Like every human being, police officers aren’t perfect. They make mistakes, just like everyone else. However, when an officer makes a mistake, it can cost others a lot of money — and sometimes, much more. This was the case in July 2017 when a New York driver was ticketed for an improper turn.
The catch? He turned properly.
The driver approached the intersection in the right hand lane. Just as he completed his turn from the proper lane, a police officer appears from between two parked cars. The officer immediately motions to the driver to pull over.
The officer let the driver know why he was pulled over. The driver is told that he “was not in the turning lane,” and that he had turned from the “middle” lane.
The video couldn’t be more clear. The officer couldn’t be more incorrect.
The driver was issued a ticket, which carries points. This ticket can affect his insurance rates and his ability to drive and earn a living.
Fortunately, this driver has video proof that he turned legally. Unfortunately, most drivers will not have video. Even if a driver has a dash cam, it wouldn’t exonerate every driver from every type of ticket.
In this particular case, the video is irrefutable. This driver has correctly refused to pay his ticket and will be fighting it in court.
This video should serve as a reminder to every officer, driver and traffic court judge out there: The officer is NOT always right. Like anyone else, they may incorrectly react to a situation.
Fortunately, as videos like these are showing up more and more in traffic court, judges are starting to realize that mistakes can be made.
No one is accusing officers of purposely writing bad citations. Mistakes happen to everyone, even law enforcement officers.
It’s possible that a ticket written to a driver could be a mistake, such as the result of a bad angle, mixing up different vehicles or some other issue. A ticket may not accurately represent what happened on the road.
Perhaps one solution to this issue is to make sure all officers are wearing body cameras. That way, the footage can be reviewed in court if needed. Think of it like an instant replay during a football game. Action happens fast, and referees make calls based on the limited information they see. But a replay can show the entire unfolding of events, either confirming or overturning the referee’s call. The same could be said of body cameras for police.
Moreover, it may be a good idea to invest in a dash camera for your own car. It may seem like an expensive investment, but in cases like the one in the video, a dash cam could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
If you get a ticket and feel it shouldn’t have been written, you don’t need to admit guilt. You have the option of fighting in court.
If you’d like to discuss fighting a traffic ticket in New York, call the attorneys at Feifer & Greenberg today at 888-842-5384 (888 TICKETHelp) for a free consultation.