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DanPicou

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Reply with quote  #1 

I WAS TICKETED A WEEK OR SO AGO FOR PASSING AN UNLOADING SCHOOL BUS.  THE FACTS ARE, I PASSED THE BUS GOING ABOUT 5MPH WITH THE YELLOW LIGHTS OPERATING, NO STOP SIGN, NO RED LIGHTS.  MYSLEF AND FIVE OTHER CARS WERE STOPPED BY ROSEWELL POLICE ON HOLCOMB BRIDGE ROAD.  I HAVE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THE REAL LAW CONCERNING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PASSING UNDER YELLOW AND RED LIGHTS.  I HAVE THE CODE REFERENCE, BUT HAVE YET TO FIND A WEB SITE THAT GETS ME TO THE CODE.  ALSO, HAVE ANY OF YOU FOLKS HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM.  THE PENALTY FOR THIS IS VERY STRONG.  ANY HELP WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.  I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNDER THE UNDERSTANDING THAT PASSING UNDER THE YELLOW LIGHTS WAS PERMITTED.  YES / NO

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Jody

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Reply with quote  #2 

Yeah, its permitted just like flooring it to get under a yellow stop light before it turns red.  Just tell them you thought the bus had it's blinkers on.


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scott

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Not sure how strong the penalty is, but it may be worth getting a local attorney to handle it for you.....


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Phil

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I think, I would call an attorney...

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cwm

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Sent you an email. Hope it helps.
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Lamar

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: FOLLOW THE LAW WHEN

FOLLOWING SCHOOL BUSES

Dear Editor,

As summer ends and the new school year approaches, I’d like to remind motorists they will soon

be sharing the road with precious cargo. And carrying that precious cargo will be convoys of big,

yellow school buses.

Students of all ages should feel safe when getting on or off their school bus. No matter where

we’re going or how much of a hurry we’re in, all motorists must obey the law when it comes to

stopping for school buses. Otherwise, the consequences are just too great.

Georgia law governs how motorists should proceed in the presence of a school bus. Passing is

prohibited on either side of a school bus during passenger loading and unloading. When a school

bus activates its swing-arm stop sign and red flashing lights, drivers on both sides of the roadway

must stop. However, if a concrete or grass median strip separates the opposing traffic lanes, only

vehicles following or travelling alongside in the same direction as the school bus are required to

stop.

School bus law violators face stiff penalties in Georgia. Speeding in school zones results in

double the number of points on driver’s licenses. Traffic enforcement officers say this is one

moving violation where motorists should not expect to receive warning citations. If you don’t slow

down for the flashing amber lights, you should expect to see flashing blue lights.

When a driver is ticketed for the unlawful passing of a school bus, misdemeanor fines can range

up to $1,000 accompanied by up to a year in jail. Administrative license penalties apply

statewide. A conviction for unlawfully passing a school bus carries six (6) points on a driver’s

license for all offenders. Penalties for drivers under the age of 21 result in automatic license

suspension for six months and all subsequent repeat offenses result in a 12-month suspension.

The reason behind Georgia’s tough penalties is clear. A 2006 study by the National Highway

Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that since 1996, 1,536 people have died in school

transportation-related crashes. That’s an average of 140 fatalities per year. In the same time

period, 159 school-age pedestrians died in school transportation-related crashes. Twenty eight

percent of those children were killed by vehicles other than the one transporting them to or from

school.

Motorists are always advised to be aware of their surroundings, but here are lifesaving tips to

keep in mind when travelling near a school bus:

TIP #1: When a school bus prepares to stop to load or unload children, the driver activates

flashing yellow lights. All vehicles approaching the bus should slow down and be prepared to stop

when seeing these lights.

TIP #2: Pay close attention to children who may be crossing the road or walking or waiting along

side it.

TIP #3: Once stopped, remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or deactivates its warning

signal AND all passengers have cleared the roadway.

TIP #4: Be prepared to react to unexpected movements of small children waiting for their bus.

They don’t always follow standard pedestrian safety rules.

TIP #5: Resist distractions in school zones and near bus stops.

TIP #6: If approaching railroad tracks behind a school bus, wait until the bus completely crosses

the tracks and there’s room on the other side for another vehicle to safely clear the tracks before

proceeding.

Diligence is of utmost importance when it comes to protecting our children. So as Georgia drivers

continue their morning and afternoon commutes, they need to be aware that school buses and

energetic children will soon be an active part of those commutes again. If nothing else, always

remember to Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm.

For more information on traffic laws regarding school bus safety, visit the Georgia Department of

Driver Services website at http://www.dds.ga.gov to access the 2008 Driver’s Manual. For more

information on school bus safety, visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov or the American School Bus Council at

http://www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org .

Bob Dallas

Bob Dallas, Director

Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety

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Lamar

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Reply with quote  #7 

Changes in Law aimed at preventing Georgia School Bus Accidents

 

This year, there have been some changes in laws about school buses and traffic.  Most people know that because school buses carry precious cargo, drivers are expected to treat school buses with extra caution. Unfortunately, the news all too often reports that school children are injured or killed in Georgia school bus accidents.  The new law was created to deter drivers from passing school buses that are loading or unloading children.

 

Most people know that when a school bus is stopped in traffic with its signals indicating that it is loading or unloading students, traffic is supposed to stop. If a driver passes a school bus when the bus is stopped, the bus driver is now authorized and directed to get the information of the vehicle making the unlawful pass. Once the bus driver gets the information they are supposed to submit it to the appropriate authorities.  Hopefully the new law will be successful in preventing Georgia school bus accidents.

 

Please see Georgia law on the issue of passing school buses:

 

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-163.  Duty of driver of vehicle meeting or overtaking school bus; reporting of violations; enforcement

 

 (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped on the highway shall stop before reaching such school bus when there are in operation on the school bus the visual signals as specified in Code Sections 40-8-111 and 40-8-115, and such driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated.

 

(b) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway, or upon a controlled-access highway when the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

 

(c) Every school bus driver who observes a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section is authorized and directed to record specifically the vehicle description, license number of the offending vehicle, and time and place of occurrence on forms furnished by the Department of Public Safety. Such report shall be submitted within 15 days of the occurrence of the violation to the local law enforcement agency which has law enforcement jurisdiction where the alleged offense occurred.

 

(d) (1) As used in this subsection, the term:

 

      (A) ”Owner” means the registrant of a motor vehicle, except that such term shall not include a motor vehicle rental company when a motor vehicle registered by such company is being operated by another person under a rental agreement with such company.

 

      (B) ”Recorded images” means images recorded by a video recording device mounted on a school bus with a clear view of vehicles passing the bus on either side and showing the date and time the recording was made and an electronic symbol showing the activation of amber lights, flashing red lights, stop arms, and brakes.

 

      (C) ”Video recording device” means a camera capable of recording digital images showing the date and time of the images so recorded.

 

   (2) Subsection (a) of this Code section may be enforced by using recorded images as provided in this subsection.

 

   (3) For the purpose of enforcement pursuant to this subsection:

 

      (A) The driver of a motor vehicle shall be liable for a civil monetary penalty if such vehicle is found, as evidenced by recorded images, to have been operated in disregard or disobedience of subsection (a) of this Code section and such disregard or disobedience was not otherwise authorized by law. The amount of such fine shall be $300.00 for a first offense, $750.00 for a second offense, and $1,000.00 for each subsequent offense in a five-year period;

 

      (B) The law enforcement agency authorized to enforce the provisions of this Code section shall send by regular mail addressed to the owner of the motor vehicle postmarked not later than ten days after the date of the alleged violation:

 

         (i) A citation for the alleged violation, which shall include the date and time of the violation, the location of the infraction, the amount of the civil monetary penalty imposed, and the date by which the civil monetary penalty shall be paid;

 

         (ii) An image taken from the recorded image showing the vehicle involved in the infraction;

 

         (iii) A copy of a certificate sworn to or affirmed by a certified peace officer employed by a law enforcement agency authorized to enforce this Code section and stating that, based upon inspection of recorded images, the owner’s motor vehicle was operated in disregard or disobedience of subsection (a) of this Code section and that such disregard or disobedience was not otherwise authorized by law;

 

         (iv) A statement of the inference provided by subparagraph (D) of this paragraph and of the means specified therein by which such inference may be rebutted;

 

         (v) Information advising the owner of the motor vehicle of the manner and time in which liability as alleged in the citation may be contested in court; and

 

         (vi) A warning that failure to pay the civil monetary penalty or to contest liability in a timely manner shall waive any right to contest liability and result in a civil monetary penalty;

 

      (C) Proof that a motor vehicle was operated in disregard or disobedience of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be evidenced by recorded images. A copy of a certificate sworn to or affirmed by a certified peace officer employed by a law enforcement agency and stating that, based upon inspection of recorded images, a motor vehicle was operated in disregard or disobedience of subsection (a) of this Code section and that such disregard or disobedience was not otherwise authorized by law shall be prima-facie evidence of the facts contained therein; and

 

      (D) Liability under this subsection shall be determined based upon preponderance of the evidence. Prima-facie evidence that the vehicle described in the citation issued pursuant to this subsection was operated in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the registered owner of the vehicle, shall permit the trier of fact in its discretion to infer that such owner of the vehicle was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. Such an inference may be rebutted if the owner of the vehicle:

 

         (i) Testifies under oath in open court or submits to the court a sworn notarized statement that he or she was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and identifies the name of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation; or

 

         (ii) Presents to the court a certified copy of a police report showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation.

 

   (4) A violation for which a civil penalty is imposed pursuant to this subsection shall not be considered a moving traffic violation for the purpose of points assessment under Code Section 40-5-57. Such violation shall be deemed noncriminal, and imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to this subsection shall not be deemed a conviction and shall not be made a part of the operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed, nor shall it be used for any insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage.

 

   (5) If a person summoned by regular mail fails to appear on the date of return set out in the citation and has not paid the penalty for the violation or filed a police report or notarized statement pursuant to subparagraph (D) of paragraph (3) of this subsection, the person shall then be summoned a second time by certified mail with a return receipt requested. The second summons shall include all information required in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of this subsection for the initial summons and shall include a new date of return. If a person summoned by certified mail again fails to appear on the date of return set out in the second citation and has failed to pay the penalty or file an appropriate document for rebuttal, the person summoned shall have waived the right to contest the violation and shall be liable for the civil monetary penalty provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

 

   (6) Any court having jurisdiction over violations of subsection (a) of this Code section shall have jurisdiction over cases arising under this subsection and shall be authorized to impose the civil monetary penalty provided by this subsection. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the provisions of law governing jurisdiction, procedure, defenses, adjudication, appeal, and payment and distribution of penalties otherwise applicable to violations of subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply to enforcement under this subsection except as provided in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of this subsection; provided, however, that any appeal from superior or state court shall be by application in the same manner as that provided by Code Section 5-6-35.

 

   (7) Recorded images made for purposes of this subsection shall not be a public record for purposes of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50.

 

   (8) A governing authority shall not impose a civil penalty under this subsection on the owner of a motor vehicle if the operator of the vehicle was arrested or issued a citation and notice to appear by a peace officer for the same violation.

 

   (9) A school system may enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a local governing authority to offset expenses regarding the implementation and ongoing operation of video recording devices serving the purpose of capturing recorded images of motor vehicles unlawfully passing a school bus. 

   (10) Any school bus driver operating a vehicle equipped with an activated video recording device shall be exempt from the recording provisions of subsection (c) of Code Section 40-6-163.

The law in Georgia clearly protects school buses, however, it can be hard to follow and confusing.  If a person is hurt or killed in a school bus accident, their legal rights will depend on the facts of their case. It is important to realize that no two Georgia school bus accidents are the same and an experienced personal injury attorney will take the time to thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will analyze accident reports, talk to witnesses and if necessary, hire accident reconstruction experts.  

If a child that you know has been hurt or killed in a Georgia school bus accident, please call the Atlanta, Georgia personal injury law firm of Millar & Mixon, LLC. at 770-477-6360 or email the firm at info@millar&mixon.com. We answer calls 24/7 and are happy to provide a free consultation.

Posted by: Bruce R. Millar, Esq. Bruce Millar is a senior partner at Millar & Mixon, LLC. Mr. Millar is an experienced trial lawyer and has been practicing law in Georgia since 1993. To speak to Mr. Millar about traffic accidents or any other personal injury matter, please call him at 770-477-6360 any time.

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Datadan

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Reply with quote  #8 

Dan,

I was in the car with my son yesterday (he was driving) and we were approaching a bus with its yellow light blinking. Several cars in front of us passed and the bus driver waited til it was almost stopped before it turned on the red stop sign. At first I told him to stop ( I hate when someone else is driving) be he kept going. I think he did the right thing and the bus driver was wanting to not tie up traffic.

That being said, I think FED UP has the best advise and I would get an attorney and have them solve the problem.

If you don't get a satisfaction before the hearing go to court. I would state that I thought the bus was going slow to allow traffic to pass. That would be my story and I would stick to it.

Good luck.

PS Let us know how you come out. I would also tell them it would be easier to obey the law if the were available to read somewhere ...... well maybe not on that point.

 
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Lamar

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Reply with quote  #9 
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Georgia%20Laws%20for%20School%20Bus%20Operation.doc?p=4BE1EECF99CD364EA5554055463F1FBB77B0B70FECF5942E12E123FE4810FFF53501CAAE8CB82838F355E6B9F9747D8C&Type=D


http://operationstoparm.info/Operation_Stop_Arm/Links_files/OSA_Web_Presentation.ppt
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Lamar

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Reply with quote  #10 

http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,5635600_99790796,00.html

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Datadan

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Reply with quote  #11 

No stop arm in your case and the bus was still moving.

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Jody

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Reply with quote  #12 

You shouldn't have passed the bus with it's yellow lights on.  It is common sense.  Bite the bullett, pay the fine, take the points and get on with your life.  No need in trying to fight something that you were obviously in the wrong about.  You knew you shouldn't have done it and you wouldn't have done it if you would have seen the cop.  But you didn't see the cop and he got you... That's life. 


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scott

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Reply with quote  #13 
Jody,

Generally, I would agree, but not in this case.  Didn't I read in an earlier post the fine was significant and they deduct "double" the points?  If so, there is a very good chance your insurance will go up significantly.  Call around and get an attorney.  You might be able to find one who will handle it for $225....they aren't too different from us....there are whores in their ranks too. 

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DanPicou

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Reply with quote  #14 

Thankjs folks, unless I can get a video showing me pass the bus, I guess I will pay what ever they want and take the points.  I have a clean driving record so I still shoud be OK.  What kills me is me and five other people got cought obaining the law, and passing very slowly under the yellow lights.  Did not know even if the bus had kids on it or not.  I hope its $300 and not $1,000.  I would get an attorney but I would end up paying him anything I would save not paying the fine.  And I would probably end up paying the fine and the attorney.  Good god DRAT!!!!

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JT

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Reply with quote  #15 

you can take a on line driving course to lower points, I think?  anyone know if this is true?

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BlueChip

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Reply with quote  #16 
Miles Rich: 770-642-1444
Extremely abrasive but exceptionally amazing.
I'm just saying.

BC

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Phil

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Reply with quote  #17 
Dan, the legal system is weighted toward the lawyers...I would hire one...if he/she is worth their salt, you will save money...you never know who their drinking buddies are...I have two family members that are attorneys...they get together an laugh about their clients...people are people...Good Luck...

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Benjamin

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Reply with quote  #18 
I would go in saying it was still yellow, you slowed down and you were already past the bus before the lights turned red. Just like any case, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. I wouldn't waste money on an attorney, just stick to your guns. It is your word against the officer, and you may even get lucky and the officer doesn't show up.

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MattKent

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Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin
I would go in saying it was still yellow, you slowed down and you were already past the bus before the lights turned red. Just like any case, they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. I wouldn't waste money on an attorney, just stick to your guns. It is your word against the officer, and you may even get lucky and the officer doesn't show up.

or he shows up with a dash camera (this would be my luck) and from what i understand the judges in roswell have a tendancy to throw the check book at people


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Phil

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I would never expect a positive result with any kind of plea in a traffic court...the burden of proof is on Dan not the police...Too much experience in traffic court...I guess, you could say, I drive too fast...but it is fun...

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DanPicou

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Reply with quote  #21 

Thats just it, it I can get my hands on the police or school bus video it will show me passing slowly under the yellow lights.  I wonder if the cop has to produce that in traffic court, or just his word.  ?????

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Jody

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Reply with quote  #22 
Yellow lights mean to slow to a stop... not pass slowly...

Were you traveling slow enough that you could have safely stopped when you saw the yellow lights???? Yes... so why didn't you?

Just face it... You are a bonafide criminal... What you gonna do next?  Run for office or something?

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DanPicou

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Reply with quote  #23 

Jody, I passed as I believed it to be legal to pass.  If the light were red, I would have stopped.  How clear is that.

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DanPicou

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Reply with quote  #24 

I just hate being railroaded into a fee and possibly jail, for someone elses inturpetation of the law.  If it is illegal to pass on yellow then I am guilty, and will not pass another school bus under the yellow lights.  As soon as I get a record, I plan to run for mayor of Roswell.  While in office I will steal as much money as I can and move away from the good old USA. 

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VillageIdiot

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Dan you've waited late in life to develop a RAP Sheet haven't you?

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scott

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Reply with quote  #26 

let's quit pussyfooting around....the MAIN job of local police is no longer to "protect and serve" but to raise money for local coffers....looks like the cop that got Dan hit the trifecta...


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Jody

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Reply with quote  #27 
It's a crime. It's no different than selling booty. It's a victimless crime and you must pay. Nobody ever said that being a criminal was easy. If you didn't want to get caught then you should have floored it and outran the cop. If you gonna play with crime then go all out and be hardcore. Don't just bend over for the man.
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RubberStamp

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I have gone to traffic court and won with the officer present.  Come with charts or a diagram or create a powerpoint..  come prepared.   If you do and the officer doesn't have a shut close case they will probably bargain with you..  like pay the fine and dismiss the points or something.   That's what I got..  they like to save face but will also cut you a break which will mean thousands of $$$ off of your insurance over many years....


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Coope5

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I really hope that things would have been like this all the times. My cousin has been working with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer and has told that such things don’t happen anymore and no one now looks to bargain.
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BChip

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Reply with quote  #30 
its a couple of points and a fat fine....next time just stop.
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RubberStamp

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Reply with quote  #31 
Thinking about getting a drive/record kit..   but I speed too much trying to make it from appointment to appointment I'm afraid I might just incriminate myself. 
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MEP

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Reply with quote  #32 
My GPS records travel time, time stopped, high speed and low speed...a little math may help
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Meatloaf

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Reply with quote  #33 
John,

As much as it would be nice to have some new blood on the forum, it looks like Coope5 might just be a troll looking to plug a lawfirm in California.

If thats the case, its a pretty pathetic attempt at creating business.

Either way, might be something to check into.

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RubberStamp

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Reply with quote  #34 
Wow.  Shows you how good bots are these days.  That's no person... it sniffed out this thread, joined and posted.  Impressed.
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OutSource

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Reply with quote  #35 
This is the Perfect case for a Dash Cam!!!  You can get them for under $70 from Amazon.  It would be better to have one than to pay a Large Fine!

I also would tell you to stop at the Yellow Flashing lights when it comes to School Buses!  Plus, they cannot tell the kids to cross the street until ALL traffic is STOPPED!

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If you have ever been an Expert witness you know the Judge is the LAW! Get A Lawyer!
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Reply with quote  #37 

Dan,

I would definitely fight this.  Do NOT just bend over and pay this! DataDan is correct.  Yellow (whether it's a stop light or bus light) means that a stop light will be on soon, so you must either come to a safe stop, or, if you can't stop safely, proceed with caution before the light turns red. Therefore you must go there telling them that when the yellow light came on, it did not give you enough time to stop safely and you were within your rights to do so.

Also, you will need to contact the police to give you a copy of the officer's note and any video he may have. 

If 5 other cars got ticketed, I'd try to contact them as witnesses.  A lawyer is also good advice.  The ticket may be only $300...but the insurance hike is a gift that keeps on giving.


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Bobby

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDing

Dan,

I would definitely fight this.  Do NOT just bend over and pay this! DataDan is correct.  Yellow (whether it's a stop light or bus light) means that a stop light will be on soon, so you must either come to a safe stop, or, if you can't stop safely, proceed with caution before the light turns red. Therefore you must go there telling them that when the yellow light came on, it did not give you enough time to stop safely and you were within your rights to do so.

Also, you will need to contact the police to give you a copy of the officer's note and any video he may have. 

If 5 other cars got ticketed, I'd try to contact them as witnesses.  A lawyer is also good advice.  The ticket may be only $300...but the insurance hike is a gift that keeps on giving.



LOL! This is from 2011.

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BillDing

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby
LOL! This is from 2011.
ROTFL...too funny

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