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One For The RoadSouthern California police celebrated the end of the school year in Lancaster and Apple Valley by ticketing motorists caught speeding in area school zones.

San Diego police averaged twenty speeding tickets per hour at one location near Cabrillo Elementary on Talbot Street. Overall, a large portion of the 3,500 speeding tickets that officers write each month are school zone speeding tickets. School zones are not always easy to spot, especially for drivers that are new to the area, because they are not all marked by crosswalks or flashing lights, and some of them have no crossing guards.

Officer Jaye Graves said he hears the “I woke up late and I’m running late for work” excuse more than any other justification.

Special Speeding Areas

Strictly speaking, VC 22352(b), the school zone speeding law, only applies when “children [note the plural] are going to or leaving the school. . .during school hours.” So, there are two elements:

  • There must be at least two children currently present in order for a school zone to be enforceable, and
  • The reduced speed limit does not apply on in-service days and school holidays, even if children are present at the time and even if the lights are flashing; note that some private schools and special schools have different schedules.

Because of these requirements, VC 22352(b) tickets are not easy to prove, so prosecutors are often willing to reduce the charges, points, and/or penalty assessments.

The same analysis applies to VC 21350, which gives Caltrans broad authority to change speed limits and take other traffic calming measures in construction zones. The areas must be officially designated and clearly marked; moreover, workers must actually be present when the citation is issued.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

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