the limit at 55. The car infront of me was doing 50 mph so when the passing lane opened I decided to pass him. I was almost done passing the vehicle when a police officer came around the bend in the oncoming lane. In every situation that I've seen where this has happened the car being passed has slowed down to allow the passing car into the lane. It is because of this fact and that I was almost done overtaking the car that I felt accelerating was safer than braking. If I braked and the car being passed braked I would still be in the oncoming lane. The ticket I ended up receiving was for 66 in a 55.

    I'd like to hear what you guys have to say, flames and all. I realize I was speeding, but I acted in the interest of safety. Why else would I have accelerated in plain view of an officer? I have no points on my license and this citation carries a 3 point penalty in WV. Do you think could be reduced after I explain my reasoning? Thanks for comments, helpful and non.

  • #2
    Ummmmmmmmmmm, "around the bend"?

    I guarantee you were in a no passing zone. If not, then you obviously did so when it was not safe to pass.

    If you were acting in the "interest of safety", then you wouldn't have passed in that spot to begin with.
    Airborne Cops are closer to God.
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    • #3
      meh.....its worth a shot. might get a reduced fine or something.

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      • #4
        The zone I was in was a passing zone for either direction, and before that it was a passing zone for my lane of travel only. I say "bend" as a fairly mild curve.
        Last edited by Dest; 09-24-2009, 06:22 PM.

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        • #5
          If the "Maximum" Speed Limit is 55 MPH, you may NOT exceed that limit. Further, if you cannot complete your passing manuever within the prescribed distance - passing lane for you - then you should take a deep breath, relax and slow to the 50 MPH of the lead vehicle until all factors are in your favor.

          Ask if you can take traffic school and deal with the issue that way. If not, you are certainly entitled to plead not guilty; but, if I were you, I would not!

          Good luck!
          Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

          [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
            If the "Maximum" Speed Limit is 55 MPH, you may NOT exceed that limit. Further, if you cannot complete your passing manuever within the prescribed distance - passing lane for you - then you should take a deep breath, relax and slow to the 50 MPH of the lead vehicle until all factors are in your favor.
            What he said.

            If you can't see far enough ahead to know before you start that you have enough room to pass you shouldn't pass. If there was a bend ahead that would likely have been the end of the passing zone. You can only pass if you can complete the entire passing action within the passing zone. It's not just a matter of starting withing a passing zone.

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            • #7
              Your lucky all you received was a citation for speed. I would have gotten you for "passing on the left when not safe to do so."

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              • #8
                Sure, why not. Depends on if you live in a small town or not, and if the court is pretty informal. Do a little research in WV traffic law as far as if speed limits are prima facie or absolute, as well as the duties of a vehicle when being lawfully passed.

                It's a toss up amigo; if it's a civil traffic violation in WV then the officer has to prove 'preponderance of the evidence' vs 'beyond a reasonable doubt' You might win, if you can argue that your actions weren't unreasonable... he'd go first and say you exceeded the speed limit, shouldn't have passed, etc. etc.

                Your points would have to be that you were in the middle of a lawful pass, the driver to your right didn't slow down as required, the passing zone was ending, and oncoming traffic appeared. You chose to speed up and exceed the speed limit as necessary... totally depends on how you come across and the leniency of the judge.

                We rarely lose in civil traffic cases, just FYI

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
                  If the "Maximum" Speed Limit is 55 MPH, you may NOT exceed that limit.
                  Yes. You should have crashed head-on into the police car.

                  It would be interesting to know how fast the officer was going. If the reason that you thought it was safe to pass was that his car was far away when you started your passing attempt, but he was going 100 mph, you might have a defense. It is your responsibility to ensure that it is safe to pass before you undertake the maneuver.
                  Last edited by DAL; 09-27-2009, 07:41 PM.
                  Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                  Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dest View Post
                    Hello,

                    A few days ago I was following a car on a rural 2 lane road with the limit at 55. The car infront of me was doing 50 mph so when the passing lane opened I decided to pass him. I was almost done passing the vehicle when a police officer came around the bend in the oncoming lane. In every situation that I've seen where this has happened the car being passed has slowed down to allow the passing car into the lane. It is because of this fact and that I was almost done overtaking the car that I felt accelerating was safer than braking. If I braked and the car being passed braked I would still be in the oncoming lane. The ticket I ended up receiving was for 66 in a 55.

                    I'd like to hear what you guys have to say, flames and all. I realize I was speeding, but I acted in the interest of safety. Why else would I have accelerated in plain view of an officer? I have no points on my license and this citation carries a 3 point penalty in WV. Do you think could be reduced after I explain my reasoning? Thanks for comments, helpful and non.
                    When in doubt always request a traffic hearing. You are entitled to due process, even on a traffic ticket.
                    ...hunter of the shadows is rising...

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                    • #11
                      Here's what will be brought out in court if you decide to go.

                      You say it was clear to pass but in the same paragraph you state that a police car appeared in the on coming lane from around a bend.

                      If it was a passing zone you should have had clear view of oncoming traffic in which case you should have seen the police car approaching.

                      If you actually could not see the police car until it was to late there is a problem with that no passing zone.

                      Passing zones that approach or lead into turns usually have a lot of engineering behind them. They factor in the speed and visibility for a given stretch of roadway.

                      Your not going to have much to fight on this.

                      If your going to fight it you better bring evidence of how that passing zone does not allow enough visibility for a vehicle to pass but keep one thing in mind. A passing zone is for vehicles to pass slower moving vehicles. If the vehicle your passing is doing the speed limit you don't get to pass him so you can exceed the limit. You can do it but when you get caught you get caught, thats all there is to it.
                      Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

                      CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all your opinions. I'm going to request a hearing and have a look at the officers notes and all that stuff. Depending on what I see will determine how I plead, but hopefully I can at least get it reduced if I explain the reasoning behind my speeding.

                        To clear up some things: Yes it was a passing zone. There was no oncoming traffic when I began the passing maneuver, and I would doubt the officer was going any less than 55. Maybe I'll post some pictures up of the zone in question to get more opinions. Thanks again.

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                        • #13
                          I've just been alerted to something I did not think to mention. My license is currently in NJ, my infraction occurred in WV. I thought states "shared" (for lack of a better term) points but have been told that may not be the case. Can anyone clarify this? Thanks.

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                          • #14
                            You would have been better off applying the brakes and falling back in behind the car you were attempting to pass...thats really your only option.

                            It obviously wasn't safe to pass (even if you started that way). When you ended up in the situation you were in, you decided to accelerate even faster in the oncoming traffic lanes...that poses more of a danger to everyone involved than if you had braked and got behind the slow poke you were anxious to get around.

                            IMO, a good ticket...and in court you'll be hard pressed to convice a judge that accelerating into oncoming traffic was the safer thing to do.

                            As for the different states question, some states have reciprocity.

                            And as far as I can see, there is reciprocity between NJ and WV:
                            http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Violation...therStates.htm

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                            • #15
                              Once you exceeded the speed limit you outran the engineering on that passing lane, that is why a vehicle could appear in your danger zone. Another thing if the other car was going near the speed limit the passing lane may not account for that so it would take you longer to pass the vehicle, again leading to the other vehicle appearing in your danger zone.
                              Today's Quote:

                              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                              Albert Einstein

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