Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Expensive U-Turn

They say bikes get in the way of traffic

Have you ever made an illegal u-turn without realizing it?  Perhaps you didn't notice the posted sign,  but your passenger sure did, and loudly called it to your attention!

Have you ever scoped out the area for cops before intentionally making that u-turn anyway?  Be honest!  I'll bet at least 90-percent of you have!

 I have....once or twice over the years. Like most of You I got away with it....but, I wouldn't recommend making a habit of it. These days there are lots of camera's out there filling in for police, and the tickets you get in the mail are just as expensive. It's also dangerous!

This brings to mind two personal experiences on the road.  The first happened last year in Fremont, California.  I was cited for what I considered a bogus grid-lock violation at the Southland Mall on Mowry Avenue.

 I took the ticket to court and won when the cop never showed, but before that I watched several other cases fail miserably. Most were photo traffic citations caught on video cameras!  The judge actually called each driver up to his bench, and had them watch their violation play-out....right there on his computer monitor!  

They had little or no room to argue, against something much tougher that any citing police officer. I also noted a good many illegal u-turn cases.  I'll bet each driver THOUGHT they'd gotten away with it...but didn't!

The other personal event happened today in Santa Clara.  I was westbound on Lafayette Street waiting for a green light where it intersects at El Camino Real. To my right was a motorcycle cop also waiting to cross sorthbound.

Directly across from me was a lady who made a poor decision.  When our signal turned green she decided to cross the double-yellow line in front of the light,  and make a forced u-turn.  Sure enough she stranded herself illegally against the curb blocking me and two lanes of  traffic.

I cautiously eased forward while glancing toward to cop to my right, and we both shook our heads.  He quickly cracked a smile, cut in front of me and flashed his red lights to pull her over. 

My point is, either way you may want to try it....don't do it again unless it's legal, especially in front of motorcycle police, and more specifically in Fremont, Newark and Campbell, California where most photo ticketing occurs.

 Even if you're in a hurry, take the time to make it legal, safe and,  less expensive!

Thanks, and take it easy out there on the road!


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