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  1. #1
    geraldbrooks Guest

    What is an illegal lane change in Virginia?

    On interate 81 in Virginia. I had just entered the freeway and was closing on the car ahead of me. The left lane looked clear. I started moving left and saw a car in my blind spot. I moved right. We didn't touch. I saw the other car go left. right, then hard left and off the road. I stopped to render assistance. The other driver said she looked up and all see saw was blue (my car color) the next thing she knew her car was in the ditch. I'm not sure how she got into my blind spot between the 2nd and 3rd time I checked. I don't know the combinations of speed and acceleration that got her into my blind spot without seeing her until the third check. I'm not even sure that I crossed the line separating the lanes, but I got a ticket for illegal lane change.
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is an illegal lane change in Virginia?

    Originally posted by geraldbrooks
    On interate 81 in Virginia. I had just entered the freeway and was closing on the car ahead of me. The left lane looked clear. I started moving left and saw a car in my blind spot. I moved right. We didn't touch. I saw the other car go left. right, then hard left and off the road. I stopped to render assistance. The other driver said she looked up and all see saw was blue (my car color) the next thing she knew her car was in the ditch. I'm not sure how she got into my blind spot between the 2nd and 3rd time I checked. I don't know the combinations of speed and acceleration that got her into my blind spot without seeing her until the third check. I'm not even sure that I crossed the line separating the lanes, but I got a ticket for illegal lane change.
    **A: who's on first?
  3. #3
    abezon is offline Senior Member
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    Fight the ticket. The state will have to have her testify, & if she doesn't show up, the state is SOL. Since the officer didn't see the incident, most of what the officer can testify to is hearsay & inadmissible. (Anything *you* said is admissible, so I hope you didn't admit guilt.)

    An illegal lane change generally means changing lanes in an intersection or in an unsafe manner. Unsafe would cover changing lanes without doing a head check. Since you made 2 head checks, you can argue that she must have been doing something to contribute to the accident -- speeding, moved into the left lane, etc. You can also argue that you did not actually change lanes. Did you hear/feel your tires go over the reflective road turtles?

    If you post the exact code section you are charged with violating, we can look it up. Or you can look it up here: [url]http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC[/url]
    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
  4. #4
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    "Fight the ticket. The state will have to have her testify, & if she doesn't show up, the state is SOL. Since the officer didn't see the incident, most of what the officer can testify to is hearsay & inadmissible. (Anything *you* said is admissible, so I hope you didn't admit guilt.)"
    *** You can bet your ass that she will show up. Mainly due to the fact that your conviction on this charge will make her insurance claim against you a 'slam-dunk'.

    "An illegal lane change generally means changing lanes in an intersection or in an unsafe manner. Unsafe would cover changing lanes without doing a head check."
    *** Actually, an 'unsafe lane change' can be due to several things, including failure to provide proper lookout, failure to signal, etc.

    "Since you made 2 head checks, you can argue that she must have been doing something to contribute to the accident -- speeding, moved into the left lane, etc. You can also argue that you did not actually change lanes."
    *** Yep, those will sure help!! The issue here is very simple.... did YOUR actions cause the other driver to take evasive actions to avoid a potential collision??? And based on your post, it sounds likely. All of the 'excuses' offered won't fly when considering only that FACT.

    "Did you hear/feel your tires go over the reflective road turtles?"
    *** And who said there even were 'turtles'??? I guess that I missed something.... or was this imaginary??

    "If you post the exact code section you are charged with violating, we can look it up. Or you can look it up here: [url]http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC[/url]"
    *** I have already looked and was not able to find any statute as to 'illegal lane changes'. So, EXACTLY what were you cited for??
  5. #5
    knotcops Guest
    You say "she looked up and all see saw was blue". Where was she looking before she looked up? Your only defense may be she was not paying attention to her driving at the time. Very thin at best. Still doesn't excuse you from the illegal lane change.
  6. #6
    geraldbrooks Guest
    Pretty Broad, They could cite you for this if there was an earthquake and the road opened up and swallowed your car. No one can be sure it's absolutely safe to do anything.

    46.2-804. Special regulations applicable on highways laned for traffic.

    Whenever any roadway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, drivers of vehicles shall obey the following:



    2. A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as is practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has ascertained that such movement can be made safely;
  7. #7
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Gerald, thanks for the citation. I had spent a little time trying to review the convoluted Virginia statutes and missed that one (actually, I was looking more for one on entering a freeway and merging into traffic).

    It would appear to me (from your posts), that you failed to check the left lane properly then started to make your merge into the freeway traffic (did you use your signal?). However, there was a car in that lane and when they saw you start to come over (or actually come over), they had to take evasive action to avoid a contact collision with you. The fact that you realized there presence and averted your merge would not alter the fact that they had an accident due to your actions.

    Personally, it doesn't look good for you.
  8. #8
    geraldbrooks Guest
    Reduced to improper driving, Dismissed in 6 months after driver improvement school.

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