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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so here's what happened. I went up to Mt Washington last night in Pittsburgh to meet some people. I don't know if any of you have ever been to Pittsburgh but the streets are like a maze. :eek: Anyway I'm cruising along and all of a sudden hear sirens, I stop and the cop informs me I ran a stop sign. I'm like WTF I never ran a stopsign, at least not one I saw. He was behind me for three other stop signs that i stopped at if I'd have seen the first one I obviously would have stopped. I try and explain that I'm from Ohio and we don't have streets like this and I'm sorry I didn't see the sign but now I know it's there. But to no avail, I end up with a $95 failure to stop at a stopsign ticket. Now my question is this, do I contest the ticket and bullshit the judge about how I'm moving up there for school and the sign is hard to see and it was completely unintentional being that I stopped for all the others I'm from out of state and was confused, etc,etc. Or do I just pay the $95 and hope the points never get transferred over into Ohio???????? Thanks a million for your help in advance. :)
 

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if your going to bs the judge don't use that storey, maybe tell him that you did a rolling stop or something, in most states it is legal.
 

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Don't lie!!!

I totally DISAGREE with the last poster. I think your explanation is reasonable and sounds like an honest mistake. Remember, you are Mitigating the ticket NOT contesting it. That means yes you commited the infraction, but you would like to explain yourself. Your out of state ID/plates is proof enough to help support your story. Also, if your driving record is relatively clean, you may try calling the courts. Many states offer a deferment program, which keeps the ticket off your record, provided you get no other moving violations within one year. You try to contest the ticket and it will be held up, and as far as I know a "rolling stop" isn't legal anywhere. Thats why it is a STOP sign and not a yield.
 

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hi its the last poster again, I work for the broward sheriffs office, I am a sworn deputy so I'm not just spitting out empty advise, every time I've seen some one use the "I'm new in town excuse" the judge always says the same thing. if you travel to another state you are required to learn there traffic laws. and he ran a stop sign if he didn't slow down then there is no excuse for it, every state has stop signs. and rolling stops are legal in most states, unless the stop sign is an absolute stop, then as long as you slow down to under 15mph then you can go through it. you can go in front of the judge, but since you were on a bike, and your out of state I doubt he will look apon you as a model of civility
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Damn you guys are quick!! :D I just posted this like an hour ago. lol I don't know what I'm gonna do yet. Maybe I'll call the court over there and ask them if they offer something like that. Paying the ticket is no big deal, I just don't want the points on my license becuase state farm is more than likley going to drop me when they catch wind of it. Then my insurance rates are going to be RIDICULOUS! :( I did kind of slow down coming up on the intersection because i figured there was a stop sign somewhere. It was like two streets merging into one and I saw a stop sign but it sure as hell looked like it was facing the other street and not mine. I kind of slowed down almost to a complete stop not knowing what to do then just went ahead through it when I didn't see any cars coming.
 

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I think your story would get you a lot of mercy from most judges. It was an honest mistake, IF the cop shows up for court he can testify that you stopped for all the other signs and thus show that it wasn't a habit of yours. If he doesn't show up it's most likely gonna be thrown out. I think it's worth a few hundred bucks to get a lawyer in order to fight this and keep the points off which will hurt your insurance for 3-5 years. I would guess that Ohio and PA share ticket info so it will show up, most states with common borders do.

good luck and let us know what happens
 

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Absolute stop!?!?

Not trying to bust your balls, but "an absolute stop"? I have been in law enforcement myself for 10 years now, myself. I don't claim to know laws outside my own state, but I have never heard of such a thing. Please define. How would an average citizen know the difference?
 

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I am also unfamiliar with an absolute stop. I got a ticket years ago in Va. for running a stop sign. The officer told me that he did not see me put my foot down, therefore I did not come to a complete stop. (I probably didn't) Cost me something like 50 bucks at the time. My understanding is stop means stop. If you are that tight on points I'd go the lawyer route. If you just need to keep it off the insurance, many states offer the option of driving school. This will keep the points off the insurance record.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What to do what to do. :( Who should I contact about taking that driving course to keep the points off? I've heard of people doing that but have no idea who the got in contact with. I think I'm going to contest it and just explain my story to the judge and hope he understands where I'm coming from and drops or reduces the ticket. Probably get screwed and have to pay the ticket plus court costs though. :( I'd love to get a lawyer but money's tight right now. Anyone else have any other ideas?
 

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everyone has seen an absolute stop sign, first most cops don't know what it is because they never bother to read there state traffic guide. in many states you will see when approaching a stop sign there is a sign a few yards in front of it that has a red octagon and an arrow pointing up, this designates a stop sign as an absolute stop sign. when this is present you must come to a complete stop, if its not there then you can do a rolling stop. but check the local law to see if they have legal rolling stops in that state.
 

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Evidence works!!

Take photos of the intersection that show how it is confusing. if you can take a video, remembering you have to show it to the judge and the cop, show a video of you doing a stop without having to put down your foot, count out how long you can stop along with the video, without touching your foot down. Safest bet is doing some kind of driving school option that allows no points. The points will probably transfer, don't count on that not happening.:cool:
 

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FL State Uniform Traffic control

SILENTNEKO:
Below is a copy of the state of Florida's sub chapter 316.23 this is the entire section dealing with Stop & yield intersections. I see no mention of "rolling" or absolute stops. Let's get specific. Please provide the statute (shapter & sub) that allows the actions you described.

316.123 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.--

(1) The right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in s. 316.006.

(2)(a) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.

(b) At a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

(3) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection. If such a driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield the right-of-way.

(4) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
 

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I'm from Maryland, so I'm not sure about the sharing of points thingin PA and OH. I have received tickets in both VA and PA and I never had points transfer. However, State Farm DID find out about the VA ticket, but not the PA ticket. The PA state trooper told me that if I pay the fine on time, they DO NOT TRANSFER points. He said that the only time that there would be a possible situation would be if I did not pay the fine, and at that point, it still wouldn't be point transfer - I don't remember what he called. One thing you might want to do is ask several different officers from both areas (if possible). This would give you a general consensus of the laws. Of course, like someone else has already stated, it would probably be easier just to call the court system.
 

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Doogie,

Unless it's very different in Pa. there shouldn't be any additional costs for contesting a ticket. It unfairly places a burden on the defendant legitmately contesting a ticket. So you're still only looking @ a $95 ticket.
Additionally the Judge can help you out on the question about points transfer & traffic school options.
Those links FastHawk gave you can also help. That was way cool of him to research that stuff.
I also liked that idea of pictures or video tape. You know the old saying (worth a 1000 words) that combined with your lack of familarity with the area is a good argument.
Good luck,
let us know how it went
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, this is why you guys rock. Ask a question get good anwsers. :D I still have the ticket, but haven't decided what to do with it. I think Monday I'll call the PA court and ask them about points transfer, if they're not going to transfer it's worth the $95 to me not to have to deal with all the court bullshit. If they do transfer I'll be going to court to fight it. Thanks again everyone I really really appreciate all the help. :D
 

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Here's one I read out on one of these boards awhile ago - if you have to pay the ticket, send in a check for a few dollars over the cost of the ticket. At some point they will send you a refund for the amount paid over, in the form of a check. Don't cash it. The point at which points are transferred occurs sometime after the account is closed, so if you're still owed money the account remains open. Don't know if this is true or not, but what have you got to lose.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmm, hell it'w worth a couple bucks to me just to find out. I have to send in the money even if I'm contesting the ticket so what the hell you know.
 

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SilentNEKO said:
hi its the last poster again, I work for the broward sheriffs office, I am a sworn deputy so I'm not just spitting out empty advise, every time I've seen some one use the "I'm new in town excuse" the judge always says the same thing. if you travel to another state you are required to learn there traffic laws. and he ran a stop sign if he didn't slow down then there is no excuse for it, every state has stop signs. and rolling stops are legal in most states, unless the stop sign is an absolute stop, then as long as you slow down to under 15mph then you can go through it. you can go in front of the judge, but since you were on a bike, and your out of state I doubt he will look apon you as a model of civility
I will have to agree with FastHawk. Don't lie. It is already your word against the cops, and 9 times out of 10, the cops word holds more weight in court. Here in Missouri, you can take traffic tickets to the "Traffic Law Hotline", and they will reduce the moving violation to a non-moving violation. You pay the cost of the ticket, plus about $80. That may seem expensive, but factor in the cost of the ticket, points on drivers license, and then the insurance rate hike!!:finger: I have even paid DOUBLE the ticket price to keep the ticket from going on my driving record (damn Arkansas State Troopers. Almost made in from New Orleans to St. Louis in under 9 hours :twofinger )
As far as the stop sign debate.....a stop sign means STOP. "you can do a rolling stop if you are under 15mph????????" That is a new one to me. I was under the impression that EVERY state had the same traffic signs and rules? Green=go Yellow=prepare to stop Red=stop etc. etc. etc.
If you just be honest and tell the judge what happened, you may get away with just a warning to PAY ATTENTION:twofinger

Or, you could always say it wasn't you:D Tell the judge that a "little guy, named Joe, lives in your head. when you saw the stop sign, you wanted to stop, but Joe took over and made you run it" Let us know how it turns out after they let you out of the straight jacket:twofinger LOL
 
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