No Cop, No Stop | Wait! What’s that in the Bushes?
As most Broward County residents know, the use of red light traffic cameras is hotly debated. Local governments profit from them and many drivers are screwed over by them. As prolific as these traffic camera tickets are, the second most offensive traffic ticket are those that are written for running a stop sign. Don’t think that I advocate running stop signs or blatantly breaking any laws, but the extremes that cops go to just so they can write a traffic ticket can be absurd. When a driver approaches a stop sign and comes to an almost complete stop, it just seems unfair. It seems like an injustice that someone should suffer points on his driver’s license and pay a fine if they approach the stop sign carefully, checks to make sure it is safe to proceed, and then continues. This doesn’t present a threat to the safety of anyone. As with any type of traffic ticket, we advise that you don’t pay the ticket with calling us for a consultation first.
Many people call this a California stop, meaning that you don’t come to a full stop, but both Florida and California statutes require that a driver come to a complete stop. According to Florida statute 316.123, the wheels on the vehicle must completely stop moving behind the line of demarcation on the road or before any part of the vehicle enters the intersection. This is how the cops get you. They are usually obscured behind some object, just waiting to prey upon someone who may be a bit distracted that rolls through the intersection.
Again, stopping at stop signs are important; you can kill yourself or someone else if you ignore them entirely. However, drivers usually almost stop completely to ensure the way is clear before proceeding through an intersection. This is especially true for those drivers who are making a right-hand turn. If a driver can’t assess whether there is another vehicle approaching just because his wheels haven’t completely stopped moving, he probably shouldn’t be driving anyway. Getting behind the wheel of a car is a huge responsibility, and if you are an experienced driver, you should be in the habit of constantly assessing anything and everything that may cause damage to your vehicle or injury to yourself. Yet, the cop that is just sitting there monitoring an area where there is a stop sign usually doesn’t take those things into account no matter how cautiously you approached the stop sign.
No matter how careful you are, the fact is that you have to stop COMPLETELY behind the line of demarcation even when you are making a right-hand turn. It may seem foolish in busy world, but it only takes an extra couple of seconds and it is not worth the penalties that you may face. Remember, it’s not the cops you do see, it’s the one’s that you don’t see who usually screws up your day by pulling you over and handing you that traffic ticket. Granted, sometimes your ticket may get dismissed if the cop doesn’t show up in court, but that is only sometimes and they usually show up 60% – 70% of the time.
If you hold out hope that the cop who writes your traffic citation will be too busy buying doughnuts to make it to court, that is taking a big gamble with your driving record. Unlike Whose Line is it Anyway, the cop is not making up the rules and the points DO matter. It’s an easy ticket to get, so if it happens to you, call the Traffic Ticket Team for a free consultation at 954-967-9888. As always, NEVER just pay your ticket; let us fight the court system for you