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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Improper Passing to the Right

    STATE:GEORGIA

    Hello All,

    I was wondering if anyone may have some advice for me. Recently I was involved in an accident. I was traveling down a residential road in the morning on my way to work. This road's width on each side (right and left) is the equivalent to two lanes. So imagine a 4 lane road 2 lanes on left, 2 lanes on right separated by yellow double lines. This road continues up to intersect with a major highway before the intersection the road splits into 3 lanes, one lane is a turning lane to the left, one lane is the middle lane going straight across the intersection and one lane to the right turning right. Before the road splits into these lanes there are "private driveways" to businesses and a shopping center to the right and left. As I was traveling towards the intersection, the people in front of me signaled turn left and also moved their cars to the furthest left side of the road, I was continuing straight and begin to overtake these cars to the right, at the same time there was an individual that was turning left that decided to wave a car out into traffic from a private driveway to the immediate right. This car did not stop at the end of the driveway and look to observe oncoming traffic, it was like they had complete trust in the individual waving them on. They did not see me, and pulled out in front of me. My car collided into the rear driver side back door. When the officer arrived I was shook up and tried to proceed and give my statement. I think that I was talking to fast trying to explain what happen because the officer interrupted me and said "Im confused. Let me go over here and talk to them." After that he told us to pull over into the shopping center. He then cited me a ticket for improper passing to the right. And a week later I went to the precinct to obtain the police report, and all of a sudden there is an "unidentified phone-in witness" that stated that I was passing them to the right at a high speed. At the time of the accident there were no witnesses. I tried to contact the witness at the phone number stated on the report and the person does not answer, however their voice mail does and the name stated is not the name on the report given. Anyway the officer said that I could not pass these cars to the right because the cars that were signaling left were actually going straight towards the red light to turn left on the main highway ahead about 20 car links ahead not at the shopping center intersection where their positions lead me to believe from my perspective coming from behind. I did not know that these cars were going straight to the red light and that information was known only after the accident. If you read the code law the officer cited me for it states :

    40-6-43.
    (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
    (1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn; or
    (2) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes of moving vehicles in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
    (b) If otherwise authorized, the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

    So knowing this information and applying it to my circumstance, (1) the car I was trying to overtake indicated a left turn, I cannot read minds the cars indicated a left turn and stopped at an intersection to their left which made it look like that was their indicated direction not to go straight 20 car links ahead to turn left. (2) the road on which I was traveling on was the equivalent to two lanes so this indicates to me that "unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes...." applies to me and (3) I did not execute this maneuver by driving off the road way. Why was the other driver not cited for failure to yield-right-of-way? Am I interrupting this correctly? This is my defense in court is it plausible?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,755

    Default Re: Improper Passing to the Right

    The mere fact that a road is wide enough for two cars to travel in the same direction doesn't of itself mean that there are two traffic lanes. It sounds like the officer is of the belief that there is one traffic lane, and that you were zipping dangerously around the car that was turning left.

    So when you say "the equivalent of two traffic lanes", are you talking about a wide road with one lane in each direction, or a road that in fact had two traffic lanes in each direction?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Metro Atlanta
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Improper Passing to the Right

    40-6-43.
    (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
    (1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn; or
    (2) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes of moving vehicles in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
    (b) If otherwise authorized, the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

    When you pass on the right, you have to comply with subsections (a), which includes paragraphs (1) and (2), and (b) of this code section.

    It appears to me that you didn't comply with subsection (b) because you did in fact run into another car while you were passing on the right. When you pass on the right, you're accepting that risk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Improper Passing to the Right

    First of all I would like to thank you for responding to my post, I am still fighting this and I would still appreciate your advice. So...

    To Mr. Knowitall:

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    The mere fact that a road is wide enough for two cars to travel in the same direction doesn't of itself mean that there are two traffic lanes. It sounds like the officer is of the belief that there is one traffic lane, and that you were zipping dangerously around the car that was turning left.

    So when you say "the equivalent of two traffic lanes", are you talking about a wide road with one lane in each direction, or a road that in fact had two traffic lanes in each direction?

    Reply:
    Title 40 section 40-6-43 states:

    "(2) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes of moving vehicles in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle."

    Sufficient width is not describing a "lane" it is describing "unobstructed pavement" of the road therefore this in itself does mean that I am able to use this area of the road to complete a passing-to-the-right maneuver and still be within the conditions of this code.

    Even if the officer is of the belief that there is one lane, "unobstructed pavement of sufficient width of two or more lanes" still applies and I am within the conditions to execute the maneuver, is this not why the code was written? so that I can go around the car if these conditions are approached?

    And yes I do mean "a wide road with one lane in each direction". The road's width on each side (in each direction) is the equivalent width of 2 and one half lanes. You can turn an 18 wheeler all the way around. I will post pictures.


    To Billy Mack:

    Quote Quoting Billy Mack
    View Post
    When you pass on the right, you have to comply with subsections (a), which includes paragraphs (1) and (2), and (b) of this code section.

    It appears to me that you didn't comply with subsection (b) because you did in fact run into another car while you were passing on the right. When you pass on the right, you're accepting that risk.
    Reply:

    Yes that is correct I did in fact run into another car because that car failed to acknowledge and follow code sections 40-6-72, 40-6-73, 40-6-205. No instead he decided to acknowledge another drivers waive. Might I add that there were no skid marks at the scene of the accident, indicating that I was traveling at a low speed, before executing the maneuver it was safe. The other driver did not pay attention and yield-right-of-way to oncoming traffic and made it unsafe. I also believe in section 40-6-72 subsection C it states "that if a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle(me) in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such a collision shall be deemed prima-facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way." This is stated at the end of subsection C. I also realize that there was no yield sign at the roadway intersection in which the other driver failed to yield right of way, but if you read at the beginning of subsection C it goes on to define other conditions in which you should consider and treat the condition the same as a yield sign.

    Also in subsection A)

    (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

    (1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn; or
    (2) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes of moving vehicles in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.

    "or" indicates either condition can be met. "and" would mean both conditions need to be met. In this case you may need to pass to the right but the car in which you are overtaking may not be turning to the left. "or" indicates an exception for this circumstance. "or" is being used in logic as a sentential connective that forms a complex sentence which is true when at least one of its constituent sentences is true. If this is not true then the code holds a grammatical error which may introduce a double standard. How convenient.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Metro Atlanta
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Improper Passing to the Right

    I don't see how the person was violating 40-6-205, unless he stopped in the intersection or 40-6-72 unless there was a stop sign present.

    I do think you should be aware of this:

    § 40-6-144. Emerging from alley, driveway, or building

    The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road, or driveway within a business or residential district shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building entrance, road, or driveway or, in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon. The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk. No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized driveway.

    Considering this persons failure to yield to you, how is a driver supposed to realize that traffic is going to go around a vehicle that is apparently in control of a lane of traffic, and that vehicle stops to let him out?

    I think you probably failed to do your duty in accordance with OCGA 40-6-43(b), since you have to make that maneuver safely.

    It's like when I run with lights and sirens. The law says that everyone else has to yield to me, but I'm the one who's doing something extraordinary. If I get into a wreck while running code, I'm almost definitely at fault.

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