I'm TICKED

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
I'm TICKED
10
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:37pm
I was on my way to Wal-Mart tonight. Really not a necessary trip, but I was getting sleepy and it was only 9:00. I needed something to wake me up (yes, this was on a Saturday night). So there's this intersection with four lanes. Two are left turn lanes, one right turn/straight, and one opposite. I'm in the left left turn lane. The light is red. There are maybe four cars in front of me. The light turns green, and the cars take a bit to get going. About two and a half cars through, the light turns yellow (remember, this is a normally busy intersection during the day). The car in front of me goes through, I have a quick argument in my brain, but decide I can get through too. I have gotten through from that point MANY times. As I'm halfway through the intersection, the light turns red. The cars in front of me slowed down, almost to a stop, then continued (seems like a common thing in this intersection as they decide which of the FOUR lanes to turn into). So I get halfway up the block when I see the cop behind me, lights blaring. You can guess what I was thinking. I can't post it here.

So I pull over, as does the person in front of me. The cop pulls up behind me, and when he gets out he says, rather rudely, to the other guy "You have a problem??" He told me he pulled me over for failing to stop at a red light. I said "I'm sorry, sir, but I really thought it was yellow." I didn't make a stink or anything. I was ticked for being pulled over, but when he brought the $100 ticket back, I was near tears. I told him that I know the light was yellow. He says three cars got through in front of me on the yellow, and it was red when I went through. I *know* this isn't true.

I looked up the ordinance when I got home. The wording basically says that you have to stop before entering the nearest crosswalk on the red. Yellow means you can proceed through with caution. I am positive I was halfway through when it turned red, and I was definitely through the crosswalk, into the intersection.

I am seriously considering fighting the ticket. I am afraid of losing, though. It's my word against his, unless he had one of those cameras. The officer told me he had no doubt that I thought it was yellow, but it wasn't. It's not even really the money. I mean, $100 is a lot, and it sucks, but I have savings, and it won't kill me. It's the fact that I know it wasn't red!

Now, I'll admit that I could have gotten stopped. There's no question about that. The thing is, that light is SO short, I usually try to get through. I'd say it probably stays yellow longer than it stays green.

Has anyone ever fought a ticket before?? If I decide to, what should I expect? I read somewhere that the officers make notes, and I have a right to see any evidence against me first. Does that mean I can ask to see a tape if there was a camera?

I'm STILL ticked!

OH, and another thing I don't understand. I've been pulled over exactly THREE times in my ten years of driving. All three times, I've gotten a ticket. I have friends who have been pulled over numerous times and almost always get warnings.


Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 11:50pm
Sorry to hear about the ticket and to see that you're spending your Saturday night online (just like I am).

I suspect that if you go to court to fight the ticket, your chances are probably 50/50. If the cop shows up, it's his word against yours and I suspect his will win out, but if he doesn't show up your chances of beating the ticket are pretty good. However, do you think your time is worth the $100 if you do get out of the ticket? I suggest venting and fuming about it for a while and then just write a check and get it over with.

By the way, I'm not far behind you in my record with getting pulled over...2 tickets in the 3 times I was pulled over. The only time I got out of it was when I had just gotten my license and started crying and told the cop I didn't know what the registration looked like (I was so worried about how much trouble I'd be in that I really didn't remember what it looked like). I suspect you may be a little too old (as am I) to try that approach if you get pulled over again.

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 12:28am
I've cried, I've reasoned, I've stayed silent. I think that there should be at least SOME leaway. Even people who commit *real* crimes don't go to jail the first time. Why should I have to pay every time some officer pulls me over?

The first time I got pulled over, I was 18. I had lived on the same street for 18 years, and it was NEVER a school zone. They had recently changed it, though, and conveniently hid the first sign behind a tree limb. When I saw the second sign, I hit the breaks, then saw the cop. I was going 27 in a zone I thought was 30. He didn't care that the sign was hidden, and I was too busy to fight it.

The second time, I know I was speeding. The limit was 60, and I was going 71. I honestly didn't know how fast I was going, though. I had just pulled out of a gas station, back onto the highway. My intention was to set the cruise at 64. On that car, it meant setting it at about 69 cause it would drop back quite a bit. The officer didn't care that time either. I didn't even consider fighting that one b/c I knew I was guilty. I just wasn't watching the spedometer close enough.

I've thought about whether it's worth it or not, and to me, it most definitely is. If I wasn't so sure of my innocence, then I might not be so sure. But I know I was into the intersection. I'm really hoping this car had a video camera so I can prove it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 4:42pm
I would definitely go to court to appeal that ticket. Most people don't they end up just like you and think about writing a check to pay it and move on. I live in Boston and have received many tickets. I don't pay them I go to court to protest them. All but one to date have been thrown out. Its in your odds to fight it.
Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 6:09pm
I keep going back and forth. On one hand, paying it would just get it out of my mind. It was almost 3am before I fell asleep last night b/c I couldn't get it out of my head. That $100 sure would feel wasted, though, if I went ahead and paid it. The court date isn't for two months, and that's a long time to wait to take care of it. My plan is to call tomorrow and ask about exactly what I need to do to fight it, whether I can find out if there was a camera in that car (which would prove my innocence), and if I can get the date moved up so I can just get it over with.

I'm afraid to drive right now because who knows what else I could NOT do to get a ticket.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 10:50am
go fight the ticket, shy. it's a good experience to go through the process even if you don't win. also, get some real legal advice.
Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 11:25am
It sounds like you don't think just having had tickets ourselves qualifies us to give legal advice. I can't imagine why you would question our advice! ;)
Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 12:29pm
Good experience for what??? I don't find myself with tickets often!

Getting legal advice would cost money, probably as much as the ticket, which would totally defeat the purpose. I'm leaning toward just paying it now b/c the court date is so far away and I don't want it hanging over me for that long. Plus, it's just plain easier.

Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 1:15pm
I just got a speeding ticket! I blame you for starting it! ;)
Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 11:05pm
Hey now! I have nothing to do with DC cops!

I mentioned it in class today, and asked if I should fight it. The first question was where I had gotten the ticket. I told them where I live...which was followed by an "ooooohh" of doom. Apparently, NO ONE wins against the cops here. My only chance would be if the cop doesn't show up. Now, how's that for innocent until proven guilty? It ticks me off, but I guess my only choice is to pay it. I'd get additional court fees if I fought it, even though "court fees" supposedly are part of the $100 fine.

Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_shywon
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 9:38am
Mine was only a $60 ticket and I know I was speeding (once the cop told me about that 25 MPH speed limit sign that I hadn't seen). I guess I should be grateful that he only put 34 on the ticket and not the 44 that I was actually going. It still sucks!