I received a traffic ticket for failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I received a traffic ticket for failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle

I was travelling on an interstate driving the speed limit with my cruise control engaged, when a state patrolman came speeding in the right hand lane with his lights blinking. The right lane was closed ahead because of road work. As he approached, which was in a matter of seconds, I pushed on the brakes to disengage my cruise control, however the cruise would not disengage and my car kept speeding ahead. The officer pulled in front of me to pull me over, but the breaks would still not disengage. I swerved into the center meridian to avoid striking the police car. He again raced ahead of me and the same sequence replayed I pulled into the center meridian again to avoid crashing into the police car. Finally, upon the third attempt to disengage the cruise with the brakes I was able to stop. This all happened in a matter of 20 seconds, and I was very shook up. I was trying to avoid injuring or possibly killing the officer. He even commented that I must have had my cruise control on. The fine amounts to $171. Can I get the charges dropped if I go to court and will it cost me even more to contest the ticket? I am disabled and my wife and I live off her salary and my disability check.

Asked on July 10, 2018 under General Practice, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It costs you nothing to contest the ticket yourself--but there is no way that hiring a lawyer would be cost effective. So if you can get to the court (you mention that you are disabled) and are not intimidated by representing yourself, you may wish to try. If you do, when you get there, first speak to the prosecutor and explain what happened: the prosecutor may agree to dismiss the case, or possibly to let you plea to something with a lower fine. If the proscutor will not, then you can plead not guitly and put the case before the judge, who *may* find in your favor on the facts you site (the judge as the discretion to rule for you).

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