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  1. #1
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

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

    Hello all,
    I was commuting home through rush hour traffic on my motorcycle the other day ended up getting pulled over.
    I started off in the carpool section of an on ramp. One car behind me and a line of six cars to my right on the ramp. My metering light turned green and while I was taking off, I saw the car next to me take off too. I accelerated to be sure to get ahead of him.

    While I was still on the ramp, I was scanning traffic (which was pretty bad) and saw a big rig to my left in the far right (4th) lane surrounded by other cars. As I got on to the highway, the big rig began merging right 100 yards ahead of me into my lane (5th). Traffic to my left in the 4th lane was heavy so I didn't want to try and go that way, I couldn't stop due to that I had a car from the on ramp behind me. Since the big rig hadn't completed moving to the rightmost 5th lane and the lane was still large (the two on ramp lanes merge into one), I made the decision that it would be safer for me to continue in my lane and pass the big rig on the right.

    I passed the big rig safely and at no time did I ride outside of the lane or break the speed limit. I continued on my way and then safely lane split my way over to the carpool lane.

    I remember traffic in the right lanes to be moving at between 20-30mph. By the time I got over to the carpool lane (1/4 mile later) traffic on the left was much lighter. Could have kept lane splitting, but didn't want to get pulled over for speeding, so I was just cruising behind a prius going 60mphish. About 0.3-0.4 miles from where I merged onto the highway I saw a cop in my mirror.

    We had to cross over the 5 lanes of traffic to get to the side of the road and finally stopped on the side a bit over half a mile from where I had merged.

    The officer was not happy. After getting my license, the conversation went something like this:
    Officer: "WHY DID YOU PASS ON THE SHOULDER??!"
    Me: "I.. Officer I didn't"
    Officer: "YES YOU DID, I SAW YOU PASS 30 CARS. WHY??"
    Me: "Officer I'm just trying to get home and it's really hot and.."
    Officer: "I DON'T WANT EXCUSES. WHY DID YOU DO IT".

    In our conversation he did mention that earlier he had come from a motorcycle accident. He gave me a lecture about how he had followed me all the way from the on ramp (I have NO IDEA where he really was) and that the big rig's tires could have blown and killed me. Also added in that a ticket is a lot cheaper than a trip to the hospital. I ended up riding away with a ticket for "21755vc pass on R Shoulder". There is no speed written on the ticket.

    Sorry for such a long winded story. If anyone has any ideas of how I might be able to fight this ticket I'd REALLY appreciate it.

    Thanks ahead of time,
    -Cliff-

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Sooooo, lets do the math. A 53 ft semi truck trailer is 9 ft wide. By law it must have less than a 6 inch off-track. Given the massive length, it will generally have about a 2 foot wiggle from oversteer/understeer and uneven roads. A normal person is about 2.5 feet at the shoulders. We are at 13.5 feet. A normal interstate ranges in width from 14 - 16 feet. Pay your ticket and stop driving so recklessly. Be happy that is all you were cited for.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Quote Quoting Cliff1987
    View Post
    The officer was not happy. After getting my license, the conversation went something like this:
    Officer: "WHY DID YOU PASS ON THE SHOULDER??!"
    Me: "I.. Officer I didn't"
    Officer: "YES YOU DID, I SAW YOU PASS 30 CARS. WHY??"
    Me: "Officer I'm just trying to get home and it's really hot and.."
    Officer: "I DON'T WANT EXCUSES. WHY DID YOU DO IT".
    Is that not an admission that you did do it because "you're just trying to get home and it's really hot and..."?

    That is how I am reading it.... In fact, the officer clearly took it to mean you were just making up excuses....

    There is also a big difference between "at no time did I ride outside of the lane" and passing 30 cars on the shoulder!

    So which version should we believe?

    Quote Quoting Cliff1987
    View Post
    Sorry for such a long winded story.
    Winded indeed.. As in full of hot air...

    Changing the story is not going to impact the way the citing officer tells how it happened... So what would be the purpose of fighting it when you know you are going to lose?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Same old story.

    Explain that you did it, then rationalize it, then ask how to beat the ticket.

    Sorry, but the officer has you dead rights.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Thank you both for your responses.

    There IS a big difference between passing 30 cars on the shoulder and doing what I did. That is why I was asking for help.

    Since you two don't believe me, I'm guessing the judge won't either. Is there any way (in California) of getting the video footage from the officer's dash camera to exonerate myself?

    Thank you!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Your problem is multi fold. First the dash cam may not have your entire trip. Second it does not need to prove exculpatory for 30 acts of illegal passing, it only needs to prove one.


    Quote Quoting Cliff1987
    View Post
    Thank you both for your responses.

    There IS a big difference between passing 30 cars on the shoulder and doing what I did. That is why I was asking for help.

    Since you two don't believe me, I'm guessing the judge won't either. Is there any way (in California) of getting the video footage from the officer's dash camera to exonerate myself?

    Thank you!
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,687

    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    But, you appear to admit that you passed on the shoulder. THAT is all that is needed for a conviction; one car, or thirty, it doesn't matter.

    21755. (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another
    vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting that movement
    in safety. In no event shall that movement be made by driving off
    the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
    (b) This section does not prohibit the use of a bicycle in a
    bicycle lane or on a shoulder.

    As for any dash cam, contrary to popular myth, most law enforcement vehicles in CA - even the CHP - do NOT possess vehicle-mounted cameras. Those that do are not usually set for continuous operation (quite a memory hog) but are activated manually by the officer or when the lights are activated. Some digital systems might also include a few seconds before the lights are activated, but not all. Off hand I do not know what system the CHP uses for those cars they do have.

    If you believe there is dash camera footage, you are free to request this in discovery. However, should that footage show you were off the roadway or passing to the right, then you're just hanging yourself ... be careful what you ask for.

    About all you can do is seek a trial by written declaration quickly, hope the officer doesn't respond and a court dismisses the case against you, and move on. If found guilty, seek a new trial (aka trial de novo) and then hope the officer doesn't show up (a long shot with the CHP, to be sure). Many courts ill allow you to plead guilty on the day of trial (if you see your officer there) and give you the opportunity for traffic school if you are otherwise eligible. If you go to trial and lose, the court is under no legal obligation to permit you the option of traffic school. So, keep that in mind.

    You might also consider a guilty plea with traffic school right off the bat if you want to avoid the prolonged agony of waiting.
    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: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Thank you so much for your reply cdwjava. No sarcasm or patronizing remarks, just an honest response with good information. I really appreciate it!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Quote Quoting Cliff1987
    View Post
    Thank you so much for your reply cdwjava. No sarcasm or patronizing remarks, just an honest response with good information. I really appreciate it!
    There was nothing patronizing or sarcastic about any comments made in this thread. You set yourself up and instead of accepting the fruit of your labor, you came back and played victim... "If you two don't believe me then the judge won't either"... So the joke you tried to play in your first two posts was on you the entire time. And the sincerity you're trying to express in your last post is questionable.

    One thing I will never understand is what would possess you to lie when posting online, only to quickly contradict yourself and indicate the opposite? And why would you assume that any response that you receive that is based on your bullcrap story would benefit you in ANY way when you are standing before the judge in court?

    Those are rhetorical questions by the way. No reply needed!

  10. #10
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: Ticket for Passing on the Shoulder on a Motorcycle, VC 21755

    Sorry "that guy". Didn't mean to hurt your feelings or start a flame war. Simply stated my story and since you two didn't believe it (though it is the truth), I figured other people wouldn't either. Hope you have a good one.

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