Legal Question in Traffic Law in Kansas

My husband was involved in a traffic accident yesterday. He drives a semi, and has never had an acccident or even a ticket in 25+ years of driving. He was stopped at a t intersection, he came to a complet stop at the stop sign, the ffross traffic did not have a stop sign. There were other trucks trying to turn left onto the street my husband was turning left off of. They could not make the turn until he turned, the motioned him to go ahead, he looked to his left and the the street was clear he went to make his turn. His trailer was completely loaded and was going less than 5 MPH to make the turn. He had nearly completed his left turn, when a pick up came at a high rate of speed down the street that did not have to stop, she slammed on her breaks, but due to several factors, bald tires, rain and speed she while trying to stop and turn to the right to avoid his semi her truck appeared to hydroplane and slid into the back of my husbands trailer, pinning her truck under the trailer, luckily from all we have heard she is fine, no major injuries and nothing life threatening. Based on the pics taken at the scene, and according to the officers who responded my husband truck was 7/8 turned and only a small portion of his trailer was still in the intersection at the time of impact. According to the officer he had to issue a ticket to my husband for not yeilding the right of way, however my husband intends to fight the ticket in court, due to alos being told by officers that the driver of the pick would be issued several tickets based on the visible evidence at the scene, excessive speed for the conditions, speeding, no seat belt etc. Now here is my question, why wouldthe ticket be issued in the first place to my husband? And secondly is fighting this ticket in court worth the expense of having to go to another town, can he beat it. He is pretty tore up since in his opinion he did nothing wrong and it will affect his driving record both personally and with DOT. Thanks!

Asked on 10/27/11, 9:48 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Smith LawSmith

The decision whether to defend a traffic charge is always a balancing act. The cost to defend is often more than the cost of just paying the ticket. That has to also be compared (such as in your husband's case) the other results of being found guilty.

As you pointed out, a failure to yield conviction could affect his DOT status, commercial driver's license, as well as his insurance premiums. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to see if the ticket can be amended to a nonmoving violation. Since he has a clean record and apparently had insurnce coverage, an amended plea may be possible. The fine for the amended charge is often more than the original ticket. Pleading to a nonmoving violation may lessen or prevent the the consequences described above. If you email me information, I may be able to refer an attorney. I need to know; where the accident occurred, who issued the ticket (City officer, Sheriff's deputy, or Kansas State Trooper), and what court the case is in ( i.e. Such and such City or County)

Good luck

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Answered on 10/27/11, 12:00 pm

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