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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Traffic Circle Accident Both Ticketed

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

    Specifically, it involves Colorado Springs Municipal code: 10.17.102-Obedience to Official Device (catchall code for signage).

    I entered a two lane traffic circle at the 6 position with the intention to exit at the 9 position. I safely entered the outside lane, stayed in that lane and followed the traffic around. As I passed the 12 position, a vehicle on the inside lane turned into my driver's side rear quarter panel (obviously I was mostly in front of that vehicle). She apologized after the accident and said she thought I was going to turn into the 12 position. I was already past that turn and was continuing in my lane when she hit me.

    It seemed pretty straight-forward to me, until the officer wrote me a ticket saying there is a sign saying I either need to exit on the first or the second exit (3 or 12 position in this case) and I was not allowed to follow the circle around to the 9 position. He also said I was the primary cause of the accident even though I never deviated out of my lane and I was 2/3 of the way in front of the other vehicle.

    The other driver was given a ticket for improper lane change, but I was named as the cause of the accident.

    How can this happen? How would a vehicle on the inside lane be more in the right to turn across the outer lane than I was to keep driving in my lane? And how would they even know when I entered the traffic circle? As long as I was in the correct lane, not speeding, and IN FRONT of the other vehicle, how can I be the cause? The officer told me that if I had entered the traffic circle at the 3 position, I would have been completely cleared of all charges and the other driver would have been at fault and the only one ticketed.

    Ok, the question is how do I go about fighting this? Not only the ticket, but how can I get the court to recognize I wasn't the primary cause of the accident. This has obvious implications on who pays my insurance deductible. I'm a good driver with a clean record, so the ticket doesn't bother me as much as the insurance issue. I have never had an at-fault accident so I'm pretty bothered by this.

    Please help!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Southeastern Michigan

    Default Re: Traffic Circle Accident Both Ticketed

    Does the sign show (I'm sure it does), that you must exit in certain positions according to your entry? If so, and you did not, then the citation is valid. We have a few roundabouts here in MI, and I've also driven in England, and each sign shows lane position for each exit.

    In a 3-exit schema, there are generally two lanes of entry; Lane 1 (far right) is for exiting both the 3 and 12 o'clock exits; Lane 2 when exiting at 9 o'clock. Lane 2 drivers merge right (into Lane 1) when position 12 o'clock has been passed. If the laws have been followed, there should be no one there. However, the driver is obligated to check to ensure the lane is clear of traffic. If not, they stay in Lane 2 and go around and try again (or the bump into someone, as the other did to you).

    If you are in Lane 1, and pass 3 and 9, then you are the primary cause as you did not properly exit or change lanes (move to Lane 2) thus creating a conflict and violating the law.

    You can consult with an attorney who is familiar with the traffic laws in your state to see what your options are. But stating to the judge that "I didn't know..." or "I thought..." is not a sufficient defense.

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