Q: I was ticketed in Virginia for failing to signal while driving on an empty road. What can I do?

A: This is the traffic equivalent of the old philosophical question, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” Specifically, is it legally incumbent on a motorist to signal a turn, or stop at a stop sign, if he's driving on a completely empty street or highway?

There is one major flaw in logic with this scenario: It's only possible to be ticketed for failing to signal if there's a police officer in the vicinity to notice this violation, which means the street isn’t truly empty. (Yes, some busy intersections in Virginia are equipped with video cameras, but these intersections are unlikely to be completely deserted, no matter what time of the day or night.) Further, the officer doesn't have to be traveling directly behind you on the road. He could be parked out of sight or around the corner and can catch your failure to signal from that vantage point.

Whatever the circumstances of your infraction, judges and district attorneys in the state of Virginia have better things to do than hound motorists who are caught flouting traffic laws on empty streets. At the very least, your “failure to signal” charge should not rise to the standard of reckless driving. Being convicted of a reckless driving charge in Virginia can result in thousands of dollars in fines, the addition of six points to your driving record, and potential jail time.

Only an experienced Virginia traffic attorney—like one from the law firm of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC — can tell you for sure, but it may be possible to have your ticket thrown out entirely if it can be shown that you were the only person on the road. Call 888-783-9701 today for a free consultation.