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  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    My question involves a reckless driving ticket from the State of: Ohio

    Last year (March 2009) I took a road trip from New Jersey to Michigan, passing through PA and OH on the way. I received a speeding ticket on the way to, and what I believe is a moving violation on the way back. (On my record it simply says "RD - General.")

    Neither of these tickets indicated a reckless driving offense, so I was surprised to hear that one was on my record when contacting the DMV to change my license from Virginia to New Jersey. I assumed it was for the speeding, but in fact it was for the moving violation! I find this truly outrageous, because that ticket was a joke to me in the first place.

    The cop pulled me over and stated that I had not slowed down and switched lanes while approaching a "safety vehicle." Had he been an ambulance, or in motion at the time, of course I know that it's protocol to move over.... But as it was I was going the correct speed, and the cop was parked, with his lights on, on the side of the road, ticketing another individual. The car had pulled out before I passed them, but the cop was still idling on the shoulder when I passed by. He then proceeded to follow me without his lights on for about 5 minutes before pulling me over. What he accused me of wasn't even a law when I took my drivers test back in 2004, and he never said anything about reckless driving or the seriousness of the charge. I was a little incredulous, as you might imagine, and told him I had never heard of anyone doing this on a highway. People drive by cops pulling people over all the time! And I didn't see anyone else doing what he insisted I should have.

    I plead guilty rather than travel all the way back to Ohio - impossible for me at the time since I was still in school - and paid the $150 fine. I had no idea it was a 6 point offense, and it seems absolutely absurd to me that I be charged with reckless driving for it. Is there anything I can do now after the fact? Or am I screwed?

    Thank you so much for any help you can provide!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    North East
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    1,859

    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    If you already pled guilty then that is the end of the story. There is nothing you can say or do to open the case up again. Take a driving defense course approved by your state to remove 2 points.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    You were probably cited for:

    4511.213 Approaching stationary public safety vehicle displaying emergency light

    (A) The driver of a motor vehicle, upon approaching a stationary public safety vehicle, an emergency vehicle, or a road service vehicle that is displaying the appropriate visual signals by means of flashing , oscillating, or rotating lights, as prescribed in section 4513.17 of the Revised Code, shall do either of the following:

    (1) If the driver of the motor vehicle is traveling on a highway that consists of at least two lanes that carry traffic in the same direction of travel as that of the driver’s motor vehicle, the driver shall proceed with due caution and, if possible and with due regard to the road, weather, and traffic conditions, shall change lanes into a lane that is not adjacent to that of the stationary public safety vehicle, an emergency vehicle, or a road service vehicle.

    (2) If the driver is not traveling on a highway of a type described in division (A)(1) of this section, or if the driver is traveling on a highway of that type but it is not possible to change lanes or if to do so would be unsafe, the driver shall proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle, and maintain a safe speed for the road, weather, and traffic conditions.

    (B) This section does not relieve the driver of a public safety vehicle, an emergency vehicle, or a road service vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the highway.

    (C) No person shall fail to drive a motor vehicle in compliance with division (A)(1) or (2) of this section when so required by division (A) of this section.

    (D)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

    (2) Notwithstanding section 2929.28 of the Revised Code, upon a finding that a person operated a motor vehicle in violation of division (C) of this section, the court, in addition to all other penalties provided by law, shall impose a fine of two times the usual amount imposed for the violation.

    Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 2009 HB2 07-01-2009

    I don't see anything about it being reckless driving but since it is a misdemeanor and not a violation that may be what got you. And it may be that NJ classifies the same offense as reckless driving so that's what it shows up as when they add it to your record per whatever sharing agreement they have with OH.

    The five minutes following you may have been him running your tag.

    It also doesn't matter that it wasn't around when you took your driver's test. Did you take it in OH or VA? Cause the OH law has been on the books for 19 years. You are responsible for knowing the rules of the road and obeying them. I'd also bet, had you gone back and looked around, that there were probably signs advising motorists (since you can't be expected to know the laws of every state) about the law. I know every state I've traveled in that has a similar statute has it posted on the major highways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Jersey City
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    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    Thanks for the info! The ticket said "duties when approaching safety vehicle with lights on." Speed limit was 70, the ticket says I was going 80 but I know that wasn't the case. I was going 80 when he pulled me, but I know for sure I was at the limit when I passed him because I always make sure I'm going the speed limit around cops. It crept up to 80 when he was following me since I do tend to speed up when people are following me from that close behind (no lights tho.) I didn't see any such signs and I was in Ohio for a few hours, but I could be wrong. I took the test in VA in 2003 so it wasn't in effect, though I know that doesn't get me out of anything. The points, reckless driving, etc was all on my VA license, I am getting a NJ one this week so I know that might change though I don't know how.

    I think it's since been downgraded from misdemeanor since this happened, is there anything I can do now to get that charge brought down too? I'm also planning to take the course to get rid of the points. Thanks for your help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,034

    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    ,
    but I know for sure I was at the limit when I passed him because I always make sure I'm going the speed limit around cops.
    then you broke the law.

    The cop had his lights on. You have the requirement to either move to a lane not adjacent to the officer or if that is not possible to do safely, you must slow down. If the speed limit was 70 and you did not move to another lane, you were guilty of the charge.

    Most states have this exact same requirement. It would be a prudent action to presume all states have that, or a very similar, law on the books.

    Had he been an ambulance, or in motion at the time, of course I know that it's protocol to move over.... But as it was I was going the correct speed, and the cop was parked, with his lights on
    he didn't need to be in motion. Simply having his lights on triggers the law. It was put in place because so many officers get hit while performing traffic stops so if he were moving, there would be no need for the law. It is for when he is out of his car and vulnerable.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2010
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    Jersey City
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    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    I already know now that it is a law, why it's a law and that I broke it. I had never heard of it at the time, ever, I drive mostly in New York City where you can barely move over when an ambulance is moving. It would be near impossible to enforce this law there so that's why I wasn't aware of it.

    Again, I am asking for legal advice on the reckless driving charge, since reckless driving was not on the ticket, nor have I seen it attributed to this charge when reading about it online. I and others already confirmed everything you just said in the previous posts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    Quote Quoting ClaidiWinter
    View Post
    I already know now that it is a law, why it's a law and that I broke it. I had never heard of it at the time, ever, I drive mostly in New York City where you can barely move over when an ambulance is moving. It would be near impossible to enforce this law there so that's why I wasn't aware of it.

    Again, I am asking for legal advice on the reckless driving charge, since reckless driving was not on the ticket, nor have I seen it attributed to this charge when reading about it online. I and others already confirmed everything you just said in the previous posts.
    Wow.

    And, just that easily, you can take your ticket, your accident and any other questions you have and take them to another board.

    We don't work for you. You don't get to talk to senior members like that. Realize, too, that most of us volunteer on several boards.

    When getting something for free, the least you can do is be nice about it.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    Quote Quoting ClaidiWinter
    View Post
    I took the test in VA in 2003 so it wasn't in effect, though I know that doesn't get me out of anything.\

    Virginia enacted a Move Over law in 2002.

    Have you spoken to a lawyer in VA? That may be the best way to get this resolved. Getting this fixed appears to be an issue that is going to cost you some coin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
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    Default Re: Charged with Reckless Driving Without Knowing It

    oh, so you arguing the point of you did drive the speed limit when you went by the officer believing that was ok AFTER anybody else had posted information shows you acknowledge you screwed up?

    if you say so.

    enjoy your record.

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