Highway speed limits.

Referring to this thread.
Have you, personally, ever gotten a ticket for driving at the posted speed limit, in other words, driving too slow?
Same subject, opposite question. Have you ever argued, in court and using the basic speed law, that you were indeed driving over the posted limit but that it was perfectly safe to do so? Was the citation dismissed on just those grounds? Did the judge rule in your favor over the cop who wrote the ticket.
Details, puhleez, like where you were and when this took place.
Note: I can’t stop people from posting anecdotal replies, but I’m looking for personal experiences.

I’ve personally been in the passenger seat as my stepfather was pulled over for driving too slowly and given a stern verbal warning about backing up traffic. He was going about 5 MPH over the speed limit and that was the officers opening line “I realize we’re all going over the speed limit, however, I mainly pulled you over to let the backlog of cars pass.” He then proceeded to give him a lecture how backing up traffic in a mountainous area on a one lane road is much more dangerous to a lot more people than exceeding the speed limit and that he should pull over and let people pass if he’s unable to keep up with the expected rate of traffic.

You can also get a V.C. 22350 ticket in California for driving too fast for conditions, yet still under the speed limit.

In California, this works almost all the time. California has two laws:

Maximum speed limit

Basic speed law

The citing officer writes down the section on the citation which you allegedly violated, if they write down the wrong one, then that’s going to be your argument. If you’re charged with 22349, you have to prove you did not exceed the speed limit. If you are charged with 22350 all you have to prove is that in the opinion of the officer you were not acting unsafely with regard to weather, visibility or traffic.

Basically if your ticket says 22350, then “over the posted speed limit” is not a valid argument against you. You’d have to be charged with 22349 for that to be the case. If you are charged with 22349, then “obviously going too fast” is not a valid argument against you – the officer better know exactly how fast you were going (pacing, radar, laser, aircraft).

Now, I’ve never actually met anybody who has gotten a 22350 ticket so can’t even offer anecdotal evidence other than what you can find on the web.

You’re sound like you’re just backhandedly trying to justify doing the speed limit in the left lane, regardless of what’s going on around you. While you won’t get many replies to your specific question (by design, I reckon), it doesn’t address the fact that impeding traffic flow and creating dangerous situations by driving in other vehicles’ blind spots IS a hazard, just like speeding, talking on your cellphone or making a peanut butter sandwich while you drive, regardless of your obeyance of the speed limit.

The answer to your first question is no. To answer your second question, only in certain states may you even raise this as a defense. The National Motorists Association lists each state on a variety of factors, and whether or not their speed limits are “absolute” or “prima facia”.

If the limits are absolute, then it makes no difference if it was safe or reasonable for you to be travelling faster. If the sign says “70” then you can’t drive faster than 70. Period.

In states that have a prima facie limit, you can make the type of argument that you are talking about, however it will be difficult to prove. You would have to argue, in effect, that there were extraordinary conditions on the day that you travelled that allowed you to exceed the speed limit, because as a general rule, the court will take the posted limit as prima facia evidence of driving too fast.

What state are you in? I can look in my book and tell you what type of law your state has…

I can tell you I was a street officer for eight years, and the Court Officer for a small department. As such, I saw every traffic citation issued. Most officers issued 1-3 tickets per shift. At two officers per shift, 365 days times 3 shifts times an average of 1.5 tickets times eight years is around 13,000 citations.

Every one crossed my desk. Yes I did have a rubber stamp of my signature. Not one was for obstrucing traffic.

Some were for driving too fast for conditions, (But still under the speed limit) These were, to the best of my memory all the result of accidents. I never encountered someone presenting the defense you suggest. I never had a speeding ticket struck down in court on merit of the ticket being invalid or in error. Several tickets were dismissed as being a lesser included charge, while the superior charge held. For example a reckless driving charge being upheld, while a speeding charge was dismissed as a lesser included charge.

Most speeding tickets are the result of radar readings. In Wisconsin there is by law a “Rebuttable presumption of accuracy” which means it is a given the accuracy of radar is there, but it can be challenged. I have witnessed it being challenged twice, both attempts failed.

Another method of establishing speed is called pacing. In that situation I as an officer are behind you, driving the speed limit and by observing you pass a landmark and timing how long it takes me to get there, then do a second land mark check, and if the time increased, you are speeding. I only know of one case a pacing ticket was written, and it was so outrageous it would have been a slam dunk no matter what (The suspect vehicle passed an unmarked squad car at over at an estimated 100 miles an hour in a 35 zone. Most officers would not write a pacing ticket as the defense can easily shred you in court over issues of depth perception.

The third way to check speeding is aircraft observation timing the vehicle between known landmarks, and Vascar, which is just a electronic stopwatch doing the same thing. If you get nailed by them, you are pretty much screwed with no defense.
As an aside, I made a bet with my two sons when my youngest got his DL. More of a pledge really, I said I would give $100 in cash to the one that did not get the first traffic ticket. The first one to get a ticket was…me. First ticket in 28 years. I had to pay each of them 100 clams.

By the way my ticket was for 67 in a 55 zone. I plea bargained it down to ten over, the fine remained at $167.00. I plead it down because some car rental places will not rent you a car if you have a speeding ticket more than ten over in the last three years.

Since the OP is looking for personal experiences, this is better suited for IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Bwahahaha! I love this…

Yup, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, EB I-94 just north of 9-Mile Rd. It was the last citation I was ever issued (well, in the USA). Went to court, plead guilty-with-explanation, offered that the speed on the ticket was correct but I wasn’t endangering myself or others due to conditions, and the case was dismissed but I was assessed court costs (I’ve recounted this tale in other threads here). I sure as hell considered this a victory in that no points were given and my record stayed clean. In retrospect I should have spoken to the prosecutor and the case probably would have been dropped without the court costs.

As I sat waiting for my case before the judge, he was brutal to the people that had “all the normal excuses.”

:dubious: How would they know?

No, I hate it when someone gets in my way in any but the right lane regardless of their speed. All I’ve heard so far irl are fairy tales by someone who knew someone. Sorry.
And I am expecting (hoping for) many replies that address the questions i asked in the OP. The questions regarding the safety aspect of driving at the speed limit are, I recon, being addressed in the linked thread.


Oh, OK…(I guess I misunderstood)… if you’re talking about someone who’s not otherwise endangering or impeding traffic flow, then who cares? My guess is not the police.

Factual personal experiences. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Impeding” I wholly agree with. The “endangering” part, though, raises my bullshit flag.
If I give in to my annoyance and make a dangerous move to get past the slower, but limit going, driver, then I believe the onus shifts to me. My blind spot is my problem.
Keep in mind that I do not get in people’s way. Except in residential areas, and where people are around, where I drive “like an old person”.

The NMA handbook says that California speed limits are absolute. I guess the other poster is correct in that if the officer cited you for the incorrect law, you may have a defense, but if he cited you for exceeding the posted limit, you can’t raise the “safe speed” defense…

to Groman, asking how a car rental place might know if I had a speeding conviction for more over the limit that ten mph. The rental places can, and do access the driver records of those they rent to. I believe they pay a fee to be able to do so. Speeding tickets are classified in three catagories, “S” speeding, 10 mph or under over the limit, “SI” speeding intermediate, 11-19 mph over, and “SE” speeding excessive, 20+ miles over the limit.
Disclaimer, this information was accurate when I was in law enforcement, about fifteen years ago. Things may have changed, but I doubt it. Rental companies have very good liability reasons to not rent to a known risk. If I recall correctly it costs them about five bucks to run a record check on a DL.

I think it’s changed fairly recently, but anyone used to be able to get your record. Still, and again “I think”, those with a clear financial interest (car rental, landlords, employers etc) can get your information.
We need to accept that we gave away any right to privacy we once had.

Looks like anyone can still get your info. From the ca dmv site:

Even if you decide not to, other people will pass them dangerously, and the combination of the car in the way and the passers make for a dangerous situation for others in the vicinity. The dangerous passer is indeed at fault, but if the driver of the car in the way practiced the situational awareness good driving requires, they wouldn’t be in the way in the first place. The lack of situational awareness (or deliberate, passive-aggressive interference of traffic flow) is the catalyst for the danger.

I’m not in any way criticizing people who simply drive slow; I’m talking about people who won’t get out of the way of prevailing traffic, regardless of speed.