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  • Disregarding Auto-Signal

    I will try to explain this scenario as clearly as possible. I encourage responses on what you would have done in this situation.
    -I was driving east-bound on a street.
    -I turned right onto a drive in a small parking lot. (Signaled right, then turned.)
    -I drove down that drive then signaled, came to a complete stop, and turned right again, onto a street going south-bound.
    -I never approached the stop light which is about 20-30 yards away from the entrance to the small parking lot.
    -I never exceeded the speed limit, nor drove in a wreckless manner. (i.e. making a drastic lane change to turn into the parking lot.)
    -Then I see a police officer flying up on my tail, where he follows me for about a quarter mile, until he finally pulls me over.
    -The officer writes me a $195 citation for Disregarding Automatic Signal, claiming that I avoided the light which was 20-30 yards ahead of the drive where I legally turned.
    -I have no previous traffic citations or warnings, and is the first time I had ever been pulled over for a traffic violation.
    -The officer never asked me why I pulled into that small drive, which was infront of 3 or 4 small businesses, he simply said, "I'm writing you this citation for disregarding automatic signal back at "8th and Conner". When very easily, I could have been heading to one of those shops, and changed my mind and decided I would go on my way home... The officer didn't know what was in my head at the time.
    -I claim, since I never came to the or approached the signal which was 20-30 yards ahead of where I turned, that what I did is just an alternate route to my destination. And my actions were far from deserving a $195 citation on a questionable or controversial violation.
    -I got a second opinion from another officer within my city, and he told me what I did was completely legal, and he cannot give me a ticket for Disregarding Automatic Signal at that intersection...

    What would you have done? Is a violation even commited? If so is that violation really Disregarding Automatic Signal?
    Thanks for all of your help.
    Last edited by cH Olympic; 04-21-2006, 09:38 PM.

  • #2
    Disregarding Auto-Signal

    Yes, any other questions?

    Kelly

    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

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    • #3
      Why do you say it is Disregarding Automatic Signal?
      I looked up the Indidana State Law, regarding this issue, and it says nothing about turning before approaching the signal.
      -Just looking for an explination.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cH Olympic
        Why do you say it is Disregarding Automatic Signal?
        I looked up the Indidana State Law, regarding this issue, and it says nothing about turning before approaching the signal.
        -Just looking for an explination.
        I am an Indiana officer.

        Going through a parking lot or taking an "alternate route" with the express purpose of defeating a traffic signal is disregarding an automatic signal. I have written many citations for that and they all resulted in convictions. Ultimately, it is up to your local prosecutor. The other applicable statute is disregarding a traffic control device.

        Regarding the fine. We don’t fine people. We simply enforce the traffic laws. To us, it wouldn’t matter if the fine was $1 or a $1,000.

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        • #5
          When very easily, I could have been heading to one of those shops, and changed my mind and decided I would go on my way home... The officer didn't know what was in my head at the time.
          This statement sounds to me that you were in fact cutting through a lot just so you didn't have to approach the light. It's called "cutting through property" in my state, but still the same circumstances.

          The officer didn't know what was in my head at the time
          We don't have to know. We just see the violation committed and write you up.

          Just because you do everything legally through the parking lot doesn't negate the fact that you were avoiding the traffic signals.

          If you think you were treated unfairly, go to court to contest it, that's what it's there for. I don't see the point in coming to a pro-LE forum and expecting officers to bash another officer from your side of the story only. There's always more to it.
          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

          Comment


          • #6
            Disregarding Auto-signal.

            It's a violation in most, if not all states, including Alabama. I wasn't there, I didn't observe your actions, I don't know what was on your mind concerning the signal. The Officer, exercising officer discretion, cited you. You now have two options. Pay the citation, or fight it. I really don't feel you'll recieve a whole lot of sympathy on this forum, and I am not going to second guess, or criticise the Officer who cited you. Your version of events may well fly with the Judge, and if that happens, so be it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Observation

              A related story:


              Several years ago, a friend of mine was stopped for doing something similar at a gas station, as the officer believed he was using it as a 'cut through' to avoid a traffic signal. He did not get a ticket, though, as he was able to articulate a good excuse.

              You see, he was in a diesel-powered pickup truck and had pulled into the station in order to buy fuel. When he pulled up to where the pumps were, he noticed that they did not sell diesel fuel (only had gasoline).....so he continued out to the exit on the other side.

              Once in awhile, I guess you can get lucky with the officer's "discretion" when pulled over. Some of them might realize the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.



              Please read my disclaimer below.
              Last edited by VA Dutch; 04-22-2006, 12:51 PM.

              The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

              The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

              ------------------------------------------------

              "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for your imput, all of you. I was not seeking sympathy, i was seeking other officers opinions and the application of this law throughout other areas of the U.S. Thanks a lot again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My two cents...just go up to the stop light. Wait the 30 seconds for it to change. Make your turn and go about your way. How much time do you actually think you save by taking a "short-cut" through a parking lot?

                  You were wrong and got caught. Be professional enough to admit it and move on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cH Olympic
                    Thanks for your imput, all of you. I was not seeking sympathy, i was seeking other officers opinions and the application of this law throughout other areas of the U.S. Thanks a lot again.
                    Again, I am an Indiana police officer. It was a good pinch. You were in Indiana and the act you described is contrary to Indiana law.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Illegal in Florida as well:

                      316.074 Obedience to and required traffic control devices.
                      2) No person shall drive any vehicle from a roadway to another roadway to avoid obeying the indicated traffic control indicated by such traffic control device.

                      From the way you write that you "could have been" going to one of those stores, it sounds like you weren't, just "could" have been.

                      Other circumstances we don't know: Were all the businesses in that area closed? Were you pulled over once you were passed all of them? These are things I am sure that officer took into account. He/she has probably seen people pull down that same street in the same manner before and knows what it looks like.

                      If you were in fact going to a store and changed your mind, take the ticket to court and explain to the judge what you were doing, which store you were going to and why, etc.
                      Sheriff: We just take turns being the sheriff. It's real easy. You just hang out here, eat some pie, and get drunk.
                      Peter Griffin: Wait. Hold on a second. "Pie," "drunk," "the?" You got yourself a sheriff!

                      Comment

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