The Federal government is pushing states to crack down on speeders on our nation’s highways. Statistics show that speeding now kills more people in auto accidents than drunk drivers. The problem is there are just too many speeders and too few law enforcement officers (LEO) to ticket them all. Could speeding cameras, much like the red-light cameras many municipalities and counties here in CA have tried using, reduce the number of speeders? Or, will citizens resist the attempt as another money grab?
One of the easiest things to do while driving is exceeding a posted speed limit. Police extend a little leeway for most drivers because there just aren’t enough patrol officers to stop every speeder, but those who speed dangerously are inviting harsh fines and penalties.
Federal studies have determined that speeding is the cause of nearly as many highway deaths as drunk driving. This is a sobering fact considering most drivers choose to speed every day. Everyone, including police officers, understand that no driver can perfectly observe speed limits 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, a person needs to increase speed to pass. At times, it is common to exceed the speed limit to safely merge onto a dangerous freeway, without impeding traffic.
The problem with going over the speed limit is that many people choose to make it a habit. Therefore, their so used to doing 80 mph in a 70-mph zone when they speed up to pass someone, they are getting close to 100 mph and try to use the excuse, “I was just keeping up with traffic.” It’s not going to wash with a traffic court judge. There is an assumption that a few miles per hour over the limit is acceptable maintain the flow of traffic. To the dismay of many people, it is not. Speed limits are determined by scientific measures and engineering surveys that are used to compare highway lane loads and anticipated vehicle volumes. This means that when a person habitually chooses to use excessive speed, they put themselves and others at risk.
Speeding over 100 mph in CA
There are many circumstances where the use of excessive speed may be justifiable, for instance, when there is a bona fide health emergency or to avoid a dangerous situation where you feel your life is threatened. Habitual high speeds, however, can quickly turn into behavior that is never acceptable in the eyes of the law.
Life is stressful. Drivers will sometimes take their aggressions out on the road. Other drivers, will get behind the wheel when they are under the influence of certain substances, illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter. These conditions can result in a driver forgetting that they share the road with thousands of other drivers. A self-centered approach to driving causes bad choices like excessive speeds. This puts people's lives at risk, and will always gain the attention of the CHP.
According to CVC 22348 b, speeding over 100 mph on California freeways recklessly endanger other drivers and their passengers. Drivers who are cited and convicted of driving at these extreme speeds will be levied very harsh fines. Speeds over 100 mph in California gain an automatic 2-point penalty on a driver's license. A first offense will likely cost you $900-2600 in fines and penalties, and you will almost certainly lose your license for 30 days. The penalties increase dramatically with other offenses that have occurred within the previous five years. In addition, you auto insurance premiums will skyrocket!
Speeding Cameras on CA Freeways: Will it Work?
Excessive speeds have proven to be as dangerous as any DUI. California has joined 13 other states in concert with the federal government in the use of speeding cameras on major highways. These cameras track license plates and relay information to traffic officers. The trouble with the use of speeding cameras is that they are sometimes inaccurate, and they are extraordinarily expensive to taxpayers.
The traffic camera pilot program is only being used in San Jose and San Francisco, but the five-year test program has resulted in a public and legislative backlash. Inaccurate camera recordings can result in fines that may be unwarranted in certain cases because it only records the license plate, so the owner is ultimately responsible no matter who was driving.
For this reason, California residents have complained to the state that cameras are nothing more than a revenue-gaining experiment that many voting taxpayers are not ready now, if ever. It is also estimated that each camera costs nearly $80,000 to install. This is a steep price for taxpayers to absorb. Police servicing camera recordings are also delayed because it takes time away from their normal jobs, patrolling and keeping CA residents safe.
Speed cameras, as an idea, are a good tool for helping to control the dangers of excessive speeds on California freeways. However, they can never replace a dedicated police force, or people choosing to drive using good habits.
Most drivers cited for excessive speeding infractions on California freeways will have to pay a hefty fine. If there is a special case where a driver was justified in their speed choice, the only way to prove this to a traffic court is with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney.
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