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  1. #1

    Default How to Use Vandalism of a Sign as a Defense to a Traffic Ticket

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    I received a ticket for violating VC 21461(a), No Left Turn between certain hours. The sign was vandalized and not visible. Here is my prepared statement of facts. Does anybody have any suggestions on better wording or phrasing? Am I missing anything?

    Statement of Facts
    I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating VC 21461(a).

    The facts of my case are as follows: While driving westbound on Canon St. at 5PM on 03/21/2019, I safely executed a left turn from the left turn lane onto Del Mar Ave pursuant to CVC 21801 which states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left…shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

    Despite my safe left turn, I was stopped by the officer and was charged with violating VC 21461(a). The Officer alleged that my safe turn was illegal due to a “No Left Turn 3:30Pm - 5:30PM Mon-FRI” sign. I informed the Officer that I did not see that sign. After the interaction with the officer, I found the sign he was referring to and observed that it was vandalized by graffiti and not visible. Attached are photos of the sign showing that the sign is not legible.

    Because the sign was not visible and I received no notice of the sign’s existence, I ask the Court to dismiss my citation in the interest of justice.

    If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction a Court assignment to attend traffic school.

    I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,060

    Default Re: Statement of Facts for Vandalized No Left Turn Sign

    Post the photo or a link to google maps street view showing the sign.

    If you can't post your photo here, just give us the google map link.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Statement of Facts for Vandalized No Left Turn Sign

    Link to sign, but it's not vandalized when this was taken https://goo.gl/maps/ubB2uCfZp53A32zo7

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,060

    Default Re: Statement of Facts for Vandalized No Left Turn Sign

    Your problem is that you told the officer that you didn't see the sign not that you couldn't read the sign. He will testify as to what you said and your defense will probably go out the window. You didn't know about the graffiti until you went back to look for the sign so the illegibility of the sign is not your defense. And "I didn't see it" certainly isn't because it was there for you to see.

    I backed up to the Pt Loma intersection and I could see the sign up ahead on the right and another one on the opposite corner. At that point I can't read the signs but I can see them and 5 PM would still have been daylight.

    Moving forward to the first of the left turn arrows I still see the signs. You can't miss them at that distance. Still can't make them out too well but I'm slowing down to make the left and I'm thinking I should check out those signs carefully because they are there for a reason.

    Approaching the second left turn arrow I can see both signs clearly.

    What was it about the sign that was illegible? What part was covered by graffiti? Were both signs covered with graffiti? How so?

    If you can't post the photo, describe the graffiti carefully.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Statement of Facts for Vandalized No Left Turn Sign

    It doesn't matter if you told the cop you couldn't see the sign at all, or if you couldn't make out what it said. That's nonsense. You'd simply say that you saw no sign stating left turn was prohibited during those hours. The reason being it was illegible due to vandalism. The problem is, however, there seem to be to two signs, one at the right corner and one at the left. Were they both vandalized? Do you have the picture of them vandalized?
    Another thing is, you may want to go back their and see if the size of the sign R33 is per the specification on page 250 of CAMUTCD manual.

    All in all, go with your defense for TBD, and add the size of the sign as an additional issue, if it is smaller than proscribed. Do not mention the other (non-vandalized) sign in your statement.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,060

    Default Re: Statement of Facts for Vandalized No Left Turn Sign

    Very amusing. I'd love to see how that turns out.

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