My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Texas
SORRY FOR THE LONG POST! HOPING TO LEARN SOME GOOD INFORMATION
i just found out about this website tonight and the court date is tomorrow. Hopefully I get lucky and someone responds before tomorrow afternoon.
This is what the ticket says
"TC 545.423 Cut through parking lot / private drive to avoid TCD"
Sec. 545.423. CROSSING PROPERTY. (a) An operator may not cross a sidewalk or drive through a driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance without stopping the vehicle.
(b) An operator may not cross or drive in or on a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance at an intersection to turn right or left from one highway to another highway.
If you care to read it direct from the Texas website: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u...htm/TN.545.htm
This is a link to Google maps
This is what happened...we were driving down the Eastex Freeway Service road headed south. This was the weekend before Christmas and traffic was heavy so we were going pretty slow. Our 2 month old child was in the back seat and she was crying because she was hungry. Right as we passed The Chair King store (on the corner - see map) we decided to pull over and stop. So I turned right on Birchridge rd and then immediately turned right again in the store's parking lot. Once in the parking lot, I turned again to park and the vehicle was facing the service road we were just traveling on. This was going to provide much privacy (wife would be breast feeding) since the southbound traffic on the service road was traveling slowly right in front of the car. So I moved the car to the south side of the building (along Birchridge road). I got out of the car to get the baby bag out of the trunk. By now the baby had settled down and we decided to just go home since we were only a few minutes form our house. Instead of turning back onto Birchridge, I drove to the east entrance of the parking lot so that I could turn right, directly back onto the feeder?
Does this make sense so far? Anyway, as I pulled up to the service road I drove right by a cop in the parking lot. I didn't feel I was doing anything wrong so I didn't even think about it. He stopped us and said we cut through the parking lot to avoid the TCD. The east bound traffic on Birchridge has a stop sign when it reaches the service road.
- We were never traveling east bound on Birchridge...so how could I have "cut through the parking lot to avoid the TCD"
What most likely happened is that the cop only saw us pull out from the south side of the building and try to turn out on the service road. (he was sitting by the north east entrance to the lot). As he wrote us the ticket I saw several vehicles do exactly what he was apparently there to stop. Wrong place, wrong time, I know...
I tried to explain to him what had happened but he didn't even give me a chance to explain. He had is mind made up of what he "saw" even though he was wrong. He said "I've got it all on video, right on the dash camera". Which was in fact pointed in the direction to capture everything. If this is true, then either A) it would show the footage of me turning right, then right again into the parking lot, driving around, going behind the building and then re-appearing or B) it will mysteriously disappear after he watches it and realizes he is wrong. In which case he no longer has the evidence...but of course then it is his word against mine and we all know who wins that discussion.
One more piece to the puzzle. We had just left the Toys R Us on the other side of the freeway. When we left, traveled north on the service road, crossed over the freeway on Townsen Blvd and then turn southbound on the service road...
I've got our receipt showing that we made our purchase at 2:43 PM. The ticket was written at 3:02 PM
So...what should I do.
The law states that you can't go through the parking lot without stopping. I clearly did. Twice. I even got out of the car.
On the flip side, I've got pretty good evidence that I was not traveling on the road the cop said I was traveling. In other words, I was never driving down the road in the direction in which the TCD would have applied to me...so how could I have been "avoiding" it.
My plan is to print out a copy of Google maps and outline the path that we traveled. I am also going to point out the TCD. And of course I will bring the store receipt which proves where we were just 20 minutes prior. I think this establishes our path of travel...I hope. :-)