Traffic Court 1

I’m ready to sell the car and never drive again.

I don’t think I had ever received a moving violation for anything other than a very occasional highway speeding ticket. But in these hard economic times, the man is out to make some extra scratch for the machine. In my mind that helps explain not one, but TWO moving violations in as many months. I’m just sure of it.  I admit I’m not always a senior-citizen-goody-two-shoes driver, but still…

The first one was for making a left-turn immediately on the green, not yielding to oncoming traffic. But the oncoming traffic was at a dead stop a hundred feet away. It is a common occurrence at this spot because of the unusual shape and depth of the intersection. The officer asked, “Do you know why I’m stopping you.?” I said, “Why, no, I’m not sure.” Getting irritated, he barked, “Driver making a left turn shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.” “Oh, I’m sorry, officer,” I replied. And the ticket is written.

The more I thought about it over the next few days, the more it bothered me. Yield to ALL approaching vehicles? Really? All, with no mention how far away they are or anything? So, naturally I looked it up. In it’s entirety, V C Section 21801 (a) Left Turn or U Turn reads:

21801. (a) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.

Left Turn

Left Turn

Well, I’m sorry, but I insist the vehicles are not close enough to constitute a hazard, unless maybe its a ferrari that guns it out of the hole. The turn can be made with reasonable safety, especially when the lead driver in the approaching lane is looking off and doesn’t budge when the light turns green. I contested it with a written hearing, but the court was not giving up the $220 easily. So, I that was that. Then, I had to send another check for $54 for the privilege of attending traffic school.

All this and Ididn’t even get to the traffic court part yet. Stay tuned for round two.