Plenty of drivers are pulled over for driving too fast, but better enforcement
of the minimum speed limit may be a better way to make California roads safer.
Though they may not admit it on the record, many officers prefer that traffic
be flowing at about the same speed, even if that speed is somewhat above
the posted speed limit. The reason is simple: when most vehicles are moving
at about the same speed, there are fewer lane-changes and sudden stops
or slowdowns, less impatient drivers, and fewer tailgating.
There is a scientific basis for this attitude:
as far back as 1964 and
as recently as 2003, government researchers concluded that travelling at the median speed
was the best way to avoid accidents.
The current minimum speed law -
Vehicle Code Section 22400 - is vague and only applies on major highways. VC 22400 also prohibits
stopping on a highway, so a motorist with a disabled vehicle must quickly
figure out a way to move over to the side. The only exceptions to the
minimum speed law are:
Many roads do not have a posted minimum speed limit, making these violations
much more difficult to enforce on the street and much more difficult to
prove in court. But in a reasonable speed zone violation, an attorney
practicing in Kern County can use the "variance kills" theory
in your defense.