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Diesel_Dave 12-08-2011 02:26 PM

Ticketed for hypermiling
I wanted to get folks thoughts on this. I'll start by reviewing the incident while being as objective as I can. I make comments in later posts.

I was going home last night at about 5:45pm on US-31. It's a 4-lane divided non-interstate highway with a posted speed limit of 60 mph. It was dark outside. I looked in my rearview mirror and didnít see any cars behind me and decided to experiment a little with engine off coasting. I accelerated up to about 50 mph and shut the engine off. I kept coasting and coasting (probably about a mile or so). Since there wasnít anyone behind me and I wasnít in a big hurry I decided to milk it for all it was worth and coasted down to about 10 mph or so before restarting and continuing on my way. I resume my normal pulse and glide technique, going from about 28 mph to 45 mph and back, keeping an eye on the cars behind me, and making sure I wasnít holding up anybody too much (allowing them to pass on the left). 5 miles later, a sheriff pulled me over.

He asked why I was going so slow. I told him I just wasnít in any big hurry. He said that he had just clocked me at 28 mph. He said that some cars behind me had had to step on their brakes and that cars were passing me left and right. He said he had first spotted me back earlier where he said that I came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. I stated that I hadnít completely stopped and he responded that I was going really slow, like 2 mph. He asked if I had been drinking or was on any medication or was diabetic or having trouble seeing. I responded no, I just wasnít in a hurry.
He asked me to get out of the vehicle and he asked me again if I had been drinking. I again responded that I had not, and that I donít drink. He asked me to remove my glasses, which I did, and he administered what I assume was a sobriety test by asking me to follow his pen with my eyes as he moved it around. He then asked me if I would take a portable breathalyzer test. I said, ďSure.Ē I then took the breathalyzer test, and I assume that I passed. He then asked me to get make in my vehicle and wait, which I did. It seemed like I waited for quite a while (I estimate at least 10 minutes) before he came back to the window.

He said he was giving me a warning for doing the 28 mph in a 60 mph zone. I responded that I was not aware that there was a minimum speed limit. He responded that there was and that for a road like US-31 that has a 60 mph speed limit the minimum speed limit is 45 mph. He said interstates also have minimum speed limits and quoted the number, which I do not remember. He said county roads donít have a minimum. I gain responded that I was not aware of that. The written warning was for Indiana Code 9-21-5-8.5 (shown below).


IC 9-21-5-8.5
Low speed vehicles

Sec. 8.5. A person may not drive a low speed vehicle on a highway that has a speed limit in excess of thirty-five (35) miles per hour.
As added by P.L.21-2003, SEC.8.
He then said that he was giving me a ticket for the earlier incident in which he said I had come to a complete stop in the middle of the road. That ticket was for Indiana Code 9-21-8-24(1) (shown below).


IC 9-21-8-24
Slowing down, turning from a direct course, and changing lanes; performance with reasonable safety; signal
Sec. 24. A person may not:
(1) slow down or stop a vehicle;
(2) turn a vehicle from a direct course upon a highway; or
(3) change from one (1) traffic lane to another;
unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety. Before making a movement described in this section, a person shall give a clearly audible signal by sounding the horn if any pedestrian may be affected by the movement and give an appropriate stop or turn signal in the manner provided in sections 27 through 28 of this chapter if any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.
Both the warning and the ticket show my speed as 28 mph.

The fine is $118.50 and there is a court date of March 7.

Daox 12-08-2011 02:51 PM

The warning looks like total BS to me. Your truck isn't a low speed vehicle so it has nothing to do with that law. Sounds like he couldn't back up that minimum speed limit law. This is probably why its only a warning.

The ticket I think is justifable. He doesn't know that you're paying that close of attention to traffic and taking advantage of things when you've determined its safe. Obviously others are not paying close enough attention as they had to brake (that is no surprise though). Hes just trying to keep everyone safe which is understandable albeit a bit annoying since your driving techniques are not the norm and you are watching out for other drivers.

joejoe317 12-08-2011 02:58 PM

I guess we would need to just break it down to something simple.

were you breaking the law?

Did you actually stop on the road?

Did he write you the correct ticket?
I'm not sure. It doesn't make sense you will get a ticket for stopping in the middle of the road when the "ticket" says 28.

Also you stated that there was no traffic. The way you explained what he said was.... at least to me... There was mad traffic dodging and weaving around you consistently..

Cops and law enforcement always try and catch people by inconsistencies. I don't see why you can't do the same for your defense.

Also, state just like you stated. I am a very big enthusiast on "aerodynamics" and how it plays on "gas mileage." I would show them that you are serious by showing your work and or mods. This may not fly, but I really don't see what other options you may have.

My special friend is a court clerk, so I hear peoples stories a lot. I will ask her later for any tips etc...

Did you know that there are so many laws that not even the law enforcement themselves knows this.

Live and learn, In my job line I am always more lenient towards people who admit they messed up, and then structure what they will do in the future to make sure it never happens again.

The same goes with a tail light. If you get a ticket for a broken one, and you fix it before court, the judge usually tosses the ticket (haven't heard of one where this hasn't happened.)

In your case, technically nothing is broken, Other peoples concepts of stretching your mpg may be . What is "broken" in your case is that you didn't know that the "MINIMUM" speed... (not posted anywhere btw)...

How are you going to fix this?
By not going under the minimum speed.

Always back up with you have to say with reason, or else it turns into I said/he said.... COPS ALWAYS WIN THOSE!


On a side note.... $108!!!!

There are 2 ways of thinking of this....

Most tickets are way more....


Imagine how much more aerodynamic my car can be for $108!!!!!


Diesel_Dave 12-08-2011 03:30 PM

Here's my thinking.

The minimum speed limit thing as fas as I can tell is total BS. I read through the Indiana code on speed limits and no such mention of unposted minium speed limits are mentioned. If there is such an animal I don't know where to find it. If somebody can show me where it is in the law, I'll back down.

Doax is right about the "low speed vehicle" thing. There's a difference between a "low speed vehicle" and a vehicle traveling at low speed. Based on what I found, "low speed vehicle" is a term used to describe a class of vehicles such as farm tractors, gold carts, etc. which are incapable of high speeds.

At this point, I'm not sure I did break the other law. It reads,


A person may not...slow down or stop a vehicle...unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety.
With regard to the first incident (the "stopping"), if there's no one behind me how can that not be considered "reasonably safe"? That incident is the one he said the ticket was for (not the going 28 in a 60).

I did find another section of the law which may be applicable:


IC 9-21-5-7
Reduction of speed; impeding normal and reasonable movement; right-of-way to other vehicles

Sec. 7. A person may not drive a motor vehicle at a slow speed that impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law. A person who is driving at a slow speed so that three (3) or more other vehicles are blocked and cannot pass on the left around the vehicle shall give right-of-way to the other vehicles by pulling off to the right of the right lane at the earliest reasonable opportunity and allowing the blocked vehicles to pass.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9.
I don't know as this is relavant at all, since I wasn't cited for it but let's go with it anyway. I could see where it's arguable if I was cited for this. In my book I'm not "impeding or blocking" the normal and reasonable movement of traffic if the left lane is clear and people can pass me easily.

SentraSE-R 12-08-2011 03:33 PM

Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is no excuse. From what I've seen and heard, most jurisdictions prefer not to try cases. They often have a pre-trial conference with you and a screener, whose job is to try to get you to agree to a plea bargain. If that's the case, it's your best bet to get the charges reduced. The question is, what could they reduce them to, to satisfy both you and the state? You're already getting off very lightly - so much so, it may not be worth your time to take the time off from work to go to court.

If you do go to court, your best bet is the officer won't show, and the charges wil be dismissed. Otherwise, it's all downhill from there.

joejoe317 12-08-2011 03:34 PM


A person may not...slow down or stop a vehicle...unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety.
With regard to the first incident (the "stopping"), if there's no one behind me how can that not be considered "reasonably safe"? That incident is the one he said the ticket was for (not the going 28 in a 60).
Wouldn't this go against what the cop told you?

cars behind me had had to step on their brakes and that cars were passing me left and right

Diesel_Dave 12-08-2011 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by joejoe317 (Post 273777)
Wouldn't this go against what the cop told you?

No, he said the ticket was for the stopping and the warning was for the 28 in a 60.

joejoe317 12-08-2011 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by SentraSE-R (Post 273776)
If you do go to court, your best bet is the officer won't show, and the charges wil be dismissed. Otherwise, it's all downhill from there.

I think he has a shot.. If there is nothing stating what the cop said of 45mph, this can be pointed out.

There is right and wrong, then there is breaking the law.

If he can prove he did not break the law, then he does not deserve a ticket for
"breaking the law."

I would only go this rout if you are 100% sure that this is the case...

nothing worst then thinking of a defense, then getting it shoved back in your face.

At this point, if he chooses to plead not guilty, he can only prepare until march.

Once I got a seatbelt ticket, and i was not wearing my lap belt. I fought it, came up with a consistent story and stuck with it.

The ticket was dismissed, even with the officer present.

And the reason was.... THE COP WAS INCONSISTENT, where I was very detail oriented on what was said and what happened.

I filtered out what I didn't want the judge to know, and called it a day.

Diesel_Dave 12-08-2011 03:55 PM

I'm not interested in making up any stories to get out of a ticket. I have a very high regard for law officers and I also believe in being honest. What I am saying is, based on my current understanding, I did not break the law.

If he wants to claim that my "stopping" was in violation of IC 9-21-8-24(1), I believe I'm on firm ground that I am definitely not, because there was no one behind me and therefore my action was reasonably safe. The only thing I could see is if he wanted to argue that the 28 in a 60 was a violation of IC 9-21-8-24(1) (which is not what he said at the scene). If that were the case then I guess it's a matter of my opinion against his as to whether the 28 in a 60 constituted a "slow down that is not reasonably safe".

I'm hesitant to say something negative against a law officer, but I'm wondering if he saw me, was sure he'd caught a drunk and then when I wasn't he was like, "Something is fishy here. He was doing something. I need to get him for something."

SentraSE-R 12-08-2011 03:58 PM

28 in a 60 mph zone is breaking the law, let alone 10, or 2 mph. I don't see any argument that will convince a judge that Diesel Dave wasn't breaking the law. Best bet there is to admit it, and promise not to do it again, but why waste the officer's, prosecuting attorney's, and judge's time to tell them that?

I don't think your safety argument will fly, Dave. By the time your nearly stopped vehicle appears in someone's headlights, you're an immediate danger to them.

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