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How Fast Can I Drive?

What happens when towns roughly the size of Delano and Ridgecrest want or need to change their speed limits?

The Napa City Council is expected to approve new signage on five streets to alert drivers that the speed limits are different from the presumed limits under the Vehicle Code. Most of these streets are actually two-lane highways that go through semi-residential areas, which means the prima facie speed limit is 55mph. City fathers initially set the speed limits at 25mph, but a recent engineering study showed that the 85th percentile, which is the average speed of 85 percent of the traffic on that road, is 32mph. So, to comply with the Vehicle Code, the speed limits will be 30mph.

The City Council hopes that the new signs will alleviate motorist confusion about the proper speed limits on these streets.

Setting the Speed Limit

VC 22354 establishes the presumed speed limits for certain types of roads, from alleys to superhighways. However, especially in smaller towns, housing development projects often spring up along two-lane roads that have presumed 55mph speed limits, and the residents understandably do not want cars zooming past their front doors at freeway speeds.

So, the city can change the speed limit, but only if there is a current engineering study that supports the change. Earlier this year, prosecutors in San Diego had to throw out some speeding tickets because there were no current engineering studies on file, and the prosecutor could not establish that the motorists were legally speeding.

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

If the speed limit in Delano conflicts with the one set by law, the city must have an engineering study on file. To fight your speeding ticket, call us.