2 tickets in 2 months...how should I handle this?

Last month on the way back from my girlfriend’s house, I got a speeding ticket. I got nailed on a country road with no posted speed limit (turns out it was 55 :smack: ). The CHP officer claimed I was going 90 in a 55 zone :eek: . I do admit I was driving fast, but honestly it was more like 70, if that even makes any difference.

That alone wouldn’t have been so bad, I could take traffic school to get the point taken off. But in a stroke of bad luck, I got another speeding ticket last week :wally . This one was also overexaggerated (he said I was going 69 in a 40 zone, when I was actually going about 50).

What is the best way to handle this? I still haven’t gotten a courtesy notice from the first ticket, when I called the number and finally got through to a human being I find that I owe them 480.00 :eek: . If I just pay the tickets, I’ll probably be out a grand, which is more than a month’s pay for me at this point. But fighting the 1st ticket means I’ll probably have to go to traffic court in Fresno county (where the offense occurred).

Even if I go to traffic school, I won’t be able to get the point taken off the second ticket, which means my insurance is going to go way up either way. Right now I am trying to think of a solution to try to mitigate the financial cost of these mistakes as much as possible.

Maybe your speedometer is broken?

What’s “traffic school”? Is it an alternative to actually paying the fine?

I’m pretty sure you can’t pull a “But he’s LYYYING!!” Last time I was in traffic court, there were bunches of people who had excuses. Each time, the officer got on the stand and yammered on about how the gun had just been calibrated and was such and such accurate and here is the print out.

What does work? Get a statement if your spedometer IS broken. If not, explain that you were on a dark road where the limit wasn’t posted, your mistake, you are so sorry, blah blah. They will knock somethig off.

Can I make a suggest? SLOW DOWN! :smiley:

Well, yeah. In fact, taking some advice from an auto advice column in the SJ Mercury News, I drive quite a bit slower with the intent on saving gas (it has made a significant difference, actually, and coupled with the hassle of these tickets I don’t plan on speeding ever)

The problem with trying to argue about the broken speedometer is that chances are after factoring in the cost of diagnosing the problem/fixing it, the net expense will probably be the same as the cost of the ticket now (just my luck, anyways :stuck_out_tongue: )

The other thing about going to traffic court is if they know I had 2 tickets in 2 consecutive months, i really don’t know if I have a leg to stand on. :frowning:

Consult with an attorney. See if you can get just points for the more serious tickets. FWIW it might be worth it to show up for court as approx (in my experience as a traffic miscreant) 10-15% of the time the officer doesn’t show up and the charges are dropped.

If the officer thought you were going 90, he did you a favor by only giving you a ticket for a slower speed. In CA 90 mph is defined as reckless driving; he could have arrested you. (Not to be holier-than-thou; I’ve exceeded 90 on CA highways more than once.)

I believe the arrangement with traffic school is that you still have to pay the fine plus the cost of traffic school.

There’s a chance, as astro says, that if you go to court on your ticket you will beat it. But if you take the ticket to court you’ll have passed up the chance to go to traffic school, so if you don’t beat the ticket, you’ll have the points, the insurance increase, plus the expense of your Fresno vacation.

Your insurance will increase more with both tickets than with one, so taking one of them off your record with traffic school will most likely pay off. You’re a relatively young guy IIRC, so the bump in rates could be significant. My insurer carries an incident surcharge for 3 years.

Might want to check out:


If you click on traffic school, you’ll see that any ticket for going 25 mph over the limit is ineligible. And I know that the limit for traffic school is 20 mph over in some counties.

Also, as far as I know, going 20 mph over the limit is a misdemeanor in California. I would strongly recommend consulting an attorney.

You still pay the fine, but traffic school (either a 1 day class, or an online test) is a way to prevent the new offense from going on your record.

  1. lawyer

  2. radar detector

Couldn’t you just have friend follow you for a bit and compare speeds, perhaps even using a cell phone? “OK, I’m reading 70 now. What are you reading?”

Even the 90 on a 55 ticket had the ‘traffic violation’ box checked, not the ‘misdemeanor’ box. So I am assuming they didn’t consider it a misdemeanor…

Get a Valentine 1. If you know where the cop is from a mile and change away, he’s not gonna be able to pick your car out, let alone get an accurate reading on your speed.

The V1 is ineffective against 904-nm laser, however. To counteract that, you need a large-amplitude pulsed emitter - i.e. a small bank of LEDs with a LC circuit varying the voltage input.

As for the tickets you’ve recently gotten, you should go to court and contest them on the grounds that their speed measurements are off by a huge margin - you can definitely tell the difference between 70 and 90 while driving, so why can’t their radar gun?

My LA cop friend told me the best way to get out of a speeding ticket was to keep pushing back the court date.

That gage that has RPM’sx100 does not tell you your speed.

I wasn’t there and all, but how likely is it that two different cops somehow were wrong about your speed? Unless there is widespread corruption there or your speedometer is off, I think you may just need to pony up here. Lesson learned.

“Getting out” of tickets may be the American way, but it gripes me. You did something wrong. You got caught. Pay the fine like an adult.

I say this from experience, btw. I got three tickets in about 6 weeks when I was 18. Apparently, it took that many for me to learn, because I haven’t gotten one since then. :slight_smile:

I’m going to have to retract my statement that 20 mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor. I can’t find any verification on the web.

A friend of mine was driving my pickup and got ticketed for doing 60 in a 40 zone. She said the cop told her, “You’re lucky. One more mile an hour and it would have been a misdemeanor.”

Maybe he was BSing her. Not an unheard of situation with the cops.


I speed on occasion*, but if I get caught and get a ticket, I have no one to blame but myself. I hope that the putz smiley in your OP is directed at you instead of the cop.

  • that might be a slight understatement.

I wasn’t trying to get out of the tickets, just trying to minimize the impact this is going to have. The increase in insurance will far outstrip the cost of the tickets…frankly if it were just the tickets I would bite the bullet and pay them without fuss, but because this is going to jack up my insurance for some time, it means a very expensive mistake.

Part of it is due to the feeling that speed limits are intentionally set too low, which is IMHO immoral.