My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Colorado
I was recently cited for Following too Closely. The officer told me I was going 64 and was 0.8 seconds behind the vehicle in front of me. The speed limit was 65. At the particular moment he observed me, I suppose I may have been that close. If my math is correct, 0.8 seconds separated us by approx 75 feet or 5-6 car lengths.
Here is how I saw it play out. I was traveling eastbound in moderate traffic. Road conditions were dry and it was a sunny morning. On this highway, there are two bridges that cross over it. 3/10's of a mile separate the two bridges. The officer (or a officer) was on the 2nd bridge facing south. His passenger side seat was nearest the approaching eastbound traffic. Approaching traffic would be blind to him until after we passed under the 1st bridge. As I got to the 1st bridge, another vehicle changed lanes in front of me and began accelerating. We both saw the officer on the bridge at the same time. At that time, there was approximately 10-11 car lengths between us. I would estimate the other vehicle was traveling between 80-85. When I saw the cop, I glanced at the speedometer and was just under 70. The vehicle in front of me hit his brakes hard and rapidly slowed down to approx 60. I responded and slowed down accordingly. The closest I got to him was perhaps 4-5 car lengths and was able to adjust to his changing speed. I knew the reason he was slowing down.
I figured this was a speed trap and anticipated seeing a couple cop cars lined up on the on ramp beyond the bridge. There were none. About 2 1/2 miles later, I saw his flashing lights in my rear view a far distance back. The vehicle in front of me (he was approx 1/8 mile ahead) saw them too and slowed down and pulled off onto the right hand shoulder. Three or four cars passed him. I moved to the right lane to allow the officer to pass me, but lo and behold he was pulling me over. The other driver wiped his brow and merged back into traffic. This is a 4 point violation and a fine of $155. If I pay it by a certain date, it would be reduced to a 2 point defective vehicle.
What I do not know is if the officer on the bridge is the same officer that pulled me over. He did say that was the location I was observed though.
I am considering fighting this ticket. I believe driving is a continuous event requiring you to respond to different variables. Following too closely is something that should occur over a period of time and not observed at a particular moment in time. When he observed me, I was already responding to the change in velocity of the car in front of me. Is there a better defense to use for this infraction? There were also other SUV's of similar size and color that passed under that bridge within seconds of me too. Some turned off prior to his approach. Is it possible he had the wrong vehicle?
I would also consider a different plea...one point or less and reduced fine. Is there a proper way to request that? Any advice would be appreciated.