A few weeks back a client called and advised that he received a ticket for “Approaching Certain Stationary Vehicles,” in violation of Iowa Code section 321.323A. He paid the citation and now was looking at a DOT notice stating he would be losing his driver’s license for 180 days. The notice stated he was not entitled to an appeal.
Iowa Code section 321.323A requires that when you approach a stationary emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing lights, you must approach with caution and either 1) make a lane change if possible; 2) if a lane change is impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce your speed to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which is less than the speed limit and be prepared to stop.
If a person is convicted of this offense, which resulted in an accident that caused property damage only, the DOT is required to suspend the person’s license for 90 days.
If a person is convicted of this offense, which resulted in an accident that caused bodily injury to another person, the DOT is required to suspend the person’s license for 180 days.
If a person is convicted of this offense, which resulted in an accident that caused death, the DOT is required to suspend the person’s license for one year.
The client’s offense involved an accident that resulted in property damage only. Therefore, the DOT was only authorized to suspend him for 90 days, not the 180 days that was being imposed by the DOT. After talking with the DOT, explaining the Code section, and providing documentation to support that the conviction was only for resulting in property damage, the DOT agreed that 90 days was the appropriate sanction. The DOT advised that their computer program was set up to automatically apply a suspension of 180 days to all violations of this Code section.
If you have been convicted of this offense and have received a notice, it is worth giving GRL Law a call to make sure that your DOT sanction is correct.