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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

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

    Today I received a illegal u-turn ticket. I was hoping someone could comment as to the validity of my potential case. Here are the details: I was traveling east and turned left into what appeared to be an alley way. I pulled my car half way into the driveway and reversed out to park my car in an available space next to the alley way. I made a 3-point turn. The officer's lights came on when I was already parked and as I was getting out of my car. The officer said that he did not see me pull into the alley but mentioned that it was illegal anyway. He was coming from the west and there were cars blocking the view of the alley way from his direction. (I took pictures of the scene after the officer left and recorded our conversation on my blackberry).

    Does anyone think I have a case and does anyone have any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    If you pulled into an alley and then backed out, that was not - by definition - a-turn.

    What code section were you cited for?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    Quote Quoting jbwilson76
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    I was traveling east and turned left into what appeared to be an alley way. I pulled my car half way into the driveway and reversed out to park my car in an available space next to the alley way.
    Was it an alley way or a driveway?

    I would think it would make a difference. And how much of your vehicle was on the alley way/driveway? That too would, IMO, make a difference.

    Whether it was a 3-point turn or not makes no difference.

    665.5. A "U-turn" is the turning of a vehicle upon a highway so as to proceed in the opposite direction whether accomplished by one continuous movement or not.

    So if at one point he saw you were headed east, and all of a sudden you were facing west, a u-turn seems to be the only logical answer.

    And for now, until we get a code section, I'll make this my last comment; the officer stating that he did not see you pull into the alley could mean one of two things:

    1) He didn't because he couldn't (as in his view was blocked);
    2) He didn't because you didn't pull into the alley way.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    If he had pulled into the alley and had to reverse, it would not have been a U-Turn.

    From CPOLS:

    A "U-turn" is the turning of a vehicle upon a highway so as to proceed in the opposite direction, whether or not accomplished by one continuous movement. (Veh. Code, § 665.5.)

    The definition implies a 180-degree turn that is accomplished without leaving the highway. There is no specific requirement that the approach to the turning movement be in any particular lane except at a signalized intersection. The movement can begin and end on any portion of the highway, including the roadway, provided it is not unsafe.


    Had he turned wide and began the turn popping into the alley but could not complete it because of the width of the roadway, I might agree this could be a U-Turn. But, if he pulled into the alley straight in and then reversed, it was not a U-turn as it would have been accomplished on two different roadways. And, even assuming it was a U-Turn, why was it illegal? The specific code section will help.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    If he had pulled into the alley and had to reverse, it would not have been a U-Turn.

    From CPOLS:

    A "U-turn" is the turning of a vehicle upon a highway so as to proceed in the opposite direction, whether or not accomplished by one continuous movement. (Veh. Code, § 665.5.)

    The definition implies a 180-degree turn that is accomplished without leaving the highway. There is no specific requirement that the approach to the turning movement be in any particular lane except at a signalized intersection. The movement can begin and end on any portion of the highway, including the roadway, provided it is not unsafe.


    Had he turned wide and began the turn popping into the alley but could not complete it because of the width of the roadway, I might agree this could be a U-Turn. But, if he pulled into the alley straight in and then reversed, it was not a U-turn as it would have been accomplished on two different roadways. And, even assuming it was a U-Turn, why was it illegal? The specific code section will help.
    I'll agree with most of that Carl... But also would like to ask the OP, in addition to the providing code section cited, if it is possible that he could also provide a Google Maps link...

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District



    Thanks for all the responses. The code was 22102. I have attached images of the alleyway. The space I was parking at is occupied by the truck in the picture. I was parked and getting out of my car when the officers lights came on. I believe that he did not have a view as he was coming in the opposite direction and the parked cars along the street may have blocked his view.

    All I know is that I pulled into the small driveway, reversed out and parked. If that is not a violation then do I have a case?

    - - - Updated - - -

    If the images didn't show here are the links to google maps.

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.419131,-119.697547&spn=0.000004,0.001714&t=h&z=19&layer=c& cbll=34.419205,-119.697469&panoid=jKI2jMHJPC3t8yztA3mRQQ&cbp=12,18 0.36,,0,3.48

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.419206,-119.697469&spn=0.000004,0.001714&t=h&z=19&layer=c& cbll=34.419131,-119.697548&panoid=lT5UfKXAVgpBZw5_VC6NZg&cbp=12,18 3.89,,0,6.81

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    Here is the section:


    22102. No person in a business district shall make a U-turn, except
    at an intersection, or on a divided highway where an opening has
    been provided in accordance with Section 21651. This turning movement
    shall be made as close as practicable to the extreme left-hand edge
    of the lanes moving in the driver's direction of travel immediately
    prior to the initiation of the turning movement, when more than one
    lane in the direction of travel is present.


    If this is a business district, then there may be no violation here. An intersecting alley (a publicly funded and maintained roadway) IS an "intersection." But, if the officer considered the turn too wide, maybe ...

    The image makes it appear this might be a private driveway as opposed to a city alley. If so, then the defense argument here would be that the turning movement was NOT a U-Turn, but was a turn into the driveway, then a reverse back on to the street.

    Did you pull ALL THE WAY into the driveway/alley? Was any part of your vehicle on the street before you made your reverse movement?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    I agree with carl. Most of this is going to be a rerun of his post but I had it typed up so just a different way of wording it.

    I can see now why you keep going back and forth between "alley way" and "driveway" as I cannot tell a difference either.

    If I were to guess, I would say that at some point in time in the past, this may have been an alleyway providing access to the street on the other side of those two lots. However, it appears that it no longer provides vehicular access and frankly, I am not so sure it qualifies as an alley any more.

    But let me ask you this, you stated:

    Quote Quoting jbwilson76
    View Post
    All I know is that I pulled into the small driveway, reversed out and parked.
    How far into the driveway/alleyway did you pull in? Just enough to allow you some room to reverse out and park or did your entire vehicle make it (completely) off of the sidewalk,then you backed out and parked?

    Quote Quoting jbwilson76
    View Post
    The space I was parking at is occupied by the truck in the picture. I was parked and getting out of my car when the officers lights came on. I believe that he did not have a view as he was coming in the opposite direction and the parked cars along the street may have blocked his view.
    OK, this is my own opinion and others (including Carl) can agree or disagree. There is nothing prohibiting an officer from admitting matters that are less than factual (about as mild as I can put it) during an investigation. A traffic stop, at least in its initial phase, is an investigation. And yes, I remember you saying you had the conversation with the officer recorded, and while I have little to no idea what he stated, you should keep in mind that he may have seen a bit more than what he's letting on.

    That said, there are several possible avenue his testimony could go:
    1) He could state that your 3 point turn was made in a way where your first point (where you stopped, and before you reversed) was within the parking space and not in the alley/driveway. - That would obviously be an illegal since it was not made at an intersection. (Not saying this is what happened. Just that it could happen that way or could appear to have happened that way).

    2) That your 3 point turn may have been in the alley/driveway but that you did not necessarily exit the highway. Meaning, your vehicle was still partly on the roadway, maybe even partly on the sidewalk (the sidewalk is part of the roadway). Whereas to qualify for a turn into the alley/driveway and reversing back onto the roadway are two separate actions, your car in its entirety would have to be between the two buildings.

    3) Lastly, keep in mind that the officer need not be able to view the entire length or width of your vehicle to be able to establish the type, depth and location of the turn you made. If he can see the front end, back end, part of the passenger side door.... etc, he (or any other reasonable person) can visualize where the rest of the car is.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Illegal U-Turn in a Business District

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    There is nothing prohibiting an officer from admitting matters that are less than factual (about as mild as I can put it) during an investigation.
    Baseline TG. Absolve all wrongdoing, or potential wrongdoing! Whatever it takes for the defendant to look guilty is all that matters.

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