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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    6

    Default Stopping at a Green Light

    So, I was driving to work and its probably the second day of snow. So far that day has been the iciest. Using my limited knowledge of driving in snow,(My car always... always! Broke down right before winter so I have very non-existing experience with snow and ice), I drove out from my driveway and already noticed how slippery it was. On my way to school I was driving basically half the speed limit since my pickup truck was swerving everywhere ( I found out later by a friend that we were supposed to add sand bags to the trunks so we could add more weight). This was my first pickup (that I bought a month back) and my first time with all-season tires so I knew I had to be very careful and figure out the limits of my vehicle slowly. So anyways, I stopped at a red light and moved forward slowly (I learned by then accelerating fast can be disastrous, don't worry, its not a previous experience involving an accident) and people were passing me because I was going too slow. 1/4 between the two traffic lights, I saw the traffic light in front of me turn green. I saw the mass of vehicles moving forward and halfway, I started to focus on the vehicle in front of me. They just stood in place. By the time I was halfway there, the vehicle was still in place so I started to slow down thinking, this person should go soon. By the time I was 3/4 of the way there the traffic next to the vehicle was gone and I saw her release her brakes. Assuming she was going to go forward and that she would have to find traction, I slowed down but not at a speed where I could stop since according to her signals, she was going to go forward. However, I realized too late that this person is still going to sit there, so I tried to move into the lane to the right of me but my truck just ended up sliding at an angle towards the vehicle. I ended giving minimal damage to that individual's vehicle, but my vehicle had several dents and was missing a side mirror. When I later talked to the individual, she had apparently dropped her phone and was trying to pick it up.

    The police officer later gave me a ticket saying that I should have been driving slower. However, to my best knowledge, I have been driving as slow as possible without delaying traffic that was appropriate to the weather conditions. So my question here is, what do you guys think? Is this really my fault? Is it illegal for a person to stay stopped at a green light for an extended period of time and even if the intersection was clear? I would like some opinion on this matter since it seems unfair to me that I got a ticket for misreading an individual's action.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    19

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    So what kind of ticket did you get? You can attempt fighting the ticket by scheduling a contested hearing and getting discovery from the prosecutor.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    19,901

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    Regardless of the color of the light, the fact that the car had not started moving should have been your clue to slow down. Not knowing what you were charged with makes it hard for us to tell, but I can't imagine much circumstance that would excuse you violating the "too fast for conditions" or similar careless or reckless charge when you plowed into the back of a vehicle lawfully in the lane ahead of you. The reason for their not moving away from the green light fast enough to suit you doesn't much matter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    I would like some opinion on this matter since it seems unfair to me that I got a ticket for misreading an individual's action
    really? That's a huge part of driving and if you do not know where a person is going, you drive with such prudence to allow you to react effectively to the situation.

    You admit a lack of experience driving a vehicle ill prepared for the conditions and then do not react to a situation until it is to late to safely do so and you want to blame the person you hit. Wow.

    . However, to my best knowledge, I have been driving as slow as possible without delaying traffic that was appropriate to the weather conditions.
    I'll borrow from Ralph Nader. Unsafe at any speed. While that was the title of a book he wrote about the Corvair, it can be applicable to the road conditions as well. You were obviously not driving as slowly as needed given the situation.

    However, I realized too late
    I was driving basically half the speed limit since my pickup truck was swerving everywhere
    This was my first pickup
    I started to focus on the vehicle in front of me. They just stood in place. By the time I was halfway there, the vehicle was still in place so I started to slow down thinking, this person should go soon.
    Assuming she was going to go forward and that she would have to find traction, I slowed down but not at a speed where I could stop since according to her signals, she was going to go forward.
    that last was is the nail in the coffin but everything quoted there tells me you need some drivers training to be able to deal with the apparent road conditions for your area.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    6

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    You admit a lack of experience driving a vehicle ill prepared for the conditions and then do not react to a situation until it is to late to safely do so and you want to blame the person you hit. Wow.
    I only knew the vehicle was ill prepared after the fact. Like I said this is my first pick up truck (I've only had small cars before) so I only found out after that a truck needs sand bags, even my dad doesn't use sand bags in his truck. The vehicle, to my knowledge at the time, was very well prepared. It wasn't perfect but prepared.

    "that last was is the nail in the coffin but everything quoted there tells me you need some drivers training to be able to deal with the apparent road conditions for your area."

    I do not need driver's training course. I just need to learn what exactly my pick up can and can not do. You can't simply learn that from driver's training. By far, the day I had the accident was apparently the most iciest of the season so far.

    But this still doesn't answer my question, is it still legal for that individual to stay in that spot for so long?

    To flyingron: they weren't moving... at all, thats the problem. So why is there a law for running a red light/ stop sign but none for stopping/staying at a green light?

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    Quote Quoting so7906sun
    View Post

    But this still doesn't answer my question, is it still legal for that individual to stay in that spot for so long?

    ?
    It may be possible they could or should be cited for obstructing traffic but that does not alleviate your liability for hitting them.

    You can't simply learn that from driver's training.
    You're right, my mistake. I would consider that common sense and yes, you are correct, you cannot teach common sense to a person.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    20,594

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    You approached a stopped vehicle and rear-ended it. That places you at fault by most any definition. The other driver may have some contributory negligence, but since you admit that the car had been stopped, yet you continued to drive ASSUMING she would go, makes your actions appear - on the surface - to be unsafe.

    What state is this and what code section have you been cited for?

  8. #8
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    The poster already acknowledges that he knows you need to accellerate slowly in icy conditions but he wants to fault a driver who after a light he observed turning green didn't rapidly scoot forward out of his way when the saw her take her foot off the brake.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    6

    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    "You're right, my mistake. I would consider that common sense and yes, you are correct, you cannot teach common sense to a person."

    You are just basically saying that a baby should know if something works or not, if something is hot or not right away without actually experiencing it or with no one telling them it is hot or that it works a certain way. What about math an physics? You dont know it right away. You have to learn it. You only think its common sense because you either already experienced it or somekne has told you how you were suppose to drive a truck. How else am I supposed to know what my truck can or can not do if it's my first truck when basically I drove tiny sized cars?

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    The poster already acknowledges that he knows you need to accellerate slowly in icy conditions but he wants to fault a driver who after a light he observed turning green didn't rapidly scoot forward out of his way when the saw her take her foot off the brake.
    I never mentioned I wanted the person to zoom at 100 mph. I was simply saying the person waited too long. Using common sense, the person would go, even if it's slowly (which she had plenty of time for), right afterthe green light. She decided to sit there even if the other traffic next to her isn't even in sight anymore.

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    You approached a stopped vehicle and rear-ended it. That places you at fault by most any definition. The other driver may have some contributory negligence, but since you admit that the car had been stopped, yet you continued to drive ASSUMING she would go, makes your actions appear - on the surface - to be unsafe.

    What state is this and what code section have you been cited for?
    You forgot to mention that she actually took her feet off the brakes. I gave plenty time for her to even accelerate forward if she had just did instead of sitting there

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Regardless of the color of the light, the fact that the car had not started moving should have been your clue to slow down. Not knowing what you were charged with makes it hard for us to tell, but I can't imagine much circumstance that would excuse you violating the "too fast for conditions" or similar careless or reckless charge when you plowed into the back of a vehicle lawfully in the lane ahead of you. The reason for their not moving away from the green light fast enough to suit you doesn't much matter.
    Who says I plowed into her truck? Like I said the only damage basically happened to her vehicle was her right rear taillight area while the left aide of my truck basically is dented since my truck slide at an angle while I was trying to avoid her

  10. #10
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Stopping at a Green Light

    Quote Quoting so7906sun
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    You forgot to mention that she actually took her feet off the brakes. I gave plenty time for her to even accelerate forward if she had just did instead of sitting there.
    Not entirely relevant as you still had the obligation to travel at a safe speed for conditions. You saw the obstruction in front of you and failed to heed the danger appropriately. The other vehicle was not required to avoid being rear-ended by you, YOU were required to travel at a safe and prudent speed to avoid rear-ending her.

    You can make whatever argument you want to the insurance companies and maybe they will assign the other driver part of the fault.

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