Skip navigation.

Don't get burned: Weird Provo laws

I was talking with some friends last night and one of them told me that he'd gotten a ticket here for accelerating too fast once his stoplight turned green. That reminded me of my roommate freshman year who got an $80 ticket for squealing his tires slightly when accelerating.

Another friend mentioned that her roommate got a ticket for not having the ice completely cleared off of her back window before driving.

All of this got me thinking that ... uh ... now might be a good time to compare notes about things that you can get tickets for unsuspectingly, especially here in Provo where we have such a plethora of carefully thought-out laws governing each minute aspect of our existence.

...Cops?

Mason,

So you sometimes feel like you're being watched by "big brother?" There are a lot of "anon cowards" (and I'm one now to protect myself from these guys) who come on here trying to set us kids straight...and they seem to know big words like "indecent acceleration."

And doesn't it bother you how they call you "Mr. Mason?" Here, let me feign respect before I talk condescendingly to you.

The fact is, I think most of us agree with most laws. Sometimes, we get tickets for things that we don't know are laws because they're obscure, and you have to do quite a bit of reasoning to come to a conclusion as to why they were enacted in the first place.

Then, you've gotta do more reasoning/searching/role playing to figure out why the officer HAS to give a ticket in that situation where the problem could just as easily be prevented by informing the offender that "this and this law" says you have to FULLY clear your back window, accelerate at a speed the city decides is safe, etc, etc.

I got a ticket for not stopping before pulling out of a driveway onto a street. There were no cars coming either direction, I used my blinker, I accelerated at a decent rate, and got nabbed by a copper. He asked me if I knew why. I had no idea. He said it was cause I pulled right out onto the street. I told him I didn't know of such a law. He gave me an $85 ticket.

At first, I thought I'd just pay it and be done with it. Then they told me the price, and I had no choice, it was pay the ticket and part of rent, or pay full rent.

I looked up the code he cited me for, and THE LAW states that you must YIELD, which I did.

So, after 2 hearings (one with the traffic judge and one with a real judge with a cape and a throne), I go to court. When I get there, the city prosecutor tells me "the officer wrote the wrong code on your ticket. It should be this one" and he hands me the book to read.

What do you know- a second part in a completely seperate location in the code that contradicts the code the officer wrote on my ticket. "So, do you just want to plead guilty?"

Idiots. No, I don't want to plead guilty, I want you to stop giving tickets for nit-picky mistakes we all make that don't cause any immediate danger or harm. If you are going to issue a ticket- DO IT CORRECTLY so you quit wasting our time!

I made 3 trips down to Provo to fight that stupid ticket- and they all could have been avoided if the cop would have done his job correctly. You would have had your filthy money, and you wouldn't have wasted over 5 hours of my time, and about an hour of court time (not to mention time to build the stellar case the city prosecutor put up against me)!

I even talked to prosecutors in my home county to see if I was right in fighting the ticket--based on the code cited on my ticket and WHAT I THOUGHT I WAS FIGHTING, they told me I was right.

Well...if the little buggers can find a way to get out of their tickets, let's just put some more stuff in the code, and we'll use that to nail them. There will be so many places to look, they'll never know how to defend themselves, and we'll always have power over them.

Austin v. Provo

I'm willing to bet, based off the fact that Austin, TX is the 16th largest city in the US and that Provo is the 218th in the nation that Austin's city code is more than likely considerably larger than Provo's. I'm just basing this off the fact that Austin has over 200 more square miles of city than Provo.

I'm willing to bet if you cracked the city code of Austin that you'd find some really stupid stuff in it. That's what people in law-making positions do, they think of stupid stuff so that they can put it into the law books to fit their own desires. Some idiot here in Provo probably thought that it would be a good idea for people to have to stop your car from rolling before it started rolling into the street. Go figure.

Has anybody noticed...

The particular number assigned to this article is 666. I just saw that, how very very amusing and appropriate.

I'll make a wild guess that i

I'll make a wild guess that in all cases these people didn't play the cops very well when they came over. If you're polite and respect the police in Provo you can almost always get off. I talked my way out of a ticked for driving with expired plates, forgetting my driver's license, and doing 50 in a 25 mph zone. The cops here really are nice. They just don't like folks to cop and attitude.

Provo Cops

I've had many an opportunity to interact with Provo's finest. A lot of it has to do with throwing large parties that neighbors don't appriciate.

(side note: Back in the day you could never get away with throwing any kind of party without the cops shutting you down. Over the last couple of years Provo Police has really tamed down their aggresive attitude towards parties

This Weird? How so?

"Another friend mentioned that her roommate got a ticket for not having the ice completely cleared off of her back window before driving."

This is not a weird law by any means. A girl just down the road from me was run over by a guy who didn't clear off the frost on his window. He was backing out of his driveway. She was hospitalized for several weeks. That gals roommate deserved her ticket, sorry.

Also, indecent accelleration is illegal in most (if not all) states I believe. And I fail to see what makes that law weird as well. It's a stoplight, not a dragstrip.

Come on now Mr. Mason. I know Provo has it's fair share of goofy laws that fail to keep anyone "safer", but I trust that most of the laws are for the public and your best interest.

Don't get me wrong

over the past 3 three years i've been at BYU, I 've have my unfortunate run ins with Provo police, and been to traffic school a couple times.
Now the Orem police...they are another story. One warm summer's eve, as I was stuck at summer school with my sex-crazed roomate, she and I decided to throw a party. We had music, we had people, we had a pool full of chocolate pudding. Just as the clock struck 11 pm, just as my roomate and I and another girl were about to jump in and wrestle each other half-naked in front of the large group of males, someone called the cops on us. Expecting the worst, we obeyed when the cops told us to turn the music down. However, when we told them our plans to wrestle, they seemed, not disgusted, but intrigued. In fact, they were more than happy to serve as our bodyguards against the swarming crowds of men. God bless those thoughful police officers, protecting and serving the public.

Provo Popo

I appreciate the comments made about the Provo Police. Provo police tries to help Provo be a safe city. Of course it helps having a religious community to make things easier. If there is any BYU student feels that they are out to make your life miserable then you are wrong. There will be instances where I can understand you may feel that way. I work along with the cops in Provo. They have a hard job at times and it just makes things worse when you argue too much. They will listen just give these guys a chance. Where you show respect it will be returned. Thanks!

Beautiful comment

thank you

You can stop sneering now

So am I right in assuming that you have a problem with me wanting to become more educated about Provo laws so that I can avoid breaking them? Or is it a problem with wanting to educate others on Provo laws?

Of course not. You're not an idiot. So what exactly is your problem?

I didn't even say that these laws shouldn't exist. I did say, "we have ... a plethora of carefully thought-out laws governing each minute aspect of our existence."

Do you disagree with this? I haven't compared Provo's city code side by side with my hometown of Austin's code, but I'm pretty confident that Provo has more. More laws means there's more ways to break laws here.

Again, all I'm trying to do here is educate people about the law.

Now I know that I must come to a complete stop before pulling out of any driveway in the city of Provo. Did you know about this particular law before reading the comment below about getting an $85 ticket over it?

i agree

my only experience with provo police was rather pleasant, until the uvsc cops got involved.

to make a long story short, a uvsc officer pulled me over at school and gave me a ticket, but failed to file it for over a month. i went to pay it several times, but was told they had no record of the ticket. i gave up after 4 weeks (which was two weeks past the time i had to go in and pay it and over 3 weeks in which the cop was legally able to file it).

cut to 6 months later... i've been sick with the flu for a week, and am craving to get out and buy a burrito. i craved that burrito a little too much and am pulled over by a provo officer for speeding. the officer was cool and about to let me go with a warning, but finds outs there is a warrant out for my arrest for failing to appear in court. i figure out what happened and explain it to the kind provo officer. he said if he had the choice, he'd let me go, but couldn't because he had to report it to the uvsc cops (which he said would probably want to book me becuz they don't have very many opportunities to jail people). within minutes, the same retard who messed up my ticket shows up. i'm handcuffed, thrown into a police car, and booked into the utah county jail with a $185 cash bail. after convincing my folks that i really was in jail, they make the midnight trip to bail me out.

to make matters worse, because i supposedly failed to appear in court my license was unknowingly suspended. the provo cop said he would have ignored it, but because of the warrant, he had to report it and ticket me.

after hearing my story, the judge cut most of the fines. i had a case ready to go up against the orem city police (which uvsc was under), but because of some address issues on my driver's license, we decided to not pursue it any further.

moral of story: at least one provo cop = nice. that particular uvsc cop (and others as i've been told) = bumhole

I'm married

What's a party?

I've definitely held parties

I've definitely held parties that were busted up. Although to be fair we were in an apartment complex with a few married apartments. I'm sure they called the cops. (Note: why on earth would any sane person get an apartment in a complex with 80% young single people)

So I can see that. Although I should also say that they were also very nice and polite about breaking up the party.

About the only bad time I've had with a Utah cop was when I got my truck stuck on the Mt. Nebo loop. We had to walk a mile or two to call the cops. The Nephi cops show up and then tell us they can't do anything. (I had the tow cable out and it would have taken 30 seconds to get me unstuck!) I guess they get sued if anything bad happens. They ten accuse us of being drunk. (Needless to say we weren't - we were just bored and single with no dates on a Saturday night and thus out for a drive) At least they helped us push the car out of the drift. But they really were kind of jerks.

About the only explanation I could give is that apparently when they got our call they were down at the dunes where they'd had to deal with some guy on an ATV who had gotten killed in an accident. That's a long drive from the dunes to Mt Nebo. So perhaps they were in a poor mood, not to mention dealing with a death.

I was wondering about this bu

I was wondering about this but then I got to thinking about how I've never heard of any tickets for these sorts of things so we probably don't have these kinds of laws.

Maybe the Austin police department just doesn't enforce all there laws, or maybe I (and my friends / family) have just been lucky enough to have had no bad experiences.

I guess I should just look up the austin city code and compare it to provo's ... =)

provo cops

Take a chill pill! You committed a traffic violation. Study up on the codes. Most Provo cops do give lee way. I've got out of several tickets by making them think that I understand and then I apologize. Being nice will get you out of a ticket more than being a jerk.

goofy laws

I have read most of Provo's laws. There are some goofy ones, but if you play stupid and apologize it helped me. I never thought throwing snowballs at cars were illegal. I didn't argue and got out of a ticket. Keep up the good work Provo POPO!

Parties

I also noticed how Provo's finest has changed within the last year form previous in regards to parties. Alot of them don't care to shut yor party down. They give you warnings till they get numerous complaints. I was told by a copper to invite all my neighbors to the party so I wouldn't leave out the complaining neighbor. Just keep the noise to where your neoghbors can't hear the music.

Half a mil

In a town that sports over half a million people the police are probably too busy to deal with somebody skateboarding calmly down the street or somebody accelerating a little too fast off the line. Burglary, assualt, murder, rape, drunken drivers, etc. etc.... all things that a police department SHOULD be focusing on.

Here in Provo we have drunken drivers all over the place, so many burglaries that the cops don't know what to do with themselves, and they can't even stay on top of all the murders and assualts going on. Yet somehow the cops here all manage to keep a cheery disposition about themselves as they go about their jobs.

party defined:

It's when people get together for a social event or interaction.

Easy now....

All I was trying to get across Mason was that these are not weird laws, as you stated in the topic of this entry. Look up top in the bold lettering, you'll see why I posted what I said. Maybe I ran with it to much, if I did then I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to sound condescending towards you. Now take a deep breath, relax, and eat some potato chips.

Failure to obey a traffic sign (red light)

I got my Harley out of the garage yesterday and headed north into Provo. I got nabbed by an officer for running a red light, doing "at least 50 in a 35", did not have my driver's license or my registration for my bike. Now I thought for sure that my bike was gone. Not to mention my driving privilege. Now I know for a fact that I was as guilty as can be. The officer returned after running my information and gave me a ticket for "failure to obey a traffic sign (red light).
I got off easy! Especially how I ran him for 2 lights before I pulled over. I was doing well over his estimated 50 mph.