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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1

    Question Proving that an 'Unsafe Lane Change' was Safe

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: California, Alameda County

    I am about to contest a citation given me in September 2011 by an officer who gave me a 21655, indicating "lane use, slow-moving vehicle" and states that it is an unsafe lane change on the ticket. It has taken all these months (it's now May 10 2012) to make its way through the system. I could have opted for traffic court, but I did nothing wrong and want to be vindicated.

    What happened was that with my turn signal on, and lights (it was heavy dusk), I was moving from standstill traffic on CA 80 into the exit lane to leave the highway. There was no one in the exit lane at all, and I was already nearly out of the traffic--so much so that I no longer could look behind me but HAD to be looking forward. The officer pulled up behind me, and claimed that "I had nearly hit him." He was 100% behind my car. It was obvious he could only have been going faster than anyone pulling from a standstill could have accommodated. No one would have been able to anticipated or seen this coming. When he flashed the lights I thought he was going to give me a warning--which itself would have been an overreaction on his part, so I apologized although I really didn't understand what I'd done. Neither did my passenger, who was completely confused (she is in Japan and not available as a witness). Instead he cited me with a 21655 violation.

    What are my chances of having this dismissed? What do I need to say?
    If I lose, will I automatically receive a point? Or, will it just be court costs and violation PLUS the traffic school.

    I feel bullied and violated and very angry. It's also made me a nervous driver instead of a careful driver, because I'm always afraid anytime I see a patrol car on the highway. I won't take that exit ever again.
    Thanks for your help,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,483

    Default Re: Proving that an 'Unsafe Lane Change' was Safe

    The officer will testify as to his observations, in support of his conclusion that the lane change was unsafe. Your argument that you think it was safe is unlikely, of itself, to sway the court. You can start by investigating whether the officer had video in his car and, if so, whether the traffic stop was recorded - if there's video backing up your version of events that should help you considerably.

    If you are convicted of the offense you will be assessed a fine and court assessments, and get a point on your license.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: Proving that an 'Unsafe Lane Change' was Safe

    Quote Quoting hsigur
    View Post
    My question involves traffic court in the State of: California, Alameda County

    I am about to contest a citation given me in September 2011 by an officer who gave me a 21655, indicating "lane use, slow-moving vehicle" and states that it is an unsafe lane change on the ticket. It has taken all these months (it's now May 10 2012) to make its way through the system. I could have opted for traffic court, but I did nothing wrong and want to be vindicated.

    What happened was that with my turn signal on, and lights (it was heavy dusk), I was moving from standstill traffic on CA 80 into the exit lane to leave the highway. There was no one in the exit lane at all, and I was already nearly out of the traffic--so much so that I no longer could look behind me but HAD to be looking forward. The officer pulled up behind me, and claimed that "I had nearly hit him." He was 100% behind my car. It was obvious he could only have been going faster than anyone pulling from a standstill could have accommodated. No one would have been able to anticipated or seen this coming. When he flashed the lights I thought he was going to give me a warning--which itself would have been an overreaction on his part, so I apologized although I really didn't understand what I'd done. Neither did my passenger, who was completely confused (she is in Japan and not available as a witness). Instead he cited me with a 21655 violation.

    What are my chances of having this dismissed? What do I need to say?
    If I lose, will I automatically receive a point? Or, will it just be court costs and violation PLUS the traffic school.

    I feel bullied and violated and very angry. It's also made me a nervous driver instead of a careful driver, because I'm always afraid anytime I see a patrol car on the highway. I won't take that exit ever again.
    Thanks for your help,
    I'm curious about a few things...

    What type of vehicle do you drive? What class driver's license do you carry?

    What do you mean when you say "it has taken all these months to make its way through the system..." (From September 2011 through May 2012)? What was you're original appearance date on the citation and what stage are you at now? Arraignment, Trial, Trial de Novo, Trial by declaration?

    Was the 21655 the original charge on the citation or was that amended at some point in time?

    Yeah... Too many questions, I know. And I haven't even got down to the real problem; that is your description of what led to the traffic stop and the citation! Your description of those events is ambiguous and confusing to say the least... It seems that you opted to include issues that aren't relevant while leaving out those that are.

    To answer the questions you asked, first, your chances of winning are a huge mystery specifically because you're alluding to an illegal lane change and yet you were cited for failure to use designated lane, but then you claim to have been in the exit lane and 21655 does not apply to vehicles exiting/entering a highway/freeway... etc.

    If you do show up to trial with and you do provide an invalid defense, you will lose, you will be assessed a violation point, you will have to pay the penalty amount as indicated on the courtesy notice you may have received. As for traffic school, and if you're eligible now you obviously will be eligible after a trial however, and while your request maybe granted simply by you pleading guilty and asking for traffic school where as after a trial, you can ask but the matter is up to the discretion of the judicial officer hearing your case.

    Lastly, you can lay off the drama... Statements such as:

    Quote Quoting hsigur
    View Post
    I feel bullied and violated and very angry. It's also made me a nervous driver instead of a careful driver, because I'm always afraid anytime I see a patrol car on the highway. I won't take that exit ever again.
    Are not bound to help you one bit... Not here and certainly NOT in court!

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