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7/28/2005
Kansas: Police Ticket Drivers for Disobeying Hidden Sign
Lawrence, Kansas officials admit they might be wrong to ticket people for disobeying confusing and hard-to-see signs.

Lawrence, KS police officer
Earlier this week, police in Lawrence, Kansas issued dozens of $102 tickets to motorists who failed to obey signs diverting traffic around a construction project at Seventh and Massachusetts. The problem? The signs were both hard to see and confusing. A "road closed" sign set quite low to the ground was meant to stop eastbound traffic of Massachusetts, but drivers saw freely flowing westbound traffic on the street and assumed it was open. Police gave tickets instead of warnings, regardless of whether motorists could see or understand the signs.

After several drivers complained about the tickets, City Manager Mike Wildgen admitted the error to the Lawrence Journal-World: "We probably should have had a little better understanding of what was going on down there." Wildgen added that "many" of the citations would be dismissed. Police blamed the construction company.

Article Excerpt:
Mary Gordon, 62, said she was surprised when she received a $102 traffic ticket Wednesday. "I did not willfully disobey the law," she said. "I was confused in Lawrence."
Source: Oops! City issues tickets, then admits road signs were not fairly placed (Lawrence, KS Journal-World, 7/28/2005)



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