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  1. #1
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Traffic Citation: Passing a stopped city bus on scooter

    I received a citation on the campus of a Florida university for improper passing (passing in a no passing zone). The road had one lane of traffic for each direction and was divided by a double-yellow line. I was directly behind a city bus that pulled to the curb (wide shoulder) leaving about 4 feet between the driver side of the bus and the double-yellow line. I passed to the left of the stationary bus without touching the lines. Essentially I shared the lane with the stopped bus.

    My question is isn't passing/overtaking defined as moving past a vehicle proceeding (implying movement) in the same direction and since this was a stopped vehicle and I never moved to the left of the roadway (over the lines, or even on the line for that matter) I was not in violation of the statute.

    I never made a lane change and the vehicle was stationary so can my actions even be defined as "passing" per the statute?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Samuel's Avatar
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    Try looking up the code/statute that you were cited for violating and the definition of "passing" in your Florida state or university codes/statutes.

  3. #3
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    0316.0875 is the statute for No-Passing Zones (can't post URL due to post count). I originally thought I was cited for 0316.085 but I did a search in the county records which indicated otherwise.

    "Where signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone as set forth in subsection (1), no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway with such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length."

    This is what the officer contests I violated but since I never touched the left side of the roadway or the lane markers I hold that I wasn't in violation of the statute.


    316.0875 No-passing zones.
    (1) The Department of Transportation and local authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any highway under their respective jurisdiction where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may, by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway, indicate the beginning and end of such zones, and when such signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions thereof.
    (2) Where signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone as set forth in subsection (1), no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway with such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length.
    (3) This section does not apply when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway, nor to the driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road or driveway.
    (4) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

  4. #4
    Samuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbp727 View Post
    I received a citation on the campus of a Florida university for improper passing (passing in a no passing zone). The road had one lane of traffic for each direction and was divided by a double-yellow line. I was directly behind a city bus that pulled to the curb (wide shoulder) leaving about 4 feet between the driver side of the bus and the double-yellow line. I passed to the left of the stationary bus without touching the lines. Essentially I shared the lane with the stopped bus.

    My question is isn't passing/overtaking defined as moving past a vehicle proceeding (implying movement) in the same direction and since this was a stopped vehicle and I never moved to the left of the roadway (over the lines, or even on the line for that matter) I was not in violation of the statute.

    I never made a lane change and the vehicle was stationary so can my actions even be defined as "passing" per the statute?

    Thanks in advance
    If you were riding a motorcycle, you might be able to convince the judge. If not, I don't know any cars that are around 4' wide...

    Also the code/statute should be written on your ticket...

  5. #5
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
    If you were riding a motorcycle, you might be able to convince the judge. If not, I don't know any cars that are around 4' wide...

    Also the code/statute should be written on your ticket...
    I was on a motor scooter which easily fit through the gap without touching the lane dividers. The citation on the ticket is 316.0875 (listed above). God knows how I missed that...

    I told the officer the bus was stopped and that I had enough space to pass without making a lane change or touching the double yellow lines and he replied "it's a no pass zone and the road is curved." The fact that it is a no pass zone and a curve (its really a stretch defining the road as a curve, I had clear view for at least a hundred yards) is ultimately meaningless because my actions cannot be defined as a "pass" since no lane change was made and the vehicle was stationary.

    Thank you for your response. Any other opinions are greatly appreciated.

  6. #6
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    cntryboy0531 is offline You can't 30DF that.... cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute
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    In Florida it's also Illegal for a motor scooter/motor cycle to pass in the same lane as another vehicle. All we can tell you is if you feel you didn't deserve the ticket, you can contest the ticket in court and see how the judge rules.
    "I would rather my boss give me a butt kicking for being over the top than a eulogy for not being thorough!" ~~~~~ Aussie George

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  7. #7
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by cntryboy0531 View Post
    In Florida it's also Illegal for a motor scooter/motor cycle to pass in the same lane as another vehicle. All we can tell you is if you feel you didn't deserve the ticket, you can contest the ticket in court and see how the judge rules.
    I'm aware that statute 316.209 states "The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken."

    In that case, I was cited incorrectly. However I can still contend that I didn't overtake a vehicle since the action of overtaking a vehicle is defined as passing a vehicle moving in the same direction. Whether or not the judge will interpret the word "proceeding" as implying movement or intent to move is a factor for consideration.

    I was cited for improper passing, not lane-sharing. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm going to contest the ticket, I was just interested in the point of view from other officers. I understand the potential harm in proceeding past a stopped bus (keep in mind the area ahead of the bus was NOT a designated stop walk and had it been I likely would have remained behind the bus) however it was obvious to the officer that I was unaware that I had committed a crime and that I had only recently begun use of a motor scooter. I see no need to asses a fine and points in lieu of a warning in this scenario.

  8. #8
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    We can amend tickets right up to the time of the hearing.

    Go to court if you want to but you won't be posting here ( or anywhere ) if you keep driving a nearly invisible scooter like you do.
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  9. #9
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsap View Post
    We can amend tickets right up to the time of the hearing.

    Go to court if you want to but you won't be posting here ( or anywhere ) if you keep driving a nearly invisible scooter like you do.
    If I plead not guilty, state my case, and the judge/office points out the statute regarding same-lane passing, the ticket can no longer be amended I would imagine...?

    I can assure you my actions didn't put my life in any more danger than it was already in from operating a scooter on a college campus.

    Thank you for all the responses so far, I greatly appreciate it.

  10. #10
    cntryboy0531's Avatar
    cntryboy0531 is offline You can't 30DF that.... cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute cntryboy0531 has a reputation beyond repute
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    In Florida, I can ammend the citation right up to being sworn in on the stand. It's all up to the hearing officer on how they want to rule. They can rule in your favor or against you. Some hearing officers prefer the exact statute cited, others do not.

    As you said, the interpretation will be up to the hearing officer and any case law they know of to guide them.
    "I would rather my boss give me a butt kicking for being over the top than a eulogy for not being thorough!" ~~~~~ Aussie George

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  11. #11
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    Amending means changing it typically to add or delete a similar charge. I wouldn't be able to amend a speeding cite to include a stop sign violation. These two passing charges are very similar. The idea behind allowing or not allowing an amendment is whether or not the judge feels you are adequately prepared to defend yourself against the amendment. You would have a tough time arguing that these two charges are so different that you aren't prepared to defend yourself. I would have a tough time adding a completely new and different charge and claiming the opposite.

    I can also withdraw and refile the cite if I am off the mark enough ( one time) even if you already pled not guilty.
    Last edited by mcsap; 11-08-11 at 08:00 AM.
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  12. #12
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsap View Post
    You would have a tough time arguing that these two charges are so different that you aren't prepared to defend yourself. I would have a tough time adding a completely new and different charge and claiming the opposite.

    I can also withdraw and refile the cite if I am off the mark enough ( one time) even if you already pled not guilty.
    With that said, do you think I would have a chance with the no-pass argument? The main statute for passing defines the act of passing as "overtaking a vehicle proceeding in the same direction." Proceeding implies movement and since the bus was stopped with its yellow lights flashing I can't be punished under any "passing" statute.

    I'm I too far off the mark here? If it was you how would you interpret/enforce the law?

    The only response I can foresee from the judge is "proceeding in the same direction" doesn't necessarily have to imply movement, it can instead imply movement AND the intent to move.

    Thank you everyone

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbp727 View Post
    With that said, do you think I would have a chance with the no-pass argument? The main statute for passing defines the act of passing as "overtaking a vehicle proceeding in the same direction." Proceeding implies movement and since the bus was stopped with its yellow lights flashing I can't be punished under any "passing" statute.

    I'm I too far off the mark here? If it was you how would you interpret/enforce the law?

    The only response I can foresee from the judge is "proceeding in the same direction" doesn't necessarily have to imply movement, it can instead imply movement AND the intent to move.

    Thank you everyone
    If you look closer it is possible in the FL vehicle code defines "proceeding" but it may not. To be honest I never had a situation where I needed to check ours and I don't remember from the academy.
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  14. #14
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    I wont try to give you advice on how to beat a ticket. I will give you advice on how we prosecute them. How a police officer presents a violation and how the testimony is interpreted is up to the judge.
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  15. #15
    mbp727 is offline Junior Member mbp727 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsap View Post
    I wont try to give you advice on how to beat a ticket. I will give you advice on how we prosecute them. How a police officer presents a violation and how the testimony is interpreted is up to the judge.
    I was asking how you would have issued (if you would have at all) a citation in the described situation.

    On a side note, the law pertaining to lane-sharing is referring to motorcycles, not mopeds (49cc scooter- what I was operating) therefore it cannot be amended to this statute.

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