Possible Defenses to a Stop Light or Stop Sign Traffic Citation
In South Carolina, drivers must bring their vehicle to a complete halt when a stoplight turns red or when they reach a stop sign. Otherwise, they can be ticketed and fined for this offense. However, drivers who believe they were wrongly fined for running a red light or stop sign may be able to use several defenses in a court of law.
The Officer Failed to See the Stop Clearly
In some cases, law enforcement officials will park in an area where they can see a stop sign or a stop light, but they may not be able to see the entire area clearly. When this occurs, drivers may come to a stop a few feet behind the stop sign’s line, and then pull forward into the intersection. When drivers are ticketed for running the stop sign, they may be able to argue that the law enforcement official failed to see the entire situation.
The Stop Light or Stop Sign Could Not be Seen
Local conditions, such as leaves and branches from a nearby tree, can make it difficult to see stop signs until stopping is no longer a safe option. A driver who is pulled over for running a stop sign when it could not clearly be seen may want to take pictures of the surrounding area to use as evidence in his or her case.
The Stop Sign Was Recently Installed
Many drivers travel on the same roads every day as they go to work, school and their other daily activities. For this reason, when a new stoplight or stop sign is installed, it may be difficult to notice the new device. Drivers who are ticketed for running a red stoplight or stop sign may be able to argue that since they were not used to a stopping device being there, they should not be ticketed for failing to stop.
The Line on the Road Was Too Faint to See
Drivers can be fined when they fail to stop before the crosswalk line that exists before a stoplight or stop sign. However, these lines can be difficult to see if they have not been painted in a while. Drivers ticketed for failing to stop before the line at a stop sign or stoplight may be able to use this as a defense.
What to do?
Drivers who are ticketed for running a stop sign or stoplight may wonder if there is any possible defense in their situation. When this occurs, those ticketed for this type of traffic offense may benefit from turning to the legal professionals at the office of Nosal & Jeter, LLP.