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The Differential Speed Limit ControversyWhat Is the Differential Speed Limit Controversy

The controversy concerning the differential speed limit in California is causing quite a debate. The problem is the state-wide speed limit for towing trucks and buses of 55 miles per hour. There is a different speed limit of 65 to 70 miles per hour for automobiles depending on the location or roadway design. When there are only two lanes running in opposite directions, the speed limit is 55 mph for all traffic. In most other states the speed limit is the same regardless of the type of vehicle. Many individuals feel the speed limits should be consistent throughout the state. The drivers of the trucks and towing vehicles are also unhappy with the speed they can travel, which at times can put restrictions on their delivery times. They believe they have the right to drive the same speed as the other vehicles on the road.

How Does This Law Affect Drivers in California

The argument has been made that the differential speed limit results in a lot more lane changing and unnecessary disruption when vehicles allowed to do 65-70 mph must pass trucks and buses that are restricted to 55 mph. In many cases, these vehicles are in such a rush they turn back into the lane too quickly cutting off these big trucks that take longer to stop. Some individuals believe this causes safety concerns. If the speed limit were the same this action would not be necessary. The law states trucks, school buses, tow trucks, farm vehicles, trailers and vehicles transporting explosives are not legally able to travel more than 55 miles per hour. The law believes it is not safe to allow these types of vehicles to increase their speed.

The Law

The laws regarding safety on the roadways and highways were written to keep people safe. Speed limits fluctuate under different conditions such as inclines, downgrades, and extreme curves in the road. Too many people are killed every day in serious traffic accidents. Whether individuals believe the laws are fair does not change the fact they were written to prevent accidents. It is the duty of all drivers to be aware of the law and obey it. The differential speed limit may be a concern, particularly for those coming out of Oregon up north or those coming from Nevada into San Bernardino and Inyo Counties that border Nevada, whose drivers may not be aware of the law requiring different speeds for different vehicles. The posted limit might be 65 or 70 mph, but not for tractor-trailers and most buses.

Nevada’s Law

The speed limit on highway I-15, which dumps into the desert in California is 65–75 mph. That’s quite a difference in speed, 10-20 mph on a stretch of highway that features not much more than desert and tumbleweeds. Even though the sign may warn of the changes in speed limit and in some places the state DOT puts an additional sign for truckers under the speed limit sign, is it enough?

If you have had problems with the speed limit, particularly when you have been charged with a violation of VC 22406.1, which is a misdemeanor charge of going 15 mph over the speed limit as opposed to VC 22406(a), which is just an infraction for going 1-15 mph over, then you should call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300. The difference in fines and penalties could be surprising.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755. Or, email: to set up a consultation to discuss the details of your speeding ticket. Bigger & Harman have fought and won over 1800 traffic tickets, get the help you need to fight and win!

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