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Old 02-07-2009, 03:07 PM   #1
Belgian Waffles OP
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Pulled over for standing on the pegs at high speed

I rode from Portland to Corvallis this morning via I 5. I was riding down with some people who were in a car doing a constant 60mph, so I was getting passed by cars constantly (which I hate, seeing as going with the flow of traffic or slightly faster keeps me much more aware of every car). It was early morning and I was freezing, so after a while I started standing on the pegs (Africa Twin) to change things up and stay aware of the road, as well as put pressure on my hands to warm them up (no heated grips on this bike). After only about 2 miles of standing comes the flashing lights, sirens, the works. I end up getting a police citation for "careless driving" and a $254 fine.

I personally think this is bollocks. How is it careless driving when I stand up on my enduro, do constant head-checks to look behind me, and put nobody in danger. The officer told me I "couldnt handle my bike as well if someone were to merge into me". There was nobody around me. I was checking all sides with head-checks. I wasnt even swerving. And I ALWAYS ride standing up, even on twisty backroads at 45-50 mph sometimes, as I always rode trials when learning to ride. The Africa Twin is a very comfortable bike to stand on, with good control in such a position.

Here is my next concern. I got pulled over because I was riding safely in a manner that people dont often see, so I got fined hundreds of dollars. Now what about the people in cars who drive without care, too fast, and are not concentrated? Say, people who talk on their cell phones while driving. Or crappy drivers to begin with who drive while talking on their cell phone? Why do they not get citations, or even warnings? One out of ten people on the road today had cell phones up to their ear while driving with one hand. Driving and talking on the phone has been proven to be nearly as dangerous as driving while legally intoxicated.

I have a court date to argue my case in march in Woodburn, OR. Unfortunately I am leaving for Europe on monday for 5 years, and I dont know when I will be able to return to push back the court date, and a family member who was a witness might not even be allowed to show up for me. The system doesnt seem to make it very convenient to get out of an overpriced fine...

Any thoughts? Previous experiences?

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Old 02-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Homey
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Your family member can't testify. That is her-say (sp). I had a similar issue years ago. I believe that you can go to the courthouse and request and earlier trial. They should grant your request with your explanation of leaving the country for 5 years. Otherwise you may need to get a lawyer if you want to fight it. You'll have to decide if it is worth it. I would guess that you should be able to beat this in court pretty easily.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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Unless I am mistaken, careless driving is a points offense and normally would be worth fighting as it results in higher insurance premium and (at least here in NJ) results in a higher likelihood of more points and getting to the magical number when a surcharge occurs.

In such situation, I'd hire an attorney to plead the violation down to a non-moving one. Your family witness is worthless - do not even bother; what are they going to say: contradict the officer that you were not standing? Ridiculous as it is, according to law in most states you are not allowed to stand on pegs on public roads. Period. If that is the regulation in your home state, you are in violation, no matter how much sensibility you will try to impart onto the judge. See other threads on ADV on that very subject.

Here on the East Coast, a traffic attorney will charge about $150-$300 to plead on your behalf - a good investment if you'd continue to drive/ride at home.

But in your situation: as you are leaving for 5 years, why do you even bother? No matter what you'd accomplish in court, you are looking at just some reduction in the $$$ fine. Is your time, effort and aggravation worth it?

I'd just bite the bullet, pay the fine and continue packing for the trip. By the time you come back the points will be long gone. And, if you indeed stay in EU for 5 years, you'll need to get a local license there.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
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If it were me wether I leave the country or not, I would not let that "careless driving" ticket stick to my driving record. That's a big ticket for your driving record, unfortunately it will hunt you in the long run.
If you plan on coming back to the US and you have the need to insure anything you'll pay a really big premium for having that ticket on your record.

Just my $0.02
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
kfsinc
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Sounds like a BS ticket to me. This is the kind of stuff that gives cops a bad name. A judgement call -- the wrong one.

Call the prosecutor for the town/county that gave you the ticket. Explain your situation, and the fact that you are going to fight it. He/She may be understanding and may even drop the charges.

I'd also call the commanding officer of the department. He/She most likely won't drop the charges, but you never know. At least get your money's worth by making them work for it.

What's the statute of limitations on traffic tickets in OR??
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:20 PM   #6
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I did not get a ticket but I did get pulled over a few years back for standing on the pegs.

Was about 1/3 of the way into a 1000 mile day from Panama City, FL to OKC and passing thru north Mississippi...middle of night. Podunk cop pulls me over and asked "what was I up to".

Tried explaining that I was just stretching my legs, got a big day of riding...blah, blah, blah. He said that I should not be riding that far in one day but was gonna let me go with a warning...and to keep my butt on the seat.

Sorry to hear you got a rather expensive ticket...and since you're leaving maybe you should just pay it. I'm not sure of the ramifications of not paying it...I seem to remember something about a DHS database of "criminals" who didn't pay for traffic offenses...said "criminals" were here on Visas.

Just something to check into if you are here on a Visa. If not...

f**k 'em.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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call the clerk's office, on the back of the ticket, and ask to speak to the Judge in Chambers at the first availability, as you will be leaving the country. They are happy to dispose of cases early.

Oops, you mean Monday in 2 more days? Go by the courts office first thing monday morning. If you have a clean record, they will most likely drop it. That happened to me once.
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #8
Belgian Waffles OP
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It is, in fact, not illegal to stand on the pegs in OR. The officer said that if I was only doing 30 mph he would have let it go. And I have passed many police at lower speeds who never even looked at me funny.

Thanks for all the advice. Im hoping I can get this lead weight dropped from my sparkling clean record...

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Old 02-07-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
batoutoflahonda
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Motorcycle safety classes tell you stand up to ride over obstacles. Tell them you were just being prepared.

But yeah. I'd just mail the fine in. Just be sure and pay it. Nothing worse than getting arrested later for an unpaid ticket. Now don't get me going on red light cameras!
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
GSjoyride
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this sucks

I asked inmates here how to get cages to back off
from tail gating and they suggested I stand up and
it has worked oh so sweetly.

It will piss me off big time if I get a ticket for doing
it. This needs to change if it is a law, we stand up
off road in changing conditions and we control our
bikes for the most part just fine.

Sounds like the
trooper just saw something out of the element for
him if he'd of let you go going 30....

I say pay this one, unfortunately due to your circum-
stances.

This sucks
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:33 PM   #11
Belgian Waffles OP
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One big problem with paying the fine though, is that this was on my brother's Africa Twin. So wouldnt pleading guilty to this raise his insurance premium? (I wasnt insured on his bike while riding it down to Corvallis for him). I have insurance for myself, but on my KLR, which was left at home for this ride.

BW
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:21 PM   #12
rocker59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Waffles
One big problem with paying the fine though, is that this was on my brother's Africa Twin. So wouldnt pleading guilty to this raise his insurance premium? (I wasnt insured on his bike while riding it down to Corvallis for him). I have insurance for myself, but on my KLR, which was left at home for this ride.

BW
Your drivers license is what the Insurance Companies pull when they pull a driving record to help determine your rate.

It doesn't matter who's vehicle you get your tickets with.

People get moving violation tickets, vehicles don't.
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rocker59 screwed with this post 02-07-2009 at 08:28 PM
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #13
rocker59
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I got a careless driving ticket one time. Pissed me off. I hired an attorney. He got the charge reduced and "held under advisement" which meant nothing on my record. Yes, I still had to pay the fine, court costs and attorney's fees. It was worth it, though...

With the stunters rampaging the streets with standup wheelies, etc., dual sporters have come under increased scrutiny about standing on the pegs.

Some States have language about "sitting on the seat while operating a motorcycle" in thier codes. Something to investigate. Maybe your State's motor vehicle laws are online?

Well, anyway, as others have said, you don't want a "Careless" or "Wreckless" ticket on your record. Hire an attorney or call the DA and see what your options are about getting it reduced to something less...
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:45 PM   #14
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the officer does have a point, you said you were looking...but...You didn't see him did you?

You need to fight that on the grounds that the officer obviously doesn't ride.
anybody with a motocross, trials or dual sport knows how to handle a bike while standing, you should have no trouble tripping the officer up on the stand by asking him to explain how (show him some photos) those riders are controlling thier bikes.

you can argue riding technique, or you could say your rear lost traction, and you rode it out.

next time, make sure you spot him before he spots you eh?

'Dumbdog screwed with this post 02-07-2009 at 08:52 PM
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:44 PM   #15
Sit
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Actually it is illegal to stand on pegs in Oregon

814.200 Unlawful operation of motorcycle or moped; penalty. (1) A person operating a moped or motorcycle commits the offense of unlawful moped or motorcycle operation if the person does any of the following:
(a) Fails to sit on a permanent and regular seat attached to the moped or motorcycle.
(b) Fails to sit astride the moped or motorcycle seat facing forward and with one leg on each side of the moped or motorcycle.
(c) Carries a package, bundle or other article which prevents the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
(2) The offense described in this section, unlawful moped or motorcycle operation, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §686; 1987 c.138 §6]

I would try to appear at the court and plea to this and not the careless, your insurance company will notice the careless ticket, but then again you are going to be gone for 5 years, so I dont know that it will matter.

As for not paying it, you won't get arrested when you return, your license will be suspended though and what ever you are operating will be towed should you get pulled over again.

You can always try to get ahold of the officer, trooper, whatever tomorrow and see if he will amend the cite for abouve violation with the gentleman's agreement that you will just pay it.

No your family can't show up for you, only a lawyer can represent you. Family can show up and testify as a witness to how you were riding, conditions, traffic, etc.


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Sit screwed with this post 02-08-2009 at 09:05 AM
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