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  1. #1
    VS12823 is offline Junior Member
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    Failure to yield to pedestrian ticket - California

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    Yesterday I received a ticket for failure to yield to pedestrian.

    Below are the circumstances. I want to know if I have any chance of fighting this in court.

    1. I was stopped at an intersection in the left turn lane.
    2. A police car was behind me and I was aware of it. (so I would not do anything stupid )
    3. I waited for the opposite traffic to clear. This included a car in the opposite left turn lane that decided to enter the intersection and go straight. I even made a comment to my passenger that I was surprised the police did no ticket the driver.
    4. I began my left turn after the traffic had cleared. At this point the Do-Not-Walk sign was flashing.
    5. When I was already turned into the intersection, but before entering the sidewalk, a lady stepped down.
    6. I was far enough away that I completed my turn as I thought it unsafe to stand in the middle of the intersection.
    7. The pedestrian did not have to stop or slow down because of my turn.
    8. 2 blocks down the road I was pulled over and ticketed for failure to stop.
    9. The office asked me if I knew why I was stopped and I said no. He mentioned the pedestria
    10. I indicated the explanation in # 4, 6 & 7
    11. The office stated that it was irrelevant and that the pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.
    12. I decided not to argue and signed the ticket. 21950(a)

    CVC 21950 (b) states: No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a
    marked or unmarked crosswalk.

    CVC 21950(d) states: Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from
    the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.


    My argument is the following, based on the information above.

    1. The pedestrian was delaying traffic by entering the cross walk after the do-not-walk sign was flashing and while I had already began my turn

    2. My turn did not in any way put the pedestrian in danger or even effect her walking speed.


    Please advise.

    Thanks

    VS
  2. #2
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    I think I'd not argue that the pedestrian should have gotten the ticket.

    I have seen this before. Some cops think that as soon as a pedestrian's foot comes off the curb, you have to wait until they hit the other curb. That simply is not true.

    21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to
    a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or
    within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise
    provided in this chapter.
    As you can see by the code, a drive simply must YIELD the right-of -way. If you did not impede the pedestrian's course, then you, by definition, yielded right of way.

    Don't let this cop pay for his paycheck by writing bogus tickets. Go to court and kick his butt...
  3. #3
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMinCA View Post
    I think I'd not argue that the pedestrian should have gotten the ticket.

    I have seen this before. Some cops think that as soon as a pedestrian's foot comes off the curb, you have to wait until they hit the other curb. That simply is not true.



    As you can see by the code, a drive simply must YIELD the right-of -way. If you did not impede the pedestrian's course, then you, by definition, yielded right of way.

    Don't let this cop pay for his paycheck by writing bogus tickets. Go to court and kick his butt...
    Jim is correct.
  4. #4
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    The section is very subjective and allows for a variety of interpretation. One court where I used to work tended to rule that if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk, then the vehicle should have yielded. Another where I work now often takes into account what direction the pedestrian was headed and the distances involved. But, there is no clear cut law that spells out how far from the pedestrian you must yield, or when it is clear to go.

    The best you can do is to go to court and make your argument.

    Oh, and Jim, the officer does not "pay for his paycheck" by writing the citation ... the city's take from it (provided they haven't maxed out their payback from the state) wouldn't likely even cover the time the officer took to write the citation.

    - 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
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post

    Oh, and Jim, the officer does not "pay for his paycheck" by writing the citation ... the city's take from it (provided they haven't maxed out their payback from the state) wouldn't likely even cover the time the officer took to write the citation.

    - Carl
    I know you have made this statement before.... but the bottom line is simply that this ticket would cost the OP around $150. That money goes SOMEWHERE in the state of CA. And, ticket revenue is a Billion Dollar industry for CA.

    The legislature is supposed to reflect the will of the people. For example, speed trap laws are written from the specific point that "open patrolling" is a much more effective way of controlling speed than actually writing tickets. With that in mind, there should actually be very few speeding tickets written in this state. But, if that were the case, this site wouldn't get much activity.

    Traffic school is another mechanism of revenue. In the ticket writing scam, the most expensive thing that can happen (the thing that cuts into more profit than anything else) is if the motorist goes to court to defend himself. So, the state dangles traffic school out there as an incentive to just pay the fine and not argue about it. We get advocate judges (like the one we saw in the red light appeal thread) who totally abuse their authority by making statements like "I don't allow traffic school after court... it's a matter of judicial discretion". While statements like that CLEARLY violate statutory and case law, it sends the unmistakeable message to the public... "cut your losses by going to traffic school and staying out of court". (As a side note, what good is traffic school from a perspective of public safety? Does a driver really forget everything in traffic school every 18 months?)

    Another obvious and overt method the state uses to minimize overhead costs (gotta keep those profit margins high!!!) is to keep prosecutors out of traffic court. It is well documented that the state considers it too expensive to have prosecutors actually appear in court. But the silent approach is to try to remove ALL burdens from the prosecutors. We have discussed this at length in the "Discovery Discussion" thread. The intent would be to have a trial with NO PROSECUTION!!! The courts have made it clear that prosecution is an executive act. So, if the prosecutor is removed (not just from the court room, but from all responsibilities), who is performing that executive act? It's not the cops... they are a witness, nothing more, nothing less. It's not the judge (supposedly) as he is a member of the judiciary. So, in our "adversaial" judicial system, a defendant goes to court and argues against NO ONE!! Even so, he looses the majority of the time!! If this doesn't insult your intellegence, you aren't intellegent!!! However, the trend is clear... keep overhead low and profit margins high.

    You can complain that the local police get only a small cut of the ticket revenue. However, the State is taking its "honorarium" from the local jurisdictions just like a Mafia Don takes his from a "made man". The only difference is... one is through overtly illegal acts and one only offers the illusion of legality.
  6. #6
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Jim, what you're saying is irrelevant to what Carl said. If you have proof that officers are receiving bonuses for writing more tickets, let's have it.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Jim, you wrote: "Don't let this cop pay for his paycheck by writing bogus tickets." I addressed that statement and that statement only. The citation does NOT profit the officer or the city.

    Plus, as I wrote, the elements of the offense are highly subjective. The offense is hardly "bogus" even if it might not be something you or I would have done.

    - 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
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    It is my understanding (and I'm sure somebody will slam me if I'm wrong) that revenue from citations goes to the county -we used to have "the Municipal court of such and such" however, nowadays, there are only "Superior Court of California, County of such and such"-.

    Whether those citations are written by the CHP, the County Sherrif or a city's PD, they are all referred to the "County" courthouse and each check that is written/payment that is made, goes to the county.

    And speaking of the CHP, they receive very little, if any from such revenue. Instead, the CHP is totally funded and operated from revenue received by the DMV for vehicle registration fees.
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    Whether those citations are written by the CHP, the County Sherrif or a city's PD, they are all referred to the "County" courthouse and each check that is written/payment that is made, goes to the county.
    Actually, most of it goes to the state and then the state passes some of it back down to various local funds.

    And speaking of the CHP, they receive very little, if any from such revenue. Instead, the CHP is totally funded and operated from revenue received by the DMV for vehicle registration fees.
    Pretty much correct ... though they DO have other funding sources - such as the state's general fund. And, they actually receive no direct reimbursement from citations at all.

    - 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
    JIMinCA is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Actually, most of it goes to the state and then the state passes some of it back down to various local funds.


    Pretty much correct ... though they DO have other funding sources - such as the state's general fund. And, they actually receive no direct reimbursement from citations at all.

    - Carl
    Just because the money is laundered through the general fund, doesn't mean that the ticket for $$ scam isn't real. CA relies on this cash cow. It is actually a tax by other means!!! I think an indirect tax like this is a reprehensible way to raise revenue for the state. That's why I think we should make it as expensive as possible to prosecute a traffic offense. If it is really about public safety, then revenue profits should NOT be a consideration.
  11. #11
    Hey There is offline Member
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    Lightbulb Ball is in your court

    VS12823

    In CA. a driver can get a copy of the officer's notes (usually written on the back of the ticket), a copy of the front and back of the ticket, and a copy of the video if one was made. This is called Discovery and can be requested at any time, but the sooner the better. A written request must be prepared by the driver. A form can be obtained on the internet by typing in Help! I Got A Ticket! as well as guidelines on contesting a traffic ticket. Two copies should be made, with adjustments made for the one sent to the citing officer.
    A Discovery form can also be copied from the back of a book published by NOLO on contesting traffic tickets in CA.
    A friend mails a copy to the citing officer and one to the D.A. certified, return receipt, and gives the driver a Proof of service, also available on the above named website and from the book.
    Google Penal Code 1054.1 for the code that governs Discovery.
    If the driver doesn't receive Discovery he must petition the court to compel Discovery be delivered to him.
    The book gives an example how to do this.
    The driver can also ask for a continuance by a simple phone call to a court clerk and before arraignment if the driver wants to retain the right to a speedy trial.
    At arraignment the driver enters a plea, preferably Not Guilty.
    A Trial by Declaration is also available preferably after the driver has
    received the requested Discovery.
    Forms can be obtained from the internet by typing in Trial by Declaration in the Google search window. Here the driver fills out a form explaining why his case should be dismissed. If the driver is ruled against, then he can request a new trial with a different judge if done within 20 days.
    Although this isn't a speeding ticket a Google search for
    Speeding Ticket--Fighting or Plea Bargaining will explain the court system,a driver's rights, etc.
    Bringing pictures for court are a plus as well as knowing if the officer's observation was compromised by where he was when he observed the alleged viiolation.

    Best Regards,
    Hey There
  12. #12
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMinCA View Post
    Just because the money is laundered through the general fund, doesn't mean that the ticket for $$ scam isn't real. CA relies on this cash cow. It is actually a tax by other means!!! I think an indirect tax like this is a reprehensible way to raise revenue for the state. That's why I think we should make it as expensive as possible to prosecute a traffic offense. If it is really about public safety, then revenue profits should NOT be a consideration.
    "Laundered"? So ... now the legal system is akin to organized crime?

    The state does NOT have to operate at a loss. Using offenders to repay the system for the cost of enforcement and to further prevention and prosecution programs is perfectly reasonable. Unless, of course, you would rather that your overall tax burden be increased to help pay for the cost of enforcement and prosecution. Feel free to push that platform at the legislative level.

    - 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

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