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Old 09-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by wa0elm View Post
.....
Police officers are NOT employed to generate revenue for their political subdivision. Further, it doesn't matter how many citations I write, or drunk drivers or wifebeaters I take to jail. The paycheck I receive every two weeks is not dependent on a quota or my traffic contacts. And the fines associated with the citations I write are penalties assessed for violating the law, not to make money.
.....
Uh huh, right. I haven't had a citation in over 20 years but just a couple of months ago my wife got a citation for speeding, doing 30 in a 20 mph park zone. It was in a part of town she hadn't been before. She said she never saw the sign. We drive back over there and the speed sign was hidden in a big bush on the side of the road. I took a picture and printed it for her. She went in for the court date and there were 8-10 other people there for violations in the same place and time. My wife showed the judge the picture of the speed sign and he threw out all the cases.

The LEO could have just taken out some loppers and made the sign visible, or called the road dept to do it. Instead he wrote a bunch of BS tickets that wasted everybody's time.

Budgets are tight. Citation revenue is figured in even though LEOs don't get paid more for writing more tickets. Enough said.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:57 PM   #58
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #59
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Never been given a ticket but we were pulled over once on I-82 in Washington State for driving in the left lane. I told the trooper we were being pounded to death by the lousy right lane. He came back after checking us out and said to go ahead and stay in the left lane until the right lane smoothed out to our liking. I'm thinking he was just making sure we hadn't started happy hour on his highway.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:32 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Got a ticket on I95 in North Carolina for failure to slow for traffic after we rear-ended another vehicle. The fact that I had no brakes didn't seem to matter.
I guess he could have written you for failure to maintain control, which is a "kiss of death" ticket for truckers, or for failure to properly maintain a vehicle, or any one of a dozen things.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by R1Kirby View Post
If you are obaying the law, why would the cameras be a problem?
Because they can be set to write tickets where no violation occurred, and the companies who maintain them have been shown to reduce the timing on the yellow light. In addition, they have been proven to not reduce accidents, and in some cases actually increase accidents.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:49 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by wa0elm View Post
Police officers are NOT employed to generate revenue for their political subdivision. Further, it doesn't matter how many citations I write, or drunk drivers or wifebeaters I take to jail. The paycheck I receive every two weeks is not dependent on a quota or my traffic contacts. And the fines associated with the citations I write are penalties assessed for violating the law, not to make money. Though there are some bad apples, I admit, the overwhelming majority of police officers operate legally and ethically, and do the best they can with what they are provided.

If one has a problem with officers employing "speed traps", think hard about why they are there. They are at that location enforcing the speed law because there has been a documented problem of violating the speed limit in that area.

Soap box is officially stowed for the time being.
An officer sitting by the side of the road watching a radar readout is not involved in law enforcement, he's involved in revenue enhancement. This has been shown to be true so many times that it's not even worth discussing.

I respect much of the work you do. As a trucker, I see the stupidity that passes for driving every day. I'm often the first person on the scene of the accident, and you're the second. I wouldn't do your job for the world, and I'm glad you do it...most of it, that is.

There are many speed traps that are exactly that: Designed to trap drivers and ticket them. Check out the history of Selma, TX, for example, a city that had a large fleet of cruisers enforcing the 55 mph speed limit exactly, often with bizarre tricks (shooting radar out of the window of the police station by the side of the interstate, for example) and charging their own citizens no taxes. In these hard economic times, traffic ticket rates are way up in many municipalities, and it's not hard to figure out why.

Note that most of these problems are city police or sheriffs, not state troopers. There are even exceptions there, however. A good example is the state trooper in St. Joseph, MO, or the famous "Dairy Queen cop" near Mt. Pleasant, TX.

I would recommend everyone visit National Motorists Association Website and find out some of the "rotten apples" that are around, and how to protect yourself from them.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:00 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Bob (WA0MQE) View Post
according to the two guys I spoke with they claim if you time the yellow lights they are shorter then the yellow lights that don't have cameras.

I read somewhere on the internet this was happening elsewhere also. Supposedly Denver got into a bit of trouble when one of the tv news stations investigated the timing on some of their red light cameras intersections.

So be on the lookout. And if you think you can get through a yellow light, you might want to re-think it.
We had that nail us in Colorado. We were actually looking at the cops in the next lane, and saw the light turn yellow. I was too close to the line to stop in time, so they ended up snagging me with a HUGE ticket for running the light.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:01 AM   #64
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I was pulled over in TX in our first RV because the cop said he didn't see any safety chains on our tow vehicle. They were there, so we were on our way. Then, we were in CO in 2007 going thru a small town. I had been behind another motorhome for about 20 miles or so and he was driving extremely slow, well under the speed limit. We started thru the small town, saw speed limit sign that said "35 mph", I slowed down, finally had a chance to pass them and did so running about 36 or so. Just as we were leaving the town I saw blue lights. The officer said the speed limit was 25 when we passed the other motorhome. Evidently as I was passing him there was another speed limit sign that the other motorhome was blocking and I never saw it. Didn't matter, he wrote me a ticket anyway. It cost me about $75 and points on my license :-(
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:47 AM   #65
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Sportech,

Great response.

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Old 10-10-2010, 10:33 AM   #66
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As a retired Police Sgt I see some of this as police bashing by driver's who do not like or respect authority. After some years on the job I changed my method of speed enforcement and this is what I did and instructed others to do: The court had an unwritten rule that no one was to be ticketed until 10 mph over the limit. This put officers into a position of making "ticket or warning" decisions at 10 over. It is a waste of time because the motorist knows what he is doing! To rectify this situation, I changed the time to stop a motorist to 15 mph over the limit with no warnings. At 15 over, no one deserves a warning, they surely know what they are doing when they are passing most everyone else on the road. The speed limit signs are out there.

As far as issuing tickets for revenue...we were never instructed to increase revenue by issuing tickets in my 25 years on the job.

Could there be exceptions in some areas of the country? Sure, anything is possible, but known blatant problem areas usually end up in the news and the bad press takes care of the situation.

Speed trap...The only thing that I would call a speed trap is when an officer is sitting just a couple hundred feet into a speed reduced area and ticketing motorists who haven't completely adjusted to the new speed.

Many departments have "ride along" programs and this is a good idea so that people can see what the officers see on a daily basis. After spending some time with an officer I have seen many people say that they are surprised at what officers have to put up with, especially on the night shifts.

You may see things differently, but that's how I see it, Joe
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:46 AM   #67
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A few responses back I read "You can't fix Stupid"..... correct!
If a good ole black and white speed limit sign posts a speed of "55" That means it's against the local (state, county, or city) law to drive any faster. Even 1-2 mph. It's not a suggestion or a recommendation It's the law. Thus the cop is enforcing the law
Quotas? No sir, but if I write 2 more tickets this month, My wife gets a free toaster! "I don't think so..."
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:15 PM   #68
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Entering into a intersection on yellow is perfectly legal - even if the tail end of your vehicle doesn't cross the entry point until after it turns red. As long as you enter 'the box' on yellow, you have right of way. In fact, if you're still in the intersection when the light turns green for perpendicular traffic, they MUST wait for you to exit the intersection before proceeding. If they don't wait for the intersection to clear, and the strike your vehicle, they will be ticketed.

I have equipped all of my vehicles with HD cameras that record whenever I drive. They catch everything - including whether my car crosses the line on yellow/red.

BTW, I recently was stopped by FL HWY Patrol after blinking my headlights to warn oncoming motorists of their radar patrol. The entire incident was recorded - including my speed (GPS speed imprinted on the video), and the Trooper statement that warning others was illegal (it isn't). I was driving the posted speed limit (60MPH). The Trooper had me pulled over exactly 1 minute after I flashed my lights. That meant he had to drive 102 MPH to catch me in 60 seconds. Just to ticket me for 'ratting out' his position. BTW - ticket was tossed, and I've filed a class action suit in FL representing the 2400+ other motorists who were cited with the same "flashing lights prohibited" statute (FS 316.2397.7).

This is not meant to bash the po-po. But to believe the majority of them are above reproach, or not subject to human error or bias is beyond optimistic. Sometimes that's hard to see or admit when you and your immediate/extended family are in the same line of work.

Now, back to the OP's question - no, have never received a ticket in my MH (knock on wood).
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #69
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Entering into a intersection on yellow is perfectly legal - even if the tail end of your vehicle doesn't cross the entry point until after it turns red. As long as you enter 'the box' on yellow, you have right of way. In fact, if you're still in the intersection when the light turns green for perpendicular traffic, they MUST wait for you to exit the intersection before proceeding. If they don't wait for the intersection to clear, and the strike your vehicle, they will be ticketed.

I have equipped all of my vehicles with HD cameras that record whenever I drive. They catch everything - including whether my car crosses the line on yellow/red.

BTW, I recently was stopped by FL HWY Patrol after blinking my headlights to warn oncoming motorists of their radar patrol. The entire incident was recorded - including my speed (GPS speed imprinted on the video), and the Trooper statement that warning others was illegal (it isn't). I was driving the posted speed limit (60MPH). The Trooper had me pulled over exactly 1 minute after I flashed my lights. That meant he had to drive 102 MPH to catch me in 60 seconds. Just to ticket me for 'ratting out' his position. BTW - ticket was tossed, and I've filed a class action suit in FL representing the 2400+ other motorists who were cited with the same "flashing lights prohibited" statute (FS 316.2397.7).

This is not meant to bash the po-po. But to believe the majority of them are above reproach, or not subject to human error or bias is beyond optimistic. Sometimes that's hard to see or admit when you and your immediate/extended family are in the same line of work.

Now, back to the OP's question - no, have never received a ticket in my MH (knock on wood).
Wow. You've certainly gone to great lengths to avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous LEOs. A couple of questions if you don't mind:

1) You speak in pretty absolute terms about several traffic laws. Are you referring to only Florida law or are you stating that these are the laws nation wide?

2) You state it is legal to enter an intersection on a yellow light so long as your front end enters before the light turns red. Am I to understand that, in a 45mph zone if I'm traveling at 35mph... see the light turn yellow and speed up to 45... my front end enters the intersection just before it turns red... and this is legal?

3) Why would you warn people of a LEO radar patrol? You state that it is legal but then cite the statute banning it. I don't understand.

You state that
"This is not meant to bash the po-po. But to believe the majority of them are above reproach, or not subject to human error or bias is beyond optimistic. Sometimes that's hard to see or admit when you and your immediate/extended family are in the same line of work." I couldn't disagree more. Certainly we're all subject to human error, but if I believed that the majority of our LEOs were biased, crooked, or motivated by anything other than the well being of the citizens I'm not sure I'd want to live here.

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:39 PM   #70
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I'm sorry that this is happening in this thread. I'll be happy to move a separate thread if this is inappropriate.

I'll answer in order:

1) I do not know about states outside of FL. Here's a link to other state's red light laws

Quote:
FS 316.075

(a) Green Indication: ...But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

(b) Yellow Indication: ...Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.
So paragraph A says just because you have a green light doesn't mean you can charge ahead - you have to wait for vehicles to clear the intersection first. Paragraph B says the yellow is warning that the light is going to turn red, and that you cannot ENTER the intersection AFTER it turns red. Until the moment the yellow turns red, the driver is operating as though it's a green light.

2) The fact that you may have accelerated to "beat the light" matters not - so long as you're not exceeding the posted speed limit, and you enter the intersection prior to it turning red. Now granted, if you can get your vehicle from 35 MPH to 45 MPH in the 3 second span that the light is yellow, I imagine you're driving a Vette.

3) The statute under which I (and 2400 other motorists) was cited with (FS 316.2397.7) prohibits certain types of flashing lights - strobes, rotating, colored - clearly defined as lights found on emergency vehicles. Yet, LEO in FL is issuing an average of 1.5 tickets PER DAY to drivers for blinking their headlights - which is not covered under this statute. I have found at least four cases where motorists challenged the ticket, and each time, it was dismissed - with the judges ruling that the statute does not apply to headlamps - even if it was to warn other motorists of LEO activity. As such LEOs are issue tickets knowing full well that the statute is misapplied. Most motorists simply pay the $100 non-moving violation because it's easier than taking it to court - and the costs associated with appearing (not to mention a chance of $500 court fees and converting it to a moving violation).

On an aside, my camera installation actually was prompted in 1994 after a 90+ year old driver suffering from dementia stopped on a busy road, put her car into reverse, and slammed into me. Initially, she apologized, saying she'd missed her turned and wanted to back up - and didn't see me behind her. No problem, I told her. We'll just wait for the police to arrive. About 30 minutes later, she said she didn't remember what happened. She stopped and felt a thump. The police hadn't arrived yet, but I could see where this was going. We exchanged a road-side contract holding each other harmless, and went our separate ways. I swore that day I'd find a way to have a fly-on-the-wall witness for future he-said she-said incidents. It wasn't until a few years ago that the digital technology made it feasible.

I've had one speeding ticket in the last 13 years. It was after I installed the camera in my vehicles. The deputy said I was doing 72 in a 55 (that's 17 over). I rewound my video and showed him on the side of the road that I was only doing 68 (13 over). I asked if he wouldn't write me for the 68, and I wouldn't contest it (despite me driving with the flow of traffic). He said he trusts his laser gun, and he would not reduce it. Three months later, in court, I brought my video. The judge questioned the accuracy of the GPS vs. laser. I pulled out the manufacturers specs for the LTI 20/20 laser camera (what the deputy used to get me) and my GPS receiver. The LTI had a +/-1.0 MPH accuracy. The GPS was +/-0.1 MPH.

I then showed a video of me driving past four different radar speed limit signs - each one was showing exactly the same speed as my imprinted GPS speed. Therefore, either all four radar signs and my GPS receiver were all off by exactly the same amount (4MPH), or more likely, the laser gun was off. The judge reduced it to 68.

Later the deputy came to me apologizing - he didn't know why his gun was "off by that much". A 13MPH over is considered a minor speeding offense. 17MPH over is major - which make a big difference on insurance premiums. Incidentally, the speed limit of the six-lane road in question (which has not been improved or upgraded in any way) has since been raised to 60 MPH.

Many will question why all the effort and time. Simple. It's principal. A law enforcement officer's testimony in court is considered trustworthy and honest unless proven otherwise. And that simply cannot be done with verbal testimony. We're all human, we all make mistakes.

A co-worker's wife was recently t-boned by a county deputy in an intersection. He claimed he was running lights and sirens. Witnesses that day told her and the co-worker that the did not see or hear any police lights/sirens. She had a green, and was on the far right lane. He came from her left - having to clear 5 lanes of perpendicular traffic. He totaled both vehicles. The intersection has traffic preemption equipment (that turns the all lights red except the direction of the approaching emergency vehicle). It only functions if the emergency lights are on. The preemption system never fired. No ticket was ever issued - and her insurance would not go after the police department because the police report stated she failed to yield (even though no citation was issued). So her rates went up, she had to pay her $2k deductible, and she walked away with a very, very sour taste about the honesty of police work. And, she now has a camera system in her new car.
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