Written by Gregory Monte.
Is Los Angeles, CA acting in violation of the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) in the wake of the corona virus?
“Traffic signals across the city have been indefinitely put on ‘nighttime mode,” which allow them to operate independently to serve cars as they arrive, instead of coordinating automatically to ease traffic congestion … This will prevent drivers from speeding through consecutive intersections without any red lights stopping them.”
Section 4B.2 of the MUTCD details the advantages and disadvantages of traffic control signals. Nowhere in that section is speed control mentioned. Instead, these devices are meant to …
“… assign the right-of-way to the various traffic movements and thereby profoundly influence traffic flow.”
Specifically, this means that:
– They provide for the orderly movement of traffic.
– They increase the traffic-handling capacity of the intersection.
– They reduce the frequency and severity of certain types of crashes, especially right-angle collisions.
– They are coordinated to provide for continuous or nearly continuous movement of traffic at a definite speed along a given route under favorable conditions.
– They are used to interrupt heavy traffic at intervals to permit other traffic, vehicular or pedestrian, to cross.
Notice that the fourth point (which I bolded and underlined) recommends the use of traffic control signals for “continuous or nearly continuous movement of traffic.” This is the opposite of what Los Angeles is doing.
As for the disadvantages listed in the MUTCD, it appears that Los Angeles is guilty of using traffic control signals in an “improper or unjustified” manner which will potentially result in each of the following results:
– Excessive delay,
– Excessive disobedience of the signal indications,
– Increased use of less adequate routes as road users attempt to avoid the traffic control signals, and
– Significant increases in the frequency of collisions (especially rear-end collisions).
The Basic Speeding Ticket Defense
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This is a seven-page, detailed explanation of my three-step method for challenging any traffic ticket. I use the “Driving at a Safe Speed” statute from Pennsylvania to illustrate this method, but it can be applied to any other statute that you might be cited for in the vehicle code.
In addition, no matter what state you live in, the procedure is the same: you need to understand the statute you allegedly violated, look for technicalities in that statute and (most importantly) find case law to support/reveal those technicalities.
The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Defense Strategy in a Nutshell.
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My Son’s Opening Trial Statement at the Court of Common Pleas.
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The Brief – My Son’s Case Brief for the Court of Common Pleas
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- Requested by the President Judge at Wayne County, PA, Court of Common Pleas.
- A highly distilled application of the Pennsylvania Stop Sign Ticket Defense.