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Traffic Laws & Enforcement Tactics



  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,874
    Yeah, everybody hates cops until you need them. Same old song and dance.... Pathetic.

    hahahaha, Problem is, when you actually NEED the cops, they usually fail you. Either they are not around, are slow, don't do their job, pathetically incompetent, and worse! Most cops are incompetent at actually serving and protecting, but very good at nabbing very good drivers instead of the one's that actually cause accidents.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You seem to know more than I do about the driver. Maybe the husband and wife were tag teaming, so one could catch some zzz's while the other drove?

    So maybe I was being presumptuous about fatigue.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 13,063
    Just like the general population police officers are prone to all the dumb emotions as the rest of us(yea, yea, they aren't supposed to but this is the real world).

    A few years ago when I was traveling for business I was going down this nearly empty state 4 lane highway at about 5 mph over the 55 mph limit. I came up behind a group of cars in a cluster following a state police car. All the cars were afraid to pass this guy who was doing EXACTLY 54 mph.

    No one would pass the cop. Perhaps they were all locals who knew this guy or maybe they were all super careful drivers but we all moved as a group down the road at EXACTLY 54 mph.

    It must have been the rebel in me but I decided to pass him. Carefully, I eased over into the left lane and ever so slowly inched past the police car at EXACTLY 55 mph.

    As I pulled back into the right lane after taking about 10 minutes to creep past him, on come the red lights and he pulls me over.

    "What's the trouble officer?" I asked.
    "Son" he says "The speed limit out here is 55 mph. I clocked you at 56..."

    He let me go with a warning. I guess he had forgiven his wife for burning his toast by that time.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Now if that doesn't beat all. Speedos generally have an accuracy of plus or minus 2 mph in the first place.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    I'm not sure the wife was a codriver. It sounded like the new driver had switched on about an hour north. The wife's last words were "This is not the road!"They are being buried today.

    The event gets lots of coverage here because the college is north of this area and one of the dead is from this area.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,874
    I recently defeated a citation by using the trial by declaration (trial by mail) feature in California. The judge found me not guilty, which probably happens in less than 1% of these trials.

    What does this mean? To me... the officer who wrote the citation should be reprimanded for writing a ticket that was clearly unwarranted and wasted the court's and my time.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Reprimanded? How so?

    I doubt you were going 1 mph over like oldfarmer in the earlier post!
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,874
    It wasn't a "speeding" case. It was a "passing 'unsafely' on the right shoulder" ticket.

    The officer and I disagreed on what the shoulder was (I said the asphalt portion next to the concrete right exit lane of the freeway. He said it was the solid white line that designated it.

    Second part of the dispute was the fact that I didn't pass anybody. I was exiting the freeway and slowing down in my opinion. Furthermore, you can't pass anyone when you are not going in the same direction; therefore, if your exiting the freeway, you can't pass people on the freeway, in my opinion. You can only pass someone you are going in the same direction as. Otherwise, they could ticket you for passing oncoming traffic???? Regardless, I was going very slowly, slow enough to exchange a few words with the officer who was on foot (he had already pulled someone else over before me) and then he decided to pull me over after he saw my radar detector through the passenger window. Why I ever rolled down my window and slowed down to talk to him; I'll never know. I should have floored it and flipped him the bird as I passed. He was a good 50' from his vehicle, he'd of never caught up or chased (since he has someone already pulled over). He's the idiot who double parked his vehicle and forced me to change lanes to the left and then back to the right again.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 13,063
    Recently I was in traffic court with my son who had gotten several tickets. This was all new to me because I always plead guilty by mail and never went to court. What I saw was very interesting...

    Every so often a trooper would come into the courtroom announce a few names and people would get up and leave with him. I finally asked what was happening and was told "Oh, if you go talk to the cop who wrote the ticket he'll let you plead guilty to a non-moving violation."

    Sure enough, when these folks came before the judge they were allowed to plead "speeding 60 in a 30 zone" down to "parking on the pavement"

    One guy came in who was charged with "aggravated unlicensed operation", "failure to appear" and a bunch of other offences. He said to the judge "I don't care what you do! It don't make no difference to me!"

    The judge looked around the court and then said "Well the officer who arrested you isn't here today so...CASE DISMISSED"

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 10,874
    if the officer doesn't show, there is no prosecution; hence, case dismissed.

    The DA's don't prosecute, so the officer has to show to prove your guilty.

    Of course, if he does show, then the judge will automatically and arbitrarily believe the officer, so then you have to PROVE yourself innocent in that case (unfortunately).
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6T
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    The most ridiculous plead-downs I've seen around here:
    90 in a 70 reduced to "excessive vehicle noise."
    DUI reduced to a $450 parking ticket.



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  • gasmizrgasmizr Posts: 40
    Like I said in my earlier post. The violations have little to do with safety for the conditions. The town or state does note care about what the violation is only that you plead to something so they can get their pound of cash. Traffic violation receipts are a part of the budget in many places. They count on the revenue to fund a percentage of the overall budget. So, in vary rare cases is it about safety because if it was there would be many more tickets for following to closely or aggressive or predatory driving. Unfortunately these are easily contested in court when there is no video of the violation. Judges tend to believe in radar and laser for speed cases and unless you are very familiar with these technologies and can cause doubt in the judges mind of the officers credibility you will lose.

    Just remember on thing about radar and laser. One a straight flat section of road if the cop is hiding 20 feet from the center of your lane then you will appear to be going slower via the radar or laser reading by up to 5mph or more. If the curve is towards them or they are getting you coming out of a soup bowl it is easy to be 20mph over. This is just the basic physics equation of calculated speed = change in distance x time. and in either of these cases the actual distance traveled along your route is much longer then the distance traveled by the radar. Hence the time calculation is wrong for the distance and your apparent speed is higher.

    Get your ticket and have a nice day, then fight it in court or plead down to the non moving violation and just pay. Most people just plead down and pay since it gets them off with no points, nothing on their record and their insurance does not go up. What a racket. :sick:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    >One a straight flat section of road if the cop is hiding 20 feet from the center of your lane then you will appear to be going slower via the radar or laser reading by up to 5mph or more. If the curve is towards them or they are getting you coming out of a soup bowl it is easy to be 20mph over.

    Can you explain what you're trying to say? If it's as I read it, I don't believe it. You're talking about a stationary officer and the driver is on a curving roadway.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,019
    I work less than 3 miles from that exit off I75.
    It is, at the very least, a very unusual configuration.

    It occurred while I was on my way to work – and I would have seen the immediate aftermath ( I travel that stretch in the opposite direction most mornings at just before 6AM ) had I not heard a traffic report.
    - Ray
    Deeply saddened by that accident . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You're right, and the previous poster was wrong. Radar, laser, and "lidar" rely on the Doppler principle (Google it), not distance divided by time, like VASCAR or airplane surveillance.

    The cops gets an instantaneous speed reading, which of course can vary over time as you speed up or (more likely) slow down.

    There is a "cosine error" (again look it up), which will reduce your measured speed the greater the angle between your line of travel and the the line to the officer on the side of the road. At greater distances, this error is negligible.

    There will be no cosine error if the officer is in a patrol car directly in front of or behind you (in the same lane).
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    had another article about the exit ramp and the 82 accidents. They tend to be at night, older drivers from out of state, and drivers in the HOV lane. George says it doesn't need better signing because it was okay for the 1982 standards when it was built.

    The exit signs on most interstates in this area have a large yellow band across the bottom indicating an exit from the main road even if it's to another interstate. The sign I saw on the news video that first day did NOT have that kind of alert. It was just a sign like might note this ramp would go to the Brave's stadium or to the aquarium.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    at first when i heard about the accident, i was thinking how the driver wouldn't have known to stop at the top of an exit ramp...but after reading more, and hearing people talk about the ramp in question, it seems like it could be construed as an extention of the HOV lane, and that it would continue to go straight at the top of the ramp, instead of exiting to an cross street.

    very tragic indeed.

    -thene :(
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,019
    What I have not seen anyone mention on local ( I live & work here ) or national coverage is that very shortly ( 0.25 to 0.5 miles? ) after this HOV left exit, the HOV lane actually “exits” to the left at \ leading to the junction of I85 & I75 – where they join and become one road - “The Connector” – running north \ south through the most congested portion of Atlanta.

    If you type something like:

    Northside Dr Nw & I 75
    Atlanta, GA 30301, US

    . . . in Mapquest, you will see the two intersections.

    And the veritable maze that constitutes the second HOV lane ‘diversion’ – where the HOV lane veers gently off & continues left, with 2 other lanes, splitting off just before the actual joining of I85 & I75. The other 2 lanes both execute a rather sharp 180 degree right turn, onto I85 North, while the I75 South HOV lane splits off to the left.

    This southbound HOV lane runs under North I85 and then rejoins I75 \ I85 a bit further south.

    Looking at the Mapquest view at full zoom-in may help picture this. ( hybrid view ) may be even better.

    My point is only this:
    In the dark, if you do not drive this particular portion of I75 south regularly, but have driven it before, I can see where one might potentially confuse the exit taken by this bus for the “HOV exit left” that is actually another short distance ahead. One leads to an ongoing HOV lane. One leads to a stop at the top of a bridge.


    - Ray
    Not a traffic engineer & don’t even play one on TV . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,618
    there was a piece on the local Philly news tonight about Roosevelt blvd. (rt. 1). Probably the worst local road I have ever seen. It has inner and outer roadways each direction, with 3+ lanes in each. Bizarre cut overs, people never know where to be, etc.

    Needless to say, lots of accidents, and pedestrians getting hit. SO they installed red light cameras at the worst intersections, and it seems to have helped cut down on the carnage.

    So, some local pols. figure, we are making money, saving a few lives, lets add speed cameras next! But guess what?

    Turns out that the red light cameras are also speed cameras. Pretty much they just have to turn the feature on, and instant revenue. The usual, $175 fine for 10 over, but no points. Pa would also have to take pics of the rear of the car, since it is only 1 plate.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • avs007avs007 Posts: 100
    As she was exiting she noticed an officer with his lights on and he was after her! She was surprised and pulled over. The officer told her he clocked her doing 70MPH!!?? She asked the officer how could I be doing 70 in an exit lane with cars all around me doing 40-50 and slowing down??

    Similar thing happened to my wife a year or two ago... She was going down the hill by our house in 2nd gear. She was doing about 34 in a 35 in 2nd gear.

    There is one of those electronic signs, that shows your speed on the way down... Officer was hiding behind some bushes, facing the sign... He whipped out, and ticket my wife for doing 50 in a 35, when she was doing 34, because he said the sign said 50.

    Wife tried to explain she was doing 34, but cop said she was lying...

    So I took out the video camera, and made a video... I drove 35 during the entire video... First I had my wife come down the hill about 20 seconds behind me, doing 50... Then I drove back up the hill, and went down again, and had my wife come from the opposite direction doing 35, and then accelerate to 50 after she passed me.

    (As a precaution, I removed the front plates of my wife's car when making this video...)

    Anyways, in the video, I showed that the whole time I was going 35, but the electronic sign showed 35, but then started racing up to 50, even though there were no cars between me and the sign, and even though there was still a good deal of distance between me and the sign...

    Judge threw out the ticket, but than harassed us about the video, saying it's unsafe to be driving and fiddling with a camera at the same time.

    I made sure not to say anything in the video, and just show the speedo and the view out front, without revealing any identifying information about who was driving, or what we were driving. With how irritated the judge got, I'm sure he would've tried to ticket us for making this video...

    But this is one of the main reasons I hate photo radar...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    In Dayton the politicians bought the idea that they could make money under the pretense of making all intersections safer by putting cameras at a few. Oddly the cameras only are set up for the main thoroughfare which out-of-towners may travel who don't know there are cameras there; they do not watch the cross street traffic. The ones I see are in drug, drinking, dangerous areas where I'm more worried about being hit by cross street traffic that doesn't stop than I am worried about someone on the main road running the light immediately after it turns as it turns red.

    The other intersections around those have MORE people running the red lights because they know there is no camera. And of course there're no policemen watching action at those other intersections. Guess they're at the donut-coffee shops or talking to their girls in the alleys because there's a camera making the city safe.

    The Scottsdale AZ company is just raking in the money. They get $60 and the city gets $15. Guess which policitians are bad negotiators. They don't even negotiate away driver's rights well.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,098
    That IS the weak spot in radar, target tracking. It's not that the radar isn't accurate in reading speeds, but if multiple targets are in range, you have to be sure of which one it's reading.

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  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Agree, I've have some experience using a radar gun, not as a cop, but as a researcher. ;)

    Radar is indiscriminate -- if you aim the gun at a pack of vehicles, it tends to pick out the fastest and/or largest one, like a tractor-trailer. The problem is you can't be certain WHICH vehicle's speed is being displayed.

    OTOH, if say there are only 3 or 4 cars near each other, and one is clearly going faster than the others (by visual observation), the radar gun will almost always show the highest speed, corresponding to the car going the fastest.

    The key point is that using the radar gun has to be coupled with visual observation.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,618
    I remember an article from a few years (maybe a lot of years!) in C&D IIRC where they tested radar detectors. They also did some tests on radar guns.

    Well, one of the tests was to clock a car failrly close (couple of hundred yards?) The trick was, there was a tractor trailer way back, where it really wasn't in sight yet. So common sense would tell the cop he was clocking the car, right?

    Well, the truck had such a big radar signature, that the radar was clocking the truck, not the car. Tought me to never trust radar guns. That, and to always take the truck lanes on the turnpike, to use them as cover!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Well you could always buy that spray in the can that claims to make it next to impossible for those radar camera's to read your plates. I always wondered if that stuff really works ?

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,618
    saw an episode of mythbusters the other day that dealt with speed cameras. They tried everything, and the only trick they found that beat them was the old rotating license plate trick that James Bond had on his AM!

    Even had no problem getting a clear shot at a Lambo that was doing ~140. Sprays, covers, nada.

    I think not washing your car and keeping mud strategically placed is a good idea..

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    I saw that too. They didn't use the high-powered strobes like in some of the traffic company cameras. And they used what looked like a 35 mm. camera with a regular add on flash.

    The license plate cover and sprays are supposed to react to the high strobe power and turn opaque.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,496
    I think not washing your car and keeping mud strategically placed is a good idea..

    With the cameras they use in Maryland, at least, I know two tricks that will beat the camera. One is to drive a pickup truck, and leave the tailgate down. That'll block the view of the plate from the camera. Or, so I've been told. I've never tried it with my truck, but I've heard that it works, and it seems it would make sense.

    Another is to drive a tractor trailer. The cameras in MD are set up to take pictures of the tags on something roughly car-sized. Something overly long, like a tractor trailer, will get its pictures taken at times when the license plate won't be in range. A cop told me that one.

    Of course, neither of these strategies is the most practical in the world, for most people!

    Oh, and while mud or something else on your license plate would be good for confusing the cameras, if a cop happens to notice it, he can pull you over and give you a ticket. Or at least a warning. And sometimes if they get a partial license plate match, they're still going to send out a ticket to whomever they think it is, whether it's the guilty party or not. I remember hearing about some old lady who had an 80's Celebrity that was still tagged, but hadn't moved under its own power in years. They got a partial match on a license plate, and her plate was the closest match they could come up with, so they mailed her a ticket!

    I dunno the outcome of it, though.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,391
    Do any of you know if the spray on coatings or the license plastic covers actually do work with real cameras and real flash units?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

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