Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > North America

North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 22 Jun 2007
MikeS's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KL, Malaysia
Posts: 1,144
Unpaid US ticket- problem for UK citizen?

I somehow managed to recently get a ticket from a Park Ranger in the north rim Grand Canyon campground, Arizona of all places for going through a 'Stop' sign. Anyway, the cop took my passport number in addition to all the usual bike details.

So I was planning on writing to the address on the back of the ticket to contest it, being a daft tourist (why do you have to stop if there is nothing else coming?? How long do you have to stop for while waiting for nothing to drive past etc). The ticket is for $75 so thats quite a big dent in my travel budget.

Anyway, I'm in Utah now and heading up to Canada next via the Rockies, then Alaska so does anybody know what the likely ramifiactions would be if I just ignore it?
__________________
Mike


www.singapore-scotland.blogspot.com
www.argentina-alaska.blogspot.com
My little Vid: India/Pakistan

BMW R1150GS
Suzuki DR650 SE: Ride it like ya stole it. Oh, somebody just did...
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 22 Jun 2007
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 563
The easy thing to do is to go to the court house listed on the ticket and try and negotiate it down. But now that you are gone the easiest thing is to pay it.
They will not hunt you down but if you should go back to Arizona and be stopped by the police it will cost you much more than the original ticket.

(Caution sarcasm is turned on)
You will not find many roundabouts in the western US and you must stop at stop signs and red lights. You can not go through the red light because it about to turn green, you must wait until it is green.

Speeding will also get you a ticket and they usually cost more than stop sign tickets. Speeding 20 MPH over the speed limit will cost you a lot and may have a must appear in court summons. Over 100 MPH they may take you to jail.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 22 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 862
Mike:

Considering the way the Americans are now, what with all the data collection for the Patriot Act, the no-fly list, and all that stuff, I think it might be best if you just pay the ticket.

Otherwise, next time you visit the USA, go through a passport check, or get stopped by a cop anywhere, the ticket could come back to haunt you.

10 years ago, I would have said 'forget it' - but America is not the same place as it was 10 years ago.

Michael
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 Jun 2007
bobkat's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 101
In the USA, when on a motorcycle, it is not a legal stop unless you put your foot down. And you must do it for all stop signs and red lights. If there is no other traffic you may immediately go again, but you must stop. Now does every American do that, no way, but that is the law.

If you do not pay the ticket, or at least write the court a letter explaining your situation, you probably will NOT get into Alaska. With today's computer systems, and the US's paranoia, they will probably stop you at the border and turn you back as an undesirable.

My suggestion would be to write the court a letter describing who you are, what you're doing, and try to think of a reasonable reason (My bike has a kilometer speedometer and I was looking at the mph speed on my GPS trying to stay in the speed limit and didn't see the sign.) that you can include as to why you didn't stop. Be humble and ask to have the fine reduced or dismissed. (I did that once to a court that was 700 miles from home and got it dismissed, even though I was guilty.) If you have no address for a return letter, tell them, and tell them you will call and check on it on a certain date. Then do it, you will need to know the result for your future plans. The simplest and surest solution would be to pay the ticket. You may have to pay something even if you write to them, but it almost surely will be a reduced amount.

Don't ask the court why you must stop when there is no traffic, the reason is clear, the law says to. They may think you're trying to be funny and American courts seldom have a sense of humor.

I know from experience that in some countries, like Mexico, that the drivers treat stop signs as an optional nuisance, but that doesn't work in the US.

Good Luck and Ride Safe.
__________________

Bob & Kathy
The adventures of Lemonade
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24 Jun 2007
MikeS's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KL, Malaysia
Posts: 1,144
Grrr, I suppose I'll just pay it to keep the peace. You're right about the cops having no sence of humour though, must be specially trained I think.
__________________
Mike


www.singapore-scotland.blogspot.com
www.argentina-alaska.blogspot.com
My little Vid: India/Pakistan

BMW R1150GS
Suzuki DR650 SE: Ride it like ya stole it. Oh, somebody just did...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24 Jun 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Qatar
Posts: 1
Unfortunately, you are correct. Especially Park "Police". I got my last ticket, Crossing a Double Yellow Line, whilst going around a mini-van that was oohing and aahing a buffalo. Seen one buffalo, you pretty much seen them all in my book. The dangerous 20 mile per hour pass (that was my total speed) cost me $150. Unbelievable.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24 Jun 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Nicholasville,Ky.U.S.A.
Posts: 91
Angry tickets

If it helps and I dought it will ,try to think of your tickets as a form of rent. We all have to pay to use stuff. $75 to rent the U.S.A. is a bargain, don't you agree?
The trick now is to avoid paying more than it's worth to you.I have devoped an internal cop radar that when I tune in helps me avoid all but speeding tickets in the last several years. Good luck on your trip and remember to watch your back.
__________________
ride,smile,repeat as nessasary
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 169
In 2002 I got a speeding ticket in Northern California which I chose to ignore. In 2006 I returned to the US for another extended trip and this unpaid ticket was always at the back of my mind. I checked up and discovered that such minor misdemenours are statewide only and don't cover the entire country as in the UK. I also passed through customs/immigration with all of the extensive checks there are these days when entering the US and nothing cropped up. During my three month, 15,000 ride around the US, I wasn't stopped. So it's up to you. Should you return to AZ in the future, the risk is there should you get stopped again.

As for failing to stop at a Stop sign, I couldn't see the logic of that either. If there was a Stop sign at a junction in the middle of the Mojave Desert, for instance, and you had a perfect view for a mile in any direction, what is the commonsense in having to stop? Again I was lucky there. When leaving Los Angeles early one morning, the low sun caused me to miss at least three Stop signs. Fortunately there was almost no traffic around in the suburbs and no Police either.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26 Jun 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Norwich,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
I somehow managed to recently get a ticket..... (why do you have to stop if there is nothing else coming?? How long do you have to stop for while waiting for nothing to drive past etc).
Paul, Paul, Paul....
STOP means.... STOP !,
I know, in Europe there are fewer stop signs and mostly Yield signs and the rules of priority to vehicles coming from the right ... unless you are on a road with priority. Stopping is optional. And crashes are common.
This side of the pond crashes are , sadly , no less uncommon. But the rule on STOP signs is ironclad. - Red octagon Stop sign , you come to a full 100% standstill, look both ways to check traffic or if if there is any and only then proceed if it is safe. You only need to stop for a second or two to do this, doesn't delay you at all.
I have a personal experience with this from the wrong side- some woman in a van decided that she was special , hauling a bunch of kids around so she decided she did not need to stop and drove right in front of me on my XL600. Sent me flying after I clipped the rear end of her Dodge. Lucky for me m body didn't make contact with it and I just wound up down the road with a bunch of scrapes and a gashed knee.
STOP STOP STOP.!!!!
There are far too many people ignoring stop signs and every day the papers cary stories about them killing other innocent drivers. If they want to kill themselves I say let them , but dont kill others.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 169
Sjoerd

Please read my second paragraph again. IF, and I said IF, there are perfect views in all directions, it's simply not logical to stop even if the sign tells you to. I'm not talking about a situation whereby you take a risk and put someones life in danger. You say stop means stop, but if it's perfectly clear that everything is safe, I ride on. After forty years in the saddle and twenty years in the local constabulary, it seems to work for me.

Paul
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26 Jun 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Norwich,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 769
No offence intended Paul, my little rant was just feulled by a flasback, I threw some cold water in my face and everything was back to normal and I went at my work. Now , at coffee break I can explicate a bit more.
I agree there are too many stop signs in North America and it is getting worse because people see the placement of Stop signs as a "traffic calming " measure in cities and suburbs. All over the US and CAnada there are too many four way stops put in , with the result that drivers speed more between to make up time. Also all the new shopping plazas plop Stop signs willy nilly over their parking lot lanes where highway traffic laws are not in effect.. The result is devaluation of the Stop sign's meaning . People now see is as an optional decision.
Then on the higways they make this sloppy decision and kill someone else, and the standard excuse is always ...I didn't see him. Add too the fact that incredibly many drivers are not really fit to be on the road and distracted by talking on cell phones, eatin g and drinking behind the wheel.Most of them over here use automatic transmissions and it is sooooo easy for them to just bump the brake pedal a bit to change speed down, glance sideways maybe and let off, the cars never stop.You as a policeman will have sharp observational skills drilled in but most drivers are not alert.
Any day now I expect to read a news report where a driver accused of crashing into another vehicle after running a Stop sign will claim he is innocent because he was watching his GPS hi-def video screen for the route he was following and on screen it informed him there was no traffic worth stoppng for.
As motorcyclists we will always be on the losing end in such collisions. Sadly I am seeing increasing numbers of motorcyclists ignoring Stop
signs too, have actually had to take evasive moves on my bike to avoid one. They are transferring their sloppy car habits to their bike riding.
All the best and ride safe.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26 Jun 2007
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 563
Talking

In the case of MikeS not stopping at the stop sign, it was not safe, there was someone there. The policeman.

Last edited by John Ferris; 26 Jun 2007 at 18:49.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 26 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 169
Sjoerd
No offense taken. You live over there so see incidents regularly, no doubt, and I was just a visitor. Incidentally, as a Brit and a retired bobby, there are some strange (to me) laws in the US. Filtering (or lane splitting) we've already mentioned. This is accepted everywhere over here although the speed some riders filter at is mind bogglingly stupid and dangerous. Helmet wearing is compulsory here yet many US states don't require them. Some states don't even require riders to have insurance, nor any basic training or L-plates. Amazing. Imagine a 16yr old going out on a powerful sports bike, yet having no training or experience. For the ultimate in danger, I've just come back from the Isle of Man TT Races. The place was filled with German sports bike riders going hell for leather over the Mountain - and these were just the fans!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 28 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Narramore View Post
IF, and I said IF, there are perfect views in all directions, it's simply not logical to stop even if the sign tells you to. I'm not talking about a situation whereby you take a risk and put someones life in danger. You say stop means stop, but if it's perfectly clear that everything is safe, I ride on. After forty years in the saddle and twenty years in the local constabulary, it seems to work for me.
Hi Paul:

What you say makes perfect sense to you, because it reflects the commonly held beliefs of the country that you live in and the country that you served as a police constable. However, despite the fact that I agree entirely with the logic of your statement, that ain't how it works in North America (both Canada and the USA). If you are driving across the middle of no-where at 0300 in the morning on Christmas Day, not a soul on the road anywhere, and there is a stop sign, you are expected to stop at it. If you fail to stop and a policeman sees you, he will give you a ticket because (according to the norms of North America), you are breaking the law and showing disrespect for the traffic rules.

Even the most thoughtful, most well-educated, and most philosophical policeman would (at a minimum) stop you and say 'Hey, buddy, you and I both know there is not a soul around, but stop means stop, it's non-negotiable, so don't do that again, OK?'

Different countries, different norms. Fully 90% of the stop signs in North America are totally un-necessary - they could be replaced with yield signs - but the norms of the cultures are such that if the sign says stop, you are expected to stop.

If I haven't quite explained this well to this point, consider this example: As you know from your time in Canada and the USA, it's perfectly acceptable to pass on the right (kerbside) of other traffic on a multi-lane roadway - everyone does it all the time. I mean, if someone is loafing in the farside lane, but the nearside lane is clear, you just change lanes and pass them on the kerbside. Now, if I were to do that in the UK, would I be stopped by the police? You bet I would. And if I explained my perfect logic to the policeman as follows: "The other guy was loafing in the farside lane, and the nearside lane was empty, so I just passed on the nearside - makes perfect sense", do you think the policeman would agree with me? Not bloody likely.

Michael
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28 Jun 2007
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 169
If I haven't quite explained this well to this point, consider this example: As you know from your time in Canada and the USA, it's perfectly acceptable to pass on the right (kerbside) of other traffic on a multi-lane roadway - everyone does it all the time. I mean, if someone is loafing in the farside lane, but the nearside lane is clear, you just change lanes and pass them on the kerbside. Now, if I were to do that in the UK, would I be stopped by the police? You bet I would. And if I explained my perfect logic to the policeman as follows: "The other guy was loafing in the farside lane, and the nearside lane was empty, so I just passed on the nearside - makes perfect sense", do you think the policeman would agree with me? Not bloody likely.

Michael
We call it 'undertaking' here and it's not illegal. I do it a lot on motorways when someone is hogging the central lane. It only becomes an offence if it's done in a dangerous manner.
As for your earlier example all I can say is that if logic suggests that it's daft to come to a complete stop when it's not necessary, such as in the middle of nowhere with clear views in all directions, we don't. I can think of one exception and that is crossing over solid white lines in the middle of the road, one of my former favourite ticketing offences. These are put there to keep opposing traffic apart and to me are 'set in stone'.
We've not heard much from you lately in 'the other place'.
Regards
Paul
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
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 Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
XTZ 660 Tenere '94 cold start problem Ivchxtz660 Yamaha Tech 16 12 Jan 2008 22:15
Extra passport pages - no problem or big problem? jj Trip Paperwork 8 15 Dec 2006 08:27
1150 GSA problem Thermal BMW Tech 10 29 Jul 2006 20:15
One way ticket to Singapore- a problem? llanelli Trip Paperwork 2 31 Oct 2003 23:27
Portsmouth - Bilbao ticket For Sale t0by Route Planning 1 24 Sep 2003 19:51

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:21.