1. #1
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    Passing on the shoulder?

    Ok - so I just want to get some opinions on this. My fiancee was pulled over last weekend and cited for "driving on the shoulder to pass another vehicle."

    Here's what happened, obviously from our POV. She was driving down a road with a county sheriff behind her. She came to wide intersection with a stoplight. The light was red and one car was in front of her (and halfway over the intersection line. There was plenty of room on the road to pull up to the light and make a complete stop and then continue with a right turn onto the intersecting road. The road was such that there was a gravel shoulder to the right with a very large pothole/puddle.

    Immediately after making the right turn, the officer pulled her over and wrote her a ticket ($75.00!!) for using the shoulder to pass another vehicle. She stated that my fiancee drove over the road line and onto the shoulder to pass the stopped vehicle. I cannot argue that she did not go over the line, as I was not there, but I can argue that an inch from where the line would have been, there was the gravel shoulder/pothole. I say "would have been" because the line was not there. It ended about 30 feet before the intersection from what I assume was wear and tear.

    Do any of you think that this sheriff was a bit overzealous? I immediately went out and photographed the intersection as well as her car to show that she hadn't gone through the puddle and driven on the shoulder. I photographed the ground showing no tire marks whatsoever and the fact that there's no line present. She just bought a brand new 09 corolla and wouldn't dare get it dirty, much less drive through a large pothole and potentially damage the car. She also wouldn't do something illegal with a sheriff following her (well, I hope she wouldn't!)

    The vehicle code citation stated that a vehicle cannot use the shoulder to pass another vehicle - but in this situation, it seems as if she did not.

    I told her that I think she should go to court and fight the ticket because it seems ridiculous to me. Again, I was not there, but based on the evidence that I photographed, it seems like she would have a good chance at winning.

    Any advice from any of you? This is the first time I have come across anything as ludicrous as this, and if she were in the wrong, I'd be the first to tell her to pay the fine, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your advice - sorry so long winded!

  2. #2
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    If her wheels crossed over the right solid white (fog) line in order to get around the vehicle in front of her, then she is guilty of using the shoulder. Doing it in front of a marked patrol unit may be slightly asking for a citation, that of which she received. Would I have cited? Probably not, but that's not to say others would not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    If her wheels crossed over the right solid white (fog) line in order to get around the vehicle in front of her, then she is guilty of using the shoulder. Doing it in front of a marked patrol unit may be slightly asking for a citation, that of which she received. Would I have cited? Probably not, but that's not to say others would not.
    Thanks for your reply - If that was the case, I would agree with the sheriff as she has every right to enforce the law, no matter how minor it may seem. But in this example, the line was not there and the citation was written for "using the shoulder" not crossing the solid white fog line - or does that constitute the same thing? Can the law be enforced if there is no line and no possibility of driving on the shoulder due to road hazard?

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    In Ca, the vehilce code section 21755 cvc a driver may overtake and pass another veh upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main travelled portion of the roadway.
    I do not know the traffic laws from IL, but your first step is to research the section the deputy used and see if it applied to your fiancee. Also remember you are only hearing one side of the story. good luck

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheeldep View Post
    In Ca, the vehilce code section 21755 cvc a driver may overtake and pass another veh upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main travelled portion of the roadway.
    I do not know the traffic laws from IL, but your first step is to research the section the deputy used and see if it applied to your fiancee. Also remember you are only hearing one side of the story. good luck
    I'm pretty sure the law is the same for TN regarding shoulders. There does not necessarily need to be a white line.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    I stop people for it usually when they attempt to pass me in my unit and block my field of view on the right. Havent' written anyone but I'm not above doing it. People are too impatient and cause hazards making their own rules of the road.

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    Move to Texas. Passing is allowed on an improved shoulder to avoid an accident and to pass a vehicle that is stopped and is making a left hand turn.
    Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne

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    Again, thank you all for your replies. Ok, so the section of the code is described below. Based on the code and the cited violation, is making a right turn adjacent to a car considered "passing" said car? Or am I looking too much into this?

    I really believe that police do a great and difficult job, but like everyone, they're human and in this instance, I think the sheriff was stretching a bit. Of course, I only have one side of it, but knowing my fiancee, she was probably scared and upset about being pulled over (she's a pretty timid person as it is). I also know that the police don't write the laws, but wow, $75.00 for that just seems excessive! Anyway, just my opinion. Thanks for your replies.

    IVC - 625 ILCS 5, Section 11-709.1

    (a) Vehicles shall be driven on a roadway, and shall only be driven on the shoulder for the purpose of stopping or accelerating from a stop while merging into traffic. It shall be a violation of this Section if while merging into traffic and while on the shoulder, the vehicle passes any other vehicle on the roadway adjacent to it.

    (b) This Section shall not apply to any authorized emergency vehicle, or to any service vehicle while engaged in maintenance of the highway or related work.

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    Here it would have been $123.50 and 3 points on the license. You weren't there, and not to say that your fiance is hiding anything, but I'm sure you aren't getting the whole story either.

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    In Ca it would be $159.00 with an option for traffic school, which is another $39.00 additional court cost and what ever the traffic school charges. Traffic school keeps a point off of your driving record. As I interpret the IL section and apply it to what you stated your fiancee is in violation of the section. Although the other vehicle is negotiating a left turn your fiancee is still passing even if she is negotiating a right turn.

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    I am not going to argue that your finance or the officer is wrong in this case but just as everyone else has stated you are not getting the whole story or at least you are only getting your finance's perception of what happened. I pull people over all the time when they pass me on the shoulder and they always seem to believe that they were never on the shoulder in the first place or that they were on it for only five feet to get around a vehicle when in fact it was closer to 200 feet. Some people’s perception are quite far from the actually truth.

    Most violations for this charge I observe are when people want to enter a right hand turn lane and enter onto the shoulder well before the turn lane begins, which is partly similar to the case you explained.

    If you want more information you could always upload some photos for us. (Not the ones of your car because nobody including a judge is going to care about the fact that your finance didn’t have mud on the vehicle therefore she couldn’t have crossed the fog line.)

  12. #12
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    I stop people for it usually when they attempt to pass me in my unit and block my field of view on the right. Havent' written anyone but I'm not above doing it. People are too impatient and cause hazards making their own rules of the road.
    That explains it pretty clearly I think, I know I've had folk do it here to me, it can interfear with the view of the roadway of the driver who was ahead. Judging from the code section cite you provided, she appears guilty. I am not the judge.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

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    The .40 Dog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoIllini34 View Post
    Again, thank you all for your replies. Ok, so the section of the code is described below.
    (b) This Section shall not apply to any authorized emergency vehicle, or to any service vehicle while engaged in maintenance of the highway or related work.

    I just had a relative beat a similar ticket in another state. It hinged on the definition of "shoulder." Look for that definition and see if she was technically on the shoulder or not. If she was, tell her to pay the fine and not waste a lot of nice people's time and money trying to get a break!

    The trooper that wrote my relative was doing what he thought was right. He learned differently in a court of law. Your fiancee's deputy may be right or wrong.

    AND, it only REALLY matters what the JUDGE thinks the law says!
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

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