California’s highways and roadways are undergoing repairs and many
older roads are under construction. The California State Department of
Transportation or CALTRANS is normally authorized to regulate the traffic
in and around highway and roadway construction sites. They are authorized
by California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21370 to close lanes and reduce the speed
limit to as low as 25 mph while there are construction workers present.
CVC 22362 makes it illegal to exceed the newly posted speed limit within
400 yards of the construction site while workers are present. CVC 42010
provides authority for “enhanced” fines, which are doubled
in the work zones. However, signs must be posted giving drivers warning
and workers must be present. Section C., says
“This section applies only when construction or maintenance work is actually
being performed by workers, and there are work zone traffic control devices…” Therefore, if workers are not present or there are no warning devices,
the speed limit reverts to the “basic speed limit”.
Reckless Driving and Work Zone Speeding
Although you would not normally be charged with reckless driving for exceeding
the speed limit even in a construction zone because the fine is already
doubled, it depends on how fast you were going and/or your actions, such
as tailgating or swerving in and out of lanes.
California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23103, Reckless Driving is defined
as, driving with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of
persons or property.” Reckless driving in CA is a misdemeanor, a
criminal act punishable by five days up to 90 days of imprisonment, two
Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points on your license from
the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and a fine of $145 up to $1000.
These do not include any other tickets you may have received.
Traffic School and Trial by Declaration
Let’s say you get an enhanced speeding ticket for doing 53 mph in
a 25-mph construction zone. So, your friend tells you, “Just pay
the fine and go to traffic school. That’s what I did.” And,
you say, “I heard I can’t go to traffic school because it
was in a construction zone.” Your friend says, “Yeah you might
be right, call the court clerk.” Since you were stopped out there
on 198, you call the County Courthouse at Hanford and the clerk says,
“No sir, you were doing more than 25 mph over the speed limit, I
can’t let you go to traffic school.” It is true, the court
clerk cannot let you go to traffic school when your speed was more than
25 mph over, but the judge can.
Hiring a Professional Traffic Ticket Defender
When you are faced with an enhanced ticket for work zone speeding in Hanford,
Kings County or many other SoCal counties, such as San Bernardino, Riverside,
or San Luis Obispo (SLO) in California, contact the Bigger & Harman
traffic ticket team for advice. Give Mark or Paul a call and explain your
situation, 661-349-9300. En español, llame al 661-349-9755