Driving the speed limit or even below can still violate the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) and you could be issued a ticket. CVC 22350, Speed Laws states explicitly, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility…” When the law enforcement officer (LEO) determines your speed endangers drivers, pedestrians, and property, you can get ticketed regardless of your actual speed or the speed limit on that stretch of highway.
Safe Speed or Ticket?
As stated above, the LEO’s perception, which the judge will consider the LEO’s experience and time on the force, is most often the deciding factor. However, an experienced and knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney can usually find an adequate defense depending on the circumstances. That is why it is crucial to consult a speeding ticket attorney before you decide to pay the fine or challenge the ticket.
Some of the circumstances that an LEO, and ultimately the judge, will find should have alerted the driver to slow down are:
- Wet or slippery conditions
- Snow, yes it does snow in CA
- Pedestrians or animals near the car
- A significant amount of debris on the highway, such as that from a freight accident
- The approach to a railroad crossing
- Heavy traffic and crowded conditions
- Limited visibility or obstructed view of the road or oncoming traffic
A vehicle going 80 mph might be considered safe on a long, clear stretch of highway, whereas a car going 30 on a crowded road just after a storm might be regarded as unsafe or going too fast because of conditions. Although the first is violating the speed limit, conditions do not make it dangerous. You could still get ticketed if it a maximum speed zone, but it is safer when compared with the second scenario.
Consequences of a “Too Fast for Conditions” Ticket
The fine can range from $230 to nearly $500 for a ticket, depending on what the speed limit was. If the LEO determined your speed was 1-15 mph over the speed limit or safe speed, then your fine if convicted is $230-250, 16-24 mph over is roughly $360, and 25 mph over but less than 100 mph the fine is nearly $500.
How fast you were actually going and what the LEO determined to be the safe and prudent speed because of the conditions will determine your fine.
However, the fine is just the beginning. If convicted, the DMV will assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point for any ticket less than 101 mph.
Traffic Violators School
Speeding 25 mph over must have a traffic court judge’s approval to attend Traffic Violators School (TVS). If you are eligible for and complete TVS, your conviction will get masked as confidential. If you are not eligible or do not complete TVS, at renewal, your insurance company will see your speeding conviction and take away your good driver’s discount, that’s an automatic 20 percent increase.
Then, they will place you in an increased risk category, which will elevate your premium another 20-25 percent. Therefore, it will cost you $1500 or more for insurance during the three years the ticket will remain in your record. Before considering paying the fine and attending TVS, talk to a traffic attorney.
Speak to a Traffic Attorney Who Is Familiar with the Delano Traffic Court
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you get ticketed for driving too fast for conditions. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are traffic ticket attorneys. We handle just traffic tickets. We represent the people of Kern County and other areas of Central Valley in traffic court when necessary, although in many of our cases we can get dismissals and reduced charges without appearing in court.
Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.