In other words, once you made the left turn and before you made the U-turn, nothing was distracting you from seeing the sign...
Edited to remove the comment re an illegal left turn... as I zoomed back out (after posting) I see that there is a left turn pocket... I also see that the sign I was looking art previously: (THIS SIGN) is prohibiting the U-Turn (around that small island) AND the Left Turn (into the parking lot to the left).
Well,do you not check for cars blocking the roadway before you make a left turn one could only hope that anyone making that left turn? How about pedestrians crossing across Massel? And when you turn do you close your eyes as you're in the process of turning (no, I'm still not buying that it was so dark (even with your headlights shining in that general direction)?
You can argue that point all you want but when it comes down to it, anyone who has a minute and a clue would disagree with you, simply because you're not making sense...
I think we can establish that if your headlights are "legal" and "aligned properly", and if that is true then they are likely pointing forward and down, correct?
So you begin to make your turn, I don't know how many feet that opposing lane is but I can only assume that once you're across it that you are facing the sign and are parallel to it. No, your headlights aren't directly shining on it, but the light beam is at about its same height (vertically) and a foot or two away from it (horizontally)- and you're saying you could not see it.
Instead of its current position and height, you're suggesting that if it were posted at the 2.1 meter height (Approximately 6' 11"... Let us say 7') you'd be able to see it better...
Well, in that case, your headlight beam will still be a foot or two away from it horizontally... But it will be several feet away from it vertically! How is that going to be better?
All that aside, there is a reason (maybe several) why it is placed where it is... All of that would be in a traffic study conducted either as part of the initial construction of the intersection or as it went through several changes, or as a response to community and driver complaints.... That is public information and while you could have requested it from the public works agency, the fact that you came here a mere week before your trial left you little time to have any reasonable expectation of receiving anything in return. I could sit here and speculate as to why, but really what would that change? Not much. Same holds true for the officer. He is not under any obligation to justify the sign or the reasons why it is where it is. But only to testify that it is there and that he witnessed you in violation of it.
I'm not sure which headlight argument isn't valid... But you tested it how?
I don't know how that changes much!
How does "parking and/or pedestrian and bicycle movement" block your view of the sign? How would that block ANYONE's view of the sign? Clearly, that provision refers to signs installed on a sidewalk or the side of the road where vehicles or bicyclists are between you and the sign and may potentially block the sign. Even with that provision, decision to deviate form such standards and guidelines aren't made for the heck of it, they are made randomly. They are made because the engineer felt it is a best approach under the circumstances.
Again, I still am not convinced how a higher sign would have improved your chances of seeing it! Who knows, maybe the judge will!
"Violates" is a but too extreme when in reality, and before any of these guidelines anyone reading the MUTCD will come across this (Page 1A-5 of the 2010 CA-MUTCD:
I'll underline the pertinent portions that clearly contradicts your conclusion!
Section 1A.09 Engineering Study and Engineering Judgment
This Manual describes the application of traffic control devices, but shall not be a legal requirement for their installation.
The decision to use a particular device at a particular location should be made on the basis of either an engineering study or the application of engineering judgment. Thus, while this Manual provides Standards, Guidance, and Options for design and application of traffic control devices, this Manual should not be considered a substitute for engineering judgment.
Engineering judgment should be exercised in the selection, and application and replacement of traffic control devices, as well as in the location and design of the roads and streets that the devices complement.
Jurisdictions with responsibility for traffic control that do not have engineers on their staffs should seek engineering assistance from others, such as the State transportation agency, their County, a nearby large City, or a traffic engineering consultant.
Refer to CVC 627 for definition and requirements of “Engineering and Traffic Survey”. It is also abbreviated in this manual as E&TS.
So you take a picture from across the street, with no lighting whatsoever, and this is supposed to simulate you driving within feet of the sign with headlights on!
Your point is what?
OK, so even from that distance and without any sort of lighting whatsoever, you still make out a traffic sign... Does it not make you curious to look at it in hopes you could figure out what it indicates? After all, we should all know that signs that have a white background are "regulatory" in nature... Meaning they are used to either prohibit an action or mandate one!
Do they show up? They're supposed to. Will yours show up? I have no idea.
4 1/2 months is nothing compared to citations that are dragged on for multiples of that time. Officers write basic notes to remind them of key points of what they witnessed, where what was said... It happens, many times a day... In courts all around the country! Yours is no exception!
Again, I have no vested interest in the outcome either way and you're free to try all your theories regardless of how off I think they are. I simply think that your average seasoned judge can tell what's real and what's bull. Some might give you some leeway and be sympathetic, others might simply shut you down if they get the impression that you are simply making excuses.. And as I stated up top, nothing you've offered here is a viable defense; only excuses!