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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Pock said:
As has been said, subsection 1 says that you don't have to stop, only yield. Subsection 2 says you have to stop.

It wouldn't surprise me if, in this case, the "sidewalk" is a "traffic control device," because the statute you quoted uses the sidewalk as a boundary requiring certain behavior. I have a friend, though, who was let off from a traffic ticket that cited the wrong section--eg, he didn't violate section 102 as on the citation, and while he did violate section 101 that wasn't what he was being prosecuted for. But if you are charged with a violation of 316.125(2), and you were in a business or residential district, and you failed to stop before entering a highway, then you violated the law. If you still want to to challenge it--if you want to challenge it regardless--I highly recommend contacting an attorney experienced in such matters.
Well, this is the best answer I've seen so far. Luckily for me, there is no sidewalk at this location, nor are there any markings on the pavement either. I've also been to traffic court and watched other cases. It's amazing what gets thrown out on trivial inaccuracies of how the violation was written up. I'm pondering how likely it is for the judge to ask me specifically if I broke 316.125 (2), even though I wasn't charged with it. Your answer supported my suspicion. Thanks. It's dissappointing to other posters' reaction to this thread. I'm not looking for people to tell me how right I am, just a sensible interpretation of what the law is trying to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The HACK said:
Funny. Will_325i posts "You be the judge", we all returned the guilty verdict and clearly read it as a violation, yet he still comes back with whatever faulty logic he has to "defend" his ticket.

If you ask me to "be the judge" and read the rules, I'd say pay the fine and move along. Fight it if you want, Will, but most of us here think it's a losing cause as the statute is pretty darn clear to me.
Actually, I posted this on another forum and the response was more favorable, stating that 1 and 2 contradict each other. But I'm not actually looking to be cheered up. Just some insight, that's all. You call my logic faulty, fine, I dont. One poster here even said that it's just common sense to stop. :thumbdwn: I checked other states' laws on this, and found that some (like CA) only require a yield, not a stop. :tsk:

As to the practicality of fighting this ticket, I like my chances. The officer wrote down the wrong infraction. The courts have dismissed tickets for much less (I've seen many cases as I wait for mine). In FL, even if you're found guilty you usually pay the court costs and get NO POINTS on your license. Given that fact, why would anyone pay a fine and take points instead of taking a shot?
 

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Will_325i said:
Luckily for me, there is no sidewalk at this location...
That doesn't really matter. Here's why:

306.125(2) said:
...or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered...
Point being, you must stop at some point before entering the freeway.

But that may be entirely moot:

Will_325i said:
I'm pondering how likely it is for the judge to ask me specifically if I broke 316.125 (2), even though I wasn't charged with it.
Judges don't decide what charges are filed, here in the States, so far as I know. When there is no jury, the judge simply decides whether or not you did or did not do what you are accused of doing. I don't know how much power the prosecutor or police officer might have to change what they're charging you with, but I suspect that they either can't or won't. (Anybody know whether this would be double jeopardy?)

Anyhow, what are you being charged with? Failure to obey a traffic control device? If so, you said:

Will_325i said:
...nor are there any markings on the pavement...
This might be your salvation. I did a little bit of googling, and this is what I found:

316.003(23) said:
OFFICIAL TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.--All signs, signals, markings, and devices, not inconsistent with this chapter, placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.
If there were no signs, signals, markings or devices, I doubt you failed to obey one because it simply didn't exist. Take pictures of the location where your alleged infraction occurred; most courts side with the police officer if there is a doubt, is my impression. Now, I don't know Florida law, and I don't know traffic law, and IANAL, so, again, it'd be worth $50 to talk to a lawyer--if you think you have a good case--to make sure you don't stumble and pay a $200 ticket that you could have gotten out of.

[soapbox]I'm glad if I can be of help, but do take a moment to reflect on whether you did something you shouldn't have. One of my college profs was fond of saying that most drivers violate some traffic rule within seconds--seconds!--of beginning each trip, but the rules are there to be safety guidelines. The cop pulled you over for a reason, and if you did something unsafe, realizing it may save you more than a ticket down the line. [/soapbox]

That said, good luck!
 

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There is a bar in Bellevue that has a few tricky cops. They wait for people to leave and when the people pull out if they dont stop BEFORE crossing the sidewalk, they are pulled over. There are no stop signs, endless visibility, and at 2am zero traffic. I know its just an excuse to catch DUIs but it is a Wa state law, which is pretty similar to what your law states. My bet is that youll be found guilty. But anything can happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Pock said:
That doesn't really matter. Here's why:

Point being, you must stop at some point before entering the freeway.

But that may be entirely moot:

Judges don't decide what charges are filed, here in the States, so far as I know. When there is no jury, the judge simply decides whether or not you did or did not do what you are accused of doing. I don't know how much power the prosecutor or police officer might have to change what they're charging you with, but I suspect that they either can't or won't. (Anybody know whether this would be double jeopardy?)

Anyhow, what are you being charged with? Failure to obey a traffic control device? If so, you said:

This might be your salvation. I did a little bit of googling, and this is what I found:

If there were no signs, signals, markings or devices, I doubt you failed to obey one because it simply didn't exist. Take pictures of the location where your alleged infraction occurred; most courts side with the police officer if there is a doubt, is my impression. Now, I don't know Florida law, and I don't know traffic law, and IANAL, so, again, it'd be worth $50 to talk to a lawyer--if you think you have a good case--to make sure you don't stumble and pay a $200 ticket that you could have gotten out of.

[soapbox]I'm glad if I can be of help, but do take a moment to reflect on whether you did something you shouldn't have. One of my college profs was fond of saying that most drivers violate some traffic rule within seconds--seconds!--of beginning each trip, but the rules are there to be safety guidelines. The cop pulled you over for a reason, and if you did something unsafe, realizing it may save you more than a ticket down the line. [/soapbox]

That said, good luck!
Good points. I should have been more clear on why I mentioned the sidewalk. As you noted, if there is no sidewalk one must still come to a stop somewhere near the highway where there's good visibility. I only mentioned it because in the googling I did on this law, it seems its application mainly focuses on bicycle riders on the sidewalk hitting cars. So the law is more general than that, but that's where the application is customary.

Before my case is called, I have the opportunity to see other cases and get a feel for the judge. If I should decide I can change my plea before deliberation begins, and all I "suffer" is the trip to the courthouse. No extra penalties.

As to the matter of whether I did something wrong. Here's what really happened. I approached the corner in question; there was bumper to bumper traffic; there was a "gap" in the traffic because a guy in a pickup truck was looking down at his cell phone while dialing; his car was moving at 0.0 mph. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I completely rolled the "virtual-stop" and quickly merged into traffic. Now, as I've noted, other states' laws say I didn't do anything illegal. My state's law says I did. At no point did I make any other driver slow down or put anyone through risk or inconvenience.
 

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There is NO conflict. Stopping and Yielding are two separate things. Stopping is bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. Yielding is not interferring with the progress of another vehicle.

Yield without Stop, highway entrance ramp (done properly, RARELY in MD).

Stop without Yield, 4 way Stop. You have to Stop but whether you Yield or not is a separate logic tree.

And in laws and regulations, two items at the same indent heirarchy are separate and equal, and do not modify or interact with each other, only with higher or lower hierarchy. So you could be cited for not stopping only, not yielding only, or you could actually end up with two citations for not stopping and not yielding.

You could have not stopped, but nobody was coming, cited for not stopping, but nobody to yield to, so no citation. You could have stopped, then pulled out in front of someone, citation for not yielding, but you did stop. Or you could have not stopped AND pulled out in front of someone, cited for both.
 
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