Q: Hi! Got a ticket for not stoping at stop sign officer said I didn’t stop for 3 seconds this happened in Carson ca, LA county. I know their is no excuse I did a rolling stop I stoped for probably 2 seconds and kept going. If I pay by mail do I still have to go to court ? I have a clean record first ticket ever. I don’t want a point so I’m willing to do traffic school but just wondering if I have to still go to court ?
A: Did the officer say “three seconds”?
The police will often will cite you for not stopping long enough at a stop sign. However the stop sign code, CVC 22450, does not require you to stop for any specific period of time. It merely requires that a driver actually “stop.”
A “stop” is defined in CVC 587 Stop or Stopping: “Stop or stopping… shall mean any cessation of movement of a vehicle.”
Most officers will state that you should stop for 3-5 seconds, but a “stop” is defined in the vehicle code as “any cessation of movement;” no specific time period is specified. If you stop for a brief moment, the law recognizes this as a stop.
Many cops will site you because they did not see you stop. This is also why they tell you to stop for 3-5 seconds, to give them time to look and verify that you stopped. This is bullshit, obviously. The law clearly states that “any” cessation of mom event constitutes a stop. Cops should only cite you if they see you “not stop.”
Many cops guess that you didn’t stop from their concealed position around the corner at an intersection. Since they know that 80% of drivers do not stop at an uncontested intersection, they will assume that you also did not stop, even if it is impossible to see this from their position. In this way many drivers who do stop are cited based on a false assumption on the officer’s part.