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  1. #1
    atbatt is offline Junior Member
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    California Traffic Ticket - Following to close

    What is the name of your state? California

    I received a ticket from a CHP officer on my way home from work (in family sedan), California vehicle code 21703 -Following to Closely (a $155 fine). I completely DISAGREE I did anything wrong and have intentions on fighting this ticket. I'm looking for help or ideas on how to fight this.

    Some background information: It was a CHP "Zero Tolerance Day" for speeders. Time of ticket was 4:05PM - rush hour traffic. Traffic condition was moderate to heavy. Traffic speed was from a low of 45MPH to 65MPH on Interstate I-80, Placer County, California. Clear day; dry road, good visibility. Citation says _approximate speed_ was 65MPH. I feel I had at least a 3-4 second distance between the car in front of me at the time of the ticket.

    Do not understand how in the heck a ticket like this could stick in rush hour, moderate to heavy traffic condition...Obviously it is my word against the officer_s word; what are my chances of winning? Do judges generally lean towards believing an officer over a private citizen? I appreciate any help or advice I can get in this matter. I have a clean driving record. If I loose, I can go to traffic school BUT I feel I am not guilty. It will be heard in Superior Court in Roseville, CA. Don't know if I should bring this up or not to the court...but I do drive in auto crosses and road race a Corvette on a track. The point I'm trying to make is I have taken numerous driving classes (defensive driving, pursuit and racing) and do consider myself to be a safe driver. I_m 52 years old.

    Thank you all in advance!
    Last edited by atbatt; 06-15-2006 at 03:47 PM.
  2. #2
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbatt
    What is the name of your state? California

    I received a ticket from a CHP officer on my way home from work (in family sedan), California vehicle code 21703 -Following to Closely (a $155 fine). I completely DISAGREE I did anything wrong and have intentions on fighting this ticket. I'm looking for help or ideas on how to fight this.

    Some background information: It was a CHP "Zero Tolerance Day" for speeders. Time of ticket was 4:05PM - rush hour traffic. Traffic condition was moderate to heavy. Traffic speed was from a low of 45MPH to 65MPH on Interstate I-80, Placer County, California. Clear day; dry road, good visibility. Citation says _approximate speed_ was 65MPH. I feel I had at least a 3-4 second distance between the car in front of me at the time of the ticket.

    Were you counting, or were you feeling? Apparently, the police officer counted for you, and he came up with a different answer.

    Do not understand how in the heck a ticket like this could stick in rush hour, moderate to heavy traffic condition...Obviously it is my word against the officer_s word; what are my chances of winning? Do judges generally lean towards believing an officer over a private citizen? I appreciate any help or advice I can get in this matter. I have a clean driving record. If I loose, I can go to traffic school BUT I feel I am not guilty. It will be heard in Superior Court in Roseville, CA. Don't know if I should bring this up or not to the court...but I do drive in auto crosses and road race a Corvette on a track. The point I'm trying to make is I have taken numerous driving classes (defensive driving, pursuit and racing) and do consider myself to be a safe driver. I_m 52 years old.

    Thank you all in advance!What is the name of your state?
    See above in your message.
  3. #3
    atbatt is offline Junior Member
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    California - Driving to Close CVC21703

    Thank you for a quick response.

    Actually, I do mentally count or measure when I drive all the time; habit I guess (defensive driving - what ifs, etc.). Distance was approximately 300 feet. I did take detailed notes at the next exit after I received the ticket.
  4. #4
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    I minimal rule of thumb is 1 car length per 10 MPH you are traveling. At 65 MPH that would be about 7 cars which would be about 105'.


    Speed ... 65 MPH

    Feet per second ... 95.3'

    Braking deceleration distance ... 202'

    Perception reaction distance ... 143'

    Total stopping distance ... 345'

    So, even if you follow the rule of thumb you were theoretically way too close!

    Almost no one follows with sufficient safe distance. Chances are that you will not prevail. However, if you decide to give it a go keep in mind that traffic school will likely not be an option once you take the stand in your defense.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  5. #5
    Pugilist is offline Member
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    Have a look at Fight Your Ticket, by David Brown, a book which is available at your local library.

    Pug
  6. #6
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava
    I minimal rule of thumb is 1 car length per 10 MPH you are traveling. At 65 MPH that would be about 7 cars which would be about 105'.


    Speed ... 65 MPH

    Feet per second ... 95.3'

    Braking deceleration distance ... 202'

    Perception reaction distance ... 143'

    Total stopping distance ... 345'

    So, even if you follow the rule of thumb you were theoretically way too close!

    Almost no one follows with sufficient safe distance. Chances are that you will not prevail. However, if you decide to give it a go keep in mind that traffic school will likely not be an option once you take the stand in your defense.

    - Carl
    Uh, what car made since 1970 has a 200'+ braking distance from 65 mph? A quick check of some obvious contenders seems to show that your figures are a bit skewed. (These are 60-0, add ~30' for another 5mph).
    QX56 - 135'
    Escalade - 132'
    Range Rover - 127'
    Navigator - 140'
    Camry - 127'
    Accord - 130'
    Corvette - 110'

    Plus, your example also assumes max braking for the lead car from 65 down to 0 mph. While I suppose 65-0 does occassionally happen, it's even rarer that it's achieved via max braking. Even out here, with millions of horrible, inattentive drivers, most do notice the stopped vehicles in front of them on the highway, and brake at a moderate level.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty
    Uh, what car made since 1970 has a 200'+ braking distance from 65 mph? A quick check of some obvious contenders seems to show that your figures are a bit skewed. (These are 60-0, add ~30' for another 5mph).
    It's a generality of course, but these are average among the figures used by collision investigators using a coefficient of friction at .7.

    I don't just make the numbers up.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava
    It's a generality of course, but these are average among the figures used by collision investigators using a coefficient of friction at .7.

    I don't just make the numbers up.

    - Carl
    Didn't mean to suggest you were. However, one of the (many) areas to challenge a reconstruction report is "in the numbers" and those happened to jump out at me. It still sounds like our poster was following too close.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty
    Didn't mean to suggest you were. However, one of the (many) areas to challenge a reconstruction report is "in the numbers" and those happened to jump out at me. It still sounds like our poster was following too close.
    It wouldn't even get to an issue of numbers, anyway. It is a subjective observation by the officer. And he will say how close he feels the OP was following behind another car at a given speed and a judge will have to decide if that was too close. Since the vehicle code doesn't even define what is too close, it is a matter of subjective opinion.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava
    It wouldn't even get to an issue of numbers, anyway. It is a subjective observation by the officer. And he will say how close he feels the OP was following behind another car at a given speed and a judge will have to decide if that was too close. Since the vehicle code doesn't even define what is too close, it is a matter of subjective opinion.

    - Carl
    Arguably, at least when the distance between them is "substantial". However, if someone was, say 3' off the bumper of the car ahead, that's tailgating at any speed.

    Of course, that begs the question, how does one prove they were not tailgating?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  11. #11
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Well, the OP says they were "3-4 seconds" behind the other vehicle ... typically, people greatly underestimate the safe distance between their vehicles. He may have been a couple dozen feet behind - we jus tdon't know. Maybe he changed lanes and came up right behind someone as he was changing lanes from one to another. There can be any number of circumstamstances to justify the cite. We just don't know what the officer saw or when they saw it.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    atbatt is offline Junior Member
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    California - Driving to Close CVC21703

    Well I do appreciate the dialog. Still not sure which direction of attack I'll try on fighting the ticket. I don't consider myself to be a typical driver and do feel I was in control of the vehicle and aware of the flow of traffic and autos around me. Don't know if this helps but the car was a 2003 Q45 Infinity
  13. #13
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbatt
    Well I do appreciate the dialog. Still not sure which direction of attack I'll try on fighting the ticket. I don't consider myself to be a typical driver and do feel I was in control of the vehicle and aware of the flow of traffic and autos around me. Don't know if this helps but the car was a 2003 Q45 Infinity
    What person considers themselves to be a typical driver? Who doesn't feel as if they are the safest driver on the road? What person doesn't think their skills are better than the next person's? What judge hasn't heard that response/excuse before?

    Please post back with the results. Thanks!
  14. #14
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbatt
    I don't consider myself to be a typical driver
    If you mean that "typical drivers" are bad drivers, all the more reason to stay waaaaaaaaay behind them instead of tailgating them.
    I have to say that you ARE a typical driver, the only non typical drivers out there would probably be the ones without any kind of tickets/violations/accidents etc etc EVER!!!!! There's one right here
  15. #15
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AHA
    ...the only non typical drivers out there would probably be the ones without any kind of tickets/violations/accidents etc etc EVER!!!!! There's one right here
    Not having any tickets/violations/accidents doesn't mean you are a safe driver, just that you've never gotten caught being unsafe, or those driving nearby were even safer and thus were able to avoid your poor driving!

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