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Is It Speeding When Trying to Pass Someone?

It is speeding when you attempt to pass someone if you exceed the posted or “prima facie” speed limits. There are several ways to violate California’s (CA) speeding laws, such as an “Exhibition of Speed,” too fast for conditions, racing, reckless driving (though exceeding the speed limit is normally not the only reason for a charge of reckless driving), and speeding over 100 mph.

However, basic speed laws according to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22350 states, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” This statement covers the premise for all types of speeding, although other codes have been written to clarify the violation.

An Exhibition of Speed

The basic premise for the violation of CVC 23109 is “showing off” or trying to impress someone with the vehicle’s speed. It usually starts with a “squawking of tires” or motorcycle wheelies, however, this section of the CVC cannot be used when the vehicle driver is alone in the vehicle and there are no other vehicles or spectators around.

“Too Fast for Conditions” or Excessive Speed

This section of the CVC is right there in CVC 22350, weather (rain, sleet, or snow), visibility (fog), and road conditions. The speed limit could be 45 mph but when you add in any of those conditions, the speed limit is too fast.

Racing

The problem with late night or early morning street racing has become such a problem that cities such as Carson City in Los Angeles County, CA have enacted municipal legislation that makes it illegal to attend these events. Although “street racing” and aiding and abetting have already been addressed in CVC 23109, municipal 41401-41404 goes further to pronounce it illegal to even “gather” for such an event regardless of how you got there.

Reckless Driving

CVC 23103, Reckless Driving. This is usually the opinion of the law enforcement officer, “…willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property…” if your speed was a factor in the reckless driving, it may or may not be another ticket. A conviction of reckless driving carries a fine up to $1000, a minimum five days and up to 90 days in jail, or both, plus two points. You will need a good traffic ticket lawyer to dispute the LEO’s opinion.

Speeding Over 100 MPH

CVC 22348 (b) a person that drives more than 100 mph can be fined $500 (this is the basic fine, however, the amount you will pay could be anywhere from $800 to $2500, many judges add $100 for every 1 mph over 100 mph, which really multiplies when surcharges are based on 50% or 100% of the fine) and a 30 day driver’s license suspension. Judges in Kern and Kings Counties are really starting to crack down and using the suspension when convicted, even for first-time offenders.

Passing Safely

Although it would seem prudent to speed up to complete a pass on an undivided highway when another vehicle approaches from the opposite direction, when you exceed the speed limit you are guilty of speeding. Therefore, it would be more prudent to decelerate and fall back in behind the vehicle you were attempting to pass rather than continue, violate the law, and/or crash. You should never attempt to pass another vehicle when there are school buses unloading or loading, limited visibility, cross traffic, a line of vehicles, a double-yellow line, or in a posted no passing zone.

Professional Traffic Ticket Defenders

In Kings, Tulare, Kern, Mono or other South-Central Valley counties, call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or an email: attorney@markbigger.com with enough details to get us started on your case. It can be extremely advantageous for you to hire a local traffic ticket attorney from south-central valley when you have received a speeding ticket, particularly when other charges have been added because of the opinion of the LE officer. Opinions can be flawed and a local traffic ticket lawyer will know which arguments have been successfully used in the past with the sitting judge.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.