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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    15

    Default Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington. I was heading to work on 12/26/15 on the interstate, (I-5 South) when I was following quite a ways behind an older pickup. The pickup was going way under the speed limit (one witness said less than 40) when suddenly he slammed his brakes and skidded to a near stop. I slammed my brakes and they locked up and I started to slide as a result. My truck's back end skidded out and my truck turned and I ended up flipping 6 times down the highway. I ended up on the side of the road. Upon arrival of the police I was ticked for following too close to the vehicle in front of me. I never hit the truck in front of me or any other vehicles. The officer that gave me the ticket was not at the scene of the accident until 15 minutes after it happened and the truck in front of me that caused it drove off. How can the officer give me a ticket for following too close when he didn't witness the distance at which I was following the other car? If I didn't hit the car in front of me then wouldn't that be considered adequate following distance? if I would have rear ended another car then I can see being ticketed but not in this case. If I fight the ticket do I have a chance to win or is this something i'll have to pay?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely but I Never Hit Any Other Vehicle

    The details of the accident and the position of your vehicle revealed that your accident was caused by you following too closely. Had you not been following too closely you would have been able to stop safely without flipping your vehicle.

    The officer did not have to witness the accident to reach that conclusion, especially if you explained it to him the way you explained it here.

    Sorry, but that's how it works. The citation was appropriate. You are welcome to try your argument in court but I don't hold out much hope for success.

    By the way, if you make a damage claim on your insurance your insurance company will find you negligent in causing your own accident and surcharge your policy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely but I Never Hit Any Other Vehicle

    He gave you the ticket because you confessed to the violation.

    The fact you could not stop safely within the distance you were driving supports your confession.

    The the violation isn't hitting a vehicle because you were following too closely. It is simply that you were following too closely. That is why people get tickets for tailgating and there never being an accident.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely but I Never Hit Any Other Vehicle

    If you want to fight it, you file for a contested hearing. Find the "Procedural Guide" threat at the top of this forum and post it here with the officer's sworn statement (redacted to remove your personal information). Then the Washingotn state experts can see if you have a chance. However, as pointed out already, the fact that you pretty much confessed to the violation will bode poorly for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    You are lucky you were not charged with something more severe like reckless operation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    I wasn't following too closely though and I tried to explain to him. I gave myself 6 seconds of follow time between me and the car in front of me. The accident was caused by my brakes that locked up and caused my back end to slide out. If I hadn't then I would have hit the truck in front of me that was completly stopped.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    ok so you want to argue defective equipment on your vehicle rather than following too closely? That's a ticketable offense as well. No idea which is more expensive though.


    or how about failure to control your vehicle? Another ticketable offense


    anyway you look at it you were eligible for a valid ticket. Maybe pick whichever one is the cheapest and seek to plead to that in exchange for dropping the following too closely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    Quote Quoting TimboSlice58
    View Post
    I wasn't following too closely though and I tried to explain to him. I gave myself 6 seconds of follow time between me and the car in front of me. The accident was caused by my brakes that locked up and caused my back end to slide out. If I hadn't then I would have hit the truck in front of me that was completly stopped.
    You simply do not get what is "following too closely". If you cannot stop without rolling your vehicle then no matter what the circumstances are, you were following to closely. You need to be far enough from the car in front of you that you can stop suddenly without having an accident.

    If you are gaining on someone ahead of you then you either need to slow down or change lanes. You need to drive defensively.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    Seeing as my brakes locked up and wouldn't release i'm having my truck looked at by another mechanic. I had just had my brakes worked on and completly redone on 12/22/15. If it was mechanical faliure then the fault is not mine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Ticketed for Following Too Closely Without Hitting Another Vehicle

    Quote Quoting TimboSlice58
    View Post
    Seeing as my brakes locked up and wouldn't release i'm having my truck looked at by another mechanic. I had just had my brakes worked on and completly redone on 12/22/15. If it was mechanical faliure then the fault is not mine.
    well, yes it is. You are required to maintain your vehicle in a safe working condition.

    That might give you some forgiveness though. It all depends on all of the facts

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