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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    1

    Default Fail to Stop for Red Light/Improper Right Turn

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of Arizona in the Tempe area. I was driving southbound down a small neighborhood road that had a light at the end. The light had turned yellow then red before I could reach it so I stayed in the left turn lane to turn East and stopped. My friend in the car suggested since the light took extremely long so I should just make a right turn and then proceed to U-turn so I could go East. I pulled forward to look for traffic, made the right turn and got pulled over. This is my first time ever getting pulled over and the officer that pulled me over decided to give me a ticket for failing to stop for a red light and an improper right turn. Now, the officer was going West bound on the road I was turning onto. The only problem is that there are hedges to the left in the way impairing vision of whoever is stopped at that light. From that I believe the officer had no way of seeing me at that light. My problem is that I did stop at the red light yet the officer gave me a ticket for it without complete vision and knowledge of my stop. Also, I do not know if the improper right turn can be completely justified by the officer because like I said she did not have complete vision of my vehicle. My question is should I fight the ticket or should I just attend traffic school. Keep in mind that I do have a witness being my friend in the car. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Fail to Stop for Red Light/Improper Right Turn

    If your question is "should I fight the ticket or should I just attend traffic school", then the easy answer is "yes, you should do one or the other".

    The next time you're tempted to follow the recommendation of a friend as to how you should drive, consider first whether your friend is clueless and/or a terrible driver. You should get a copy of your state's driver's manual and read it, because these are basic rules of the road. Give it to your friend when you're done.

    Going into court and saying, "I don't think the officer had a clear view of me," will result in the officer saying, "I sure did." If you try to argue that the officer could not have seen you make the unlawful turn, but aren't willing to also lie about what you actually did, you're going to end up proving the officer's case - and in all likelihood convince the court that you're grasping at straws.
    Quote Quoting ARS 28-754. Turning movements and required signals
    A. A person shall not turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position on the roadway as required in section 28-751, or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left on a roadway unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety. A person shall not so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided by this article in the event any other traffic may be affected by the movement.

    B. A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

    C. A person shall not stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided by this article to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give the signal.
    Quite obviously your vehicle was not in the proper position on the roadway. ("Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.")

    As for the red light violation,
    Quote Quoting ARS 28-645. Traffic control signal legend
    * * *

    3. Red indication:

    (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c) of this paragraph, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. On receipt of a record of judgment for a violation of this subdivision or an act in another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of this section, the department shall order the person to attend and successfully complete traffic survival school training and educational sessions within sixty days after the department issues the order. Notwithstanding section 28-3315, if the person fails to attend or successfully complete traffic survival school training and educational sessions, the department shall suspend the person's driving privilege pursuant to section 28-3306 until the person attends and successfully completes traffic survival school training and educational sessions. A person whose driving privilege is suspended pursuant to this subdivision may request a hearing. If the person requests a hearing, the department shall conduct the hearing as prescribed in section 28-3306. A law enforcement officer or a jurisdiction issuing a citation to a person who violates this subdivision shall provide written notice to the person that if eligible, the person may attend defensive driving school or, if not eligible or if the person chooses not to attend defensive driving school and is convicted or enters a plea of responsible for a violation of this subsection, the person must attend and successfully complete traffic survival school training and educational sessions. The notice shall include a reference to red light violations and state that if the person is required to attend traffic survival school the person will receive notice from the motor vehicle division.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle that is stopped in obedience to a red signal and as close as practicable at the entrance to the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no crosswalk, then at the entrance to the intersection, may make a right turn but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal. A right turn may be prohibited against a red signal at any intersection if a sign prohibiting the turn is erected at the intersection.

    (c) The driver of a vehicle on a one-way street that intersects another one-way street on which traffic moves to the left shall stop in obedience to a red signal but may then make a left turn into the one-way street. The driver shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that such left turn may be prohibited if a sign prohibiting the turn is erected at the intersection.

    (d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 28-646, a pedestrian facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway. B. If an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, this section applies except as to those provisions of this section that by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of a sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.

    * * *
    You were facing a red light. You did not remain standing until an indication to proceed was shown.

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