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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington, United States
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    4

    Default Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington. I was speeding 11 over last week. When I got pulled over I panicked and I pulled over to the left shoulder. It seemed big enough to pull over on. The police office yelled at me a bunch and gave me a 550 dollar negalgent driving charge along with the speeding ticket. Is there anyway to contest this? I feel that is a bit much since the left shoulder was big enough and I was on the far left lane. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    what was the specific statute charged for the negligent driving?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington, United States
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    4

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    46.61.525 Negligent Driving 2nd degree. and 46.61.400 speeding 11 mph over limit (over 40). Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    RCW 46.61.525

    Negligent driving — Second degree.
    (1)(a) A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.

    (b) It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the second degree that must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the driver was operating the motor vehicle on private property with the consent of the owner in a manner consistent with the owner's consent.

    (c) Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction and is subject to a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, "negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.

    (3) Any act prohibited by this section that also constitutes a crime under any other law of this state may be the basis of prosecution under such other law notwithstanding that it may also be the basis for prosecution under this section.

    [1997 c 66 5; 1996 c 307 1; 1979 ex.s. c 136 86; 1967 c 32 69; 1961 c 12 46.56.030. Prior: 1939 c 154 1; RRS 6360-118 1/2. Formerly RCW 46.56.030.]

    I was looking for the statute that requires a driver to pull to the right side of the road when stopped. I cannot seem to find such a requirement. If there isn't, then as long as you did not operate your vehicle in a manner that is BOTH negligent and likely to endanger any person or property, I don't see the citation as valid.

    There are a couple guys around here that are familiar with Washington law. Hopefully they will either confirm of refute my lack of finding a specific requirement to pull to the right hand side of the road.

    as to the speeding ticket; not my forte. There are many means to contest such a ticket, if the facts support the argument. Those other guys will be much better at pointing you to such an argument.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    Thank you for the reply. A bit of a confidence booster. The office said that we were in a bad spot on the highway since we were on the bend. But he walked on the left side of the car far away from traffic, he was in no danger. Do you know who I would ask about Washington Law on this forum?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    I would have told the officer he chose the spot to pull over by when he turned on his lights. That was his choice. Your failure to stop would have been a violation of:


    RCW 46.61.015

    Obedience to police officers, flaggers, or firefighters — Penalty.
    (1) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any duly authorized flagger or any police officer or firefighter invested by law with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.

    (2) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.

    [2003 c 53 244; 2000 c 239 4; 1995 c 50 1; 1975 c 62 17; 1965 ex.s. c 155 3.]
    or:

    RCW 46.61.021

    Duty to obey law enforcement officer — Authority of officer.
    (1) Any person requested or signaled to stop by a law enforcement officer for a traffic infraction has a duty to stop.

    (2) Whenever any person is stopped for a traffic infraction, the officer may detain that person for a reasonable period of time necessary to identify the person, check for outstanding warrants, check the status of the person's license, insurance identification card, and the vehicle's registration, and complete and issue a notice of traffic infraction.

    (3) Any person requested to identify himself or herself to a law enforcement officer pursuant to an investigation of a traffic infraction has a duty to identify himself or herself and give his or her current address.

    [2006 c 270 1; 1997 1st sp.s. c 1 1; 1989 c 353 7; 1979 ex.s. c 136 4.]

    If he was not comfortable with where you stopped, he should have waited until you were in a place that was safe to pull over before flipping on his lights or directed you to continue on to some place he felt was more appropriate. They don't get it both ways; either you stop where they tell you to or they don't gripe about you not pulling over immediately because you didn't think it was a safe spot. He chose the spot; he lives with the consequences.

    a couple names that come to mind are:

    speedy gonzalez

    blewis

    brendanjkeegan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    RCW 46.61.210
    Operation of vehicles on approach of emergency vehicles.


    (1) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.190, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
    Negligent driving for pulling over to the wrong roadside? Hardly. The officer would need to report that these actions happened BEFORE the traffic stop... not during them. This just makes no sense.

    Contest the ticket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    are you psychic brendanjkeegan?

    I glazed right over that law. Thanks for the correction.

    so, since the OP has a defense to the charge, what about the cop or court amending the charge to 46.61.210? I would have to guess the penalty for the correct charge is less than what is being charged but is there any way to avoid the charge being amended?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington, United States
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    Would it be advised to represent myself in this situation?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Any thoughts on how I should deal with the speeding ticket? I had just entered a 60mph speed zone from a 70 mph speed zone. It may have been 2 miles or so. It was dark and traffic was very thin, I thought I was going with the speed of traffic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How would I go about filing discovery in this situation? What does that even mean. Sorry for the foolish questions. I'm just in a bind and that is a lot of money. Thanks a lot for the help

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: Pulled Over on the Left Side of the Highway

    Personally, it sounds like Mr. State Trooper has a serious chip on his shoulder. Citing you for Neg 2 for STOPPING immediately? Give me a break. You did NOTHING to support Neg 2. In my opinion, the prosecutor doesn't have a snowball's chance in.. well you know... for supporting a Neg 2 charge.

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