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Old 10-08-09, 02:22 PM   #1
unixpro
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Followup on traffic ticket I got in Renton

Last July, I posted this thread about a traffic ticket I got while commuting through Renton. I was cited for not riding as closely to the right side of the road as possible, and for failing to signal my turn from Rainer Ave. S. into S.W. Sunset. Yesterday I had my court appearance.

I was all set. I'd taken pictures of the street so I could talk about road surface conditions. I has a copy of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission pamphlet wherein it says not to take your hands off the bars if it was unsafe. I'd exercised my right to discovery and I'd subpoenaed the officer. I was ready and willing to make my case before the judge.

The officer didn't show up. Case dismissed.

I've got to admit I've got mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I'm happy that I don't have to pay a fine any my record continues clean. On the other hand, though, I was rather looking forward to getting a formal ruling on not removing my hands from the bars to signal the turn. The charge about not riding closely enough to the right side of the road was completely bogus and I didn't have any concerns about it at all, but it would have been nice to have a precedent that you, I, and anyone else could use in defense against a Failure To Signal charge. Maybe next time .

I'd like to thank Jim (sorry, I don't know your last name) for showing up. Jim and I often meet up during one part of the other of the commute, and it was nice to have someone there.
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Old 10-08-09, 07:38 PM   #2
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unixpro - Good news is good news! Maybe next time you'll get em!!!
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Old 10-08-09, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the update - I've heard this is often the outcome. I hope they fix the road surface.
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Old 10-21-09, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unixpro View Post
... but it would have been nice to have a precedent that you, I, and anyone else could use in defense against a Failure To Signal charge. Maybe next time .
Traffic court rulings do not set a precedent. You would have had to be found guilty and then appealed that to a higher court and then won the appeal based on the law being improper.
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Old 10-21-09, 04:00 PM   #5
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Shouldn't the cop get a contempt of court for failure to show - he was served!

Maybe time to register a complaint with the chief of police, and the police commission....
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Old 10-27-09, 01:31 PM   #6
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no, cops don't have to show up to court. He wasn't served.

Also, IL isn't in the PNW.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:54 PM   #7
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The cop was subpoenaed and served in a timely manner. There is a form you fill out and submit to the clerk of the court if you want to subpoena the cop. There's another, different form you fill out and file with the office of the City Prosecutor if you want Discovery.

The prosecutor, when I went up to the defendants table, stood and told the judge that I had, in fact, subpoenaed the officer to appear, that the subpoena was submitted in accordance with the law and filed in a timely manner, and that she had received no communication from the officer indicating that he would not be present. Because the city was unable to produce their witness, she would not object to a motion from the defense (me) to dismiss. All I had to do was say "Yes, please" to the judge at that point.
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