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  1. #1

    Unhappy Contesting California VC 21801(A) "Unsafe" Left Turn

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

    Hello,

    I was cited last night in the great city of Los Angeles for an unsafe left turn. The turn occurred at the intersection of La Cienega and Rosewood, which does not have any traffic lights nor pedestrian signal lights for the crosswalk.

    The officers stated that my left turn was unsafe, causing them to brake hard o avoid a collision. Occurred at 9:50 PM.

    I'm looking to contest this citation as I'm confident my turn was completely safe. I was involved in a similar accident from forgetting to yield four years ago, so I am always careful when yielding on an unprotected left. Here are some things I (as well as my passenger) noted.

    1) The police car's headlights WERE NOT ON. I was unsure of this upon recollection, but when I asked my girlfriend she vividly remembered their lights being off, the only way we discerned it was a police car were the silhouettes of the roof lights before they flashed their reds and blues.

    2) The officers both claimed that they had "slammed" on the brakes, that it was "a close one". The speed limit as stated on the citation was 55 mph, I would think that suddenly braking to a stop at that speed, I would hear the tires screeching, or honks from other cars in the opposing lanes, but heard neither.

    3) There was a store throwing a sort of outdoor party in a lot right on the intersection of the street we were turning into. Their were a TON of pedestrians attempting to cross and j-walk at the time. I turned as some pedestrians were attempting to cross Rosewood, which allowed me a small pocket of time to make my left.

    GoogleMap of intersection



    Is there anything I can do to get this dropped? Any help is very much appreciated, thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Contesting California VC 21801(A) "Unsafe" Left Turn

    Any witnesses or videotapes?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Contesting California VC 21801(A) "Unsafe" Left Turn

    No video.

    Aside from my girlfriend, no other witnesses, I was too flustered after the stop to consider talking to anyone that was there at the time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: Contesting California VC 21801(A) "Unsafe" Left Turn

    Quote Quoting myneighborrotoro
    View Post
    The speed limit as stated on the citation was 55 mph, I would think that suddenly braking to a stop at that speed, I would hear the tires screeching, or honks from other cars in the opposing lanes, but heard neither.
    The speed limit on that segment of La Cienega is 35mph... Either way, the posted limit, your speed, the speed of other vehicles, honking and or screeching tires or lack thereof are not an element of the offense with which you were charged. So basing your defense on any or all of the above will probably fail in accomplishing your goal.

    The element that must be met is: The officers stated that my left turn was unsafe, causing them to brake hard o avoid a collision. And the probability of him testifying as such are pretty high.

    21801. (a) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.


    Of course, you're free to mention that he did not have his headlights on or that you couldn't see him but I'm not sure whether the judge will buy into that sort of argument! Why? Because even if he had his headlights off, La Cienega is well lit... and if he was close enough to have to slam on his brakes then he was probably close enough for you to see him... If that's all you've got though, then try it and see where it goes!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Earth, in a geographic region commonly referred to as "California"
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Contesting California VC 21801(A) "Unsafe" Left Turn

    Quote Quoting myneighborrotoro
    View Post
    No video.

    Aside from my girlfriend, no other witnesses, I was too flustered after the stop to consider talking to anyone that was there at the time.
    Quote Quoting adam_
    View Post
    Any witnesses or videotapes?
    Ever heard of a "dash cam"?

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