Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > Speed Trap & Traffic Enforcement > Economics & Politics
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:

Economics & Politics Discussion of the economic and political market driving factors of automated enforcement technology.

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2009-05-07
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation West Virginia Supreme Court: Turn Signal Optional On Empty Road

Article: West Virginia Supreme Court: Turn Signal Optional On Empty Road

Justice Menis KetchumPolice in West Virginia may no longer issue tickets to motorists for failure to signal without also showing another vehicle may have been affected by the maneuver, according to a ruling issued Monday by the state supreme court. Justices took up the issue in the context of a June 25, 2006 traffic stop in which West Virginia State Trooper C.T. Kessel pulled over Chad R. Clower on US 50 in the city of Romney.

According to Kessel, the road was deserted that night when he saw Clower's car two full city blocks ahead. After Clower made a right-hand turn without signaling, Kessel pounced. At the time, Clower was neither speeding nor weaving and Kessel had noted nothing unusual about the man's driving beyond the lack of a signal. In the course of the stop, however, Kessel noticed that Clower's eyes were "glassy" and he immediately suspected the man had been driving under the influence of alcohol.

Clower, in fact, has a glass eye. But because he blew .18 on a breathalyzer, Clower was charged with DUI and the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended his license. Clower appealed and the high court limited itself to considering only the question of whether Kessel was justified in initiating the traffic stop that night. The DMV argued that the law is the law and no exception is made in the turn signal statute for turns made on deserted roads.

"Any stop or turn signal when required herein shall be given either by means of the hand and arm or by a signal lamp or lamps or mechanical signal device," the code under which Clower was charged, 17C-8-9, states.

Clower countered that the signal law must be read within the context of another provision covering turns which does allow for exceptions.

"No person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided in the event any other traffic may be affected by such movement," West Virginia Code 17C-8-8(a) states.

The supreme court agreed that this provision must be read in combination with the signal statute.

"It is clear that the legislature sought to require a motorist to warn others of the motorist's intent to make a turn," Justice Menis E. Ketchum wrote for the court. "It is equally clear that the legislature understood that in some situations a turn signal would serve no purpose and the legislature specifically defined such a situation as being when 'no other traffic may be affected by the movement.' A clear example this latter situation is where a driver is on an isolated country road, with no other cars or pedestrians in sight, and the driver turns at an intersection without using a turn signal. A driver in such an example clearly would not have violated W.Va. Code, 17C-8-9 as there was no other person who could have benefited from a turn signal."

Since the trooper had been at least a block away by the time that the turn was completed, the court found that there was no way that the trooper could have been affected either by the turn itself or the lack of a signal. For that reason, the court found no crime had been committed and the trooper had no business pulling over Clower.

A copy of the decision is available in a 60k PDF file at the source link below. Source
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Minnesota Supreme Court Orders Access to Breathalyzer Source Code NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-05-04 20:02
Victoria, Australia Supreme Court Sets Up Toll Road Showdown NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-04-08 09:33
California Supreme Court to Review Red Light Cameras NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-09-28 11:30
Iowa Supreme Court Saves Photo Ticketing Program NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2008-08-29 21:42
Trial By Declaration: Fight A Traffic Ticket Without Going To Court NMA Reporter NMA Articles 0 2008-05-17 19:37

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 21:19.

©2019 SpeedTrapHunter