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Traffic Infraction
updated: Jan 09, 2014, 8:30 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Today I gave my Mother's caregiver a ride home and stopped to drop her off at the closest intersection where she lives. An empty cloth bag dropped from the seat, as she was closing the door, and she placed it on the seat. A policeman nearby issued an infraction ticket. When asked how long my stop took he said "around 7-10 seconds." It seemed less to me and yes if everyone stopped like this it would impede traffic. Is it uncommon now to provide warnings, instead of tickets?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 483747 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:37 AM

Completely dependent on what cop pulled you over. But... Regardless you were breaking the law so its your fault.


 COMMENT 483751 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:43 AM

Didn't you know that law enforcement is no longer there to "protect and serve"? They don't give warnings as their primary purpose is revenue generation.

But this small act also reminds me of that great Harry Truman quote: "Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."


 COMMENT 483752 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:44 AM

Break the law pay the price. A warning is up to the officer and should not be expected. If you go to traffic court and explain your situation the fine will likely be lowered.


 COMMENT 483759P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:48 AM

Don't expect any sympathy here. No matter how justified and innocent this infraction was, you're going to get many responses telling you you were breaking the law. These are the same folks who would have you ticketed for stopping eight inches over the limit line. "That's against the LAW, don't you know?"


 COMMENT 483761 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:49 AM

What intersection was it? My guess is you chose a horrible intersection to stop at and you deserved a ticket.


 COMMENT 483763 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:52 AM

So, just like you were distracted and stopped in the middle of the street to let someone out of a car, you try to distract readers here with information that's irrelevant to stopping in the street.


There are no rules to warning vs. ticket. You got busted. Own up.

If you want to fight it read the back and do a "writ by declaration". Every ticket should be acted upon by this process. It allows you to write your case and declare the situation. Be simple and do not cloud with irrelevant details. (bag fell off seat) "I stopped. I moved on. My actions were within the law". If you lose this WBD, you forfeit nothing and can either pay or go to court to contest. Do it.


 COMMENT 483769 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:56 AM

An officer may use any discretion they choose, including a warning ,letting one go, or writing a ticket.


 COMMENT 483773 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:04 AM

Meanwhile, aggressive homeless squatters and panhandlers have taken over Lot 10 and parts of State Street. They are allowed to harass passers by, yet a person dropping another person and was not even causing a traffic problem warrants a full response from the PD. This does indeed has to do with what speedily generates the most revenue.


 COMMENT 483779 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:07 AM

" yes if everyone stopped like this it would impede traffic"

So it's okay if you do it but everyone else can't?

Follow the law.


 COMMENT 483781P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:15 AM

Oh, please, 751. The police are "protecting and serving" if they are citing people for potentially dangerous traffic violations. A warning would have been a nice gift, but it's certainly not to be expected.


 COMMENT 483784P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:21 AM

751, I disagree. We were out 2 nights after Christmas taking our own tour of Lights. I have been housebound since the end of Oct. and could not do our annual tradition of the Trolley Tour of Lights. We were stopped by two officers in a squad car on Foothill because my license plate is obscured by my mobility scooter lift. The officer was very polite, ran our registration and my husband's license. He asked us why we were out for the evening and I told him it was my first time out of the house in two months and we were out looking at Christmas lights. He told us to move the license plate up to the scooter lift and be careful driving around this evening. He also told us to have a nice time.

He could have given us a fix-it ticket, but he didn't. I don't understand the blanket belief that all officers have given up on the protect an serve ideal and are only out there to make our lives miserable for the sake of revenue.

I don't have rose colored glasses on, I am sure there are some officers who have lost sight of their true calling, but I do not believe that generalizations are correct.

To the OP, I'm sorry that you were cited for doing something you thought was OK. However, there are restrictions in place for safety reasons. We don't have a choice. If we decide to stretch those rules/laws/restrictions, then we have to be willing to accept the consequences when we get caught.


 COMMENT 483785P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:25 AM

Am curious - does anyone know if there is some number or quota of violations that the police should attain?


 COMMENT 483786 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:26 AM

I don't get this. If you were driving a taxi, would that have been legal. If you had stopped mid-block, would that have been legal. What are you supposed to do in an urban setting where there is no loading zone available?


 COMMENT 483788 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:30 AM

Your posts all scream: citations for minor infractions should be strongly enforced for everyone...except me. Cop should have just told the OP to move her car immediately.


 COMMENT 483789 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:32 AM

The issue here is why you feel that you deserve an exception. Our society is slowly disintegrating because the common good is no longer paramount.

The law is open to enforcement according to the situation. If you affected nobody, it would have been alright with me and probably with the cop. If, as it appears, you blocked traffic so your life (or your passenger's) could be made more convenient, and you inconvenienced others, then you put yourself above the common good and you deserved to be slapped. I hope that paying the fine teaches you this lesson.


 COMMENT 483790P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:34 AM

Why aren't the cops ticketing garbage trucks that needlessly block the street? I understand that it's necessary to block the street when there is no curbside parking, but it's aggravating to have a garbage truck take over a whole lane when there is ample, unobstructed curbside parking.


 COMMENT 483792 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:36 AM

Hello, was the curb red?


 COMMENT 483793P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:36 AM

Who do you think you are, OP - UPS?


 COMMENT 483795P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:38 AM

The "No stopping at any time" sign means just that. On the Hollister side of San Marcos High School those signs are posted. I always see cars making the quick dash and drop. It's very unsafe and I wish more patrols were out there to write up the infraction. No sympathy here.


 COMMENT 483798P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 09:46 AM

Must be interesting to observe which laws have priority in enforcement. (It's partly why the leaf blower law should be deleted from the books, and perhaps as well certain laws pertaining to bicyclists that are generally unenforced.)


 COMMENT 483803 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:03 AM

789, we human beings have the uncanny ability to juggle moral, ethical, and even legal issues. Your message is simple: obey. The OP was cited for a minor infraction and fined. But your comments indicate that there is a lot of latitude (read: freedom) that you're apparently willing to give up without even a whimper.


 COMMENT 483807 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:19 AM

A motorcycle cop pulled my wife over in Old Town Goleta for not wearing a seatbelt. She was in fact wearing her seatbelt. He accused her of lying and putting her seatbelt on before he pulled her over (not true). The officer was intimidating. My wife was issued a ticket. My wife went to court to contest, but the officer did not show up. Subsequently the ticket was dropped.

What are these traffic folks doing? Just throwing out citations to see what sticks? Wasting taxpayer time and money in attempts to generate revenue thru citations?


 COMMENT 483808 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:24 AM

@751P is correct - Code enforcement and revenue generators set loose to feed on the public.


 COMMENT 483812 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:31 AM

Impeding??? Holey smokes! Anyone been using 101 lately? Slow cars move to the left, 3 lanes of cars all 'arm-in-arm ' how about a ticketing campain for improper lane choice...lets get our world moving again....SLOW TRAFFIC MOVE RIGHT!!! Come on CHP!


 COMMENT 483817 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:52 AM

Ten bucks says you were one of the people that stops (illegally) every morning on the side of Hollister to drop their kid off in front of San Marcos High School. Take the extra 3 minutes, wherever you are going to pull into a parking lot or legal spot to drop the person off. Got to play by the rules, or pay the consequences. Stopping and pulling over in the middle of traffic is dangerous and impedes others from going forward or causes them to swerve around you, passing unsafely. No sympathy here.


 COMMENT 483819 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 10:57 AM

789, exactly!


 COMMENT 483838 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 11:24 AM

@785, no thats a myth

I agree with 789,

This is obviously something you shouldnt have done. Im sure getting a ticket will make you think twice about doing it again.


 COMMENT 483841 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 11:26 AM

To the OP - Which intersection????


 COMMENT 483843 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 11:29 AM

Everyone seems to think the rules don't apply to them. You pulled over in an intersection. You got busted. Consider that your warning. Pay the fine and don't do it again.


 COMMENT 483846 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 11:35 AM

Edhat has the most schizophrenic readers:
minor traffic violations = throw the book at them
marijuana = failed drug war
illegal immigrants = future US citizens
pangas = God's gift to the DEA
books = Luddite tools
laws = the more the better


 COMMENT 483860P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 12:08 PM


chem trails
chem trails cause cloud formations that only strong winds and atmospheric pressure can cause


 COMMENT 483862P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 12:15 PM

OP - For certain I acknowledged wrong, telling the policeman this is "tuition" for me. I simply asked Edhat readers if it is "uncommon to provide warnings, instead of tickets?"


 COMMENT 483877 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 12:37 PM

No warning was given so that is that. You should not do the crime if you are not willing to do the fine.


 COMMENT 483896 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 01:07 PM

Contest the ticket and see if the cop shows up. If not they will dismiss it.

Send your questions to his commander at the police and ask for their policy. Contact the City Councilmembers and let them know that in your opinion the Police forces is emphasizing revenue generation over enforcement of real crimes.

You may have to pay the ticket in the end, but you may do a lot to change how things are done for the next person.

Taxpayers have a lot of power to change the system but rarely use it.


 COMMENT 483904 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 01:16 PM

1) What intersection? And which PD?
2) Are you a man or woman? Old or young? Good looking?
3) What kind of car do you drive? Is it new?
4) What time of day was it? Was it rush hour?
5) Why was it that you couldn't drop off the person at their house?


 COMMENT 483930 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 01:55 PM

Bravo 904 that is exactly the info we need to make a judgement in this case or any case


 COMMENT 483942 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 02:18 PM

903 and 930, why would the OP ever want to provide that info (or make another post)? So he/she can be further ridiculed? Your "judgement in this case" is simply an opinion about a silly traffic ticket...please come back to reality.


 COMMENT 483945P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 02:24 PM

Some of less intelligent comments here can only be explained by the fact that law enforcement agencies use local forums as a propaganda platform, and tend to hover over them like little old ladies protecting their flower beds.

("Of course we don't give warnings for minor infractions anymore, and you're lucky I didn't Tase you for looking at me the wrong way - now shut up and pay the fine before I really hurt you!")


 COMMENT 483946P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 02:37 PM

Officers are human. If they're having a bad day, with lots of people being rude, clueless, inconsiderate, abusive... they're more likely to ticket you than warn you. If you are very polite and weren't causing a problem for others, and they're having a good shift, then you'll probably just get warned.


 COMMENT 483954P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 03:01 PM

I'm okay with you getting a ticket. I frequently see cars pulled over in red zones that require me to ride my bike out into the traffic lane to get around them. I'm getting tired of this, so lets just obey the laws.


 COMMENT 483969 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 03:46 PM

In the last five years I was pulled over for not wearing my seatbelt (Goleta cop on Hollister), for having an expired tag (CHP), and an illegal right turn on red (SBPD, Carrillo & DLV).

All three cops gave me a warning. I'm a middle aged man, average looking. I was very nice to the police when they approached the car.

Maybe I was just lucky.


 COMMENT 483975 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 04:12 PM

Wish I had a dime for every time I've seen a police cruiser parked in the red while they grab a Starbucks. Hypocrisy and revenue are all you need to know on this one.


 COMMENT 484000 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 05:44 PM

So why don't they bust the people all over town with stolen shopping carts. This is not a violation involving a motor vehicle but it is theft which is also against the law.


 COMMENT 484014P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 06:48 PM

And the many, many bicyclists who don't stop at stop signs, don't have lights at night?


 COMMENT 484026 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-09 08:01 PM

What was the section for which you were cited?


 ANDY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 06:27 AM

Wow. Lots of angry people out there. They should just obey the law. Have a nice day.


 COMMENT 484081 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 07:56 AM

@983: PLEONASTIC: word of the day


 COMMENT 484100 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 08:50 AM

I think I'll open a new business: Unbunch Your Panties , includes laundering, $10 per event, group discounts for edhat members.


 COMMENT 484148P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 10:13 AM

My opinion, depends upon the circumstances at the time. If you were impeding traffic, a ticket was in order. If the stop was safe and did not impede traffic, you can go to traffic court and tell the Judge, and they may agree with you. The guiding principle of traffic laws is safety under the conditions at the time. The officer does have discretion, and may have reasonably felt that the stop was unsafe - or not.


 COMMENT 484169P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 10:42 AM

Hmm.. this is a good reminder to be extra careful driving and walking. Last year a new law was passed and the details have been forgotten. If a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, a driver must halt until the person is all the way over the other side of the street/road? Edhat Community Members - can you help me on this?


 COMMENT 484183P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 11:02 AM

"...if everyone stopped, it would impede traffic.".....but if everyone was stopped, then what traffic would it impede?


 COMMENT 484355P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 05:06 PM

I am the most PLEONASTIC person I know. Why settle for a picture when I can give you 10,000 works? Thank you for this new word.


 COMMENT 484385P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-10 06:07 PM

Some of the reader postings on this topic surprised me with such strong conviction, accepting responsibility for their actions. There's also a certain amount of luck in not getting caught with infractions many do regularly - rolling stops, not keeping appropriate distance between cars, speeding.


38% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 4 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.



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