Speeding is one of the most common traffic offenses in California and across America. But the repercussions extend beyond a simple fine.
This blog post will provide a quick guide to California traffic laws on speeding, discuss the penalties involved, and emphasize why you need a traffic attorney to navigate these situations.
What Is the Basic Speed Law in CA?
Section 22350 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) contains California's basic speed law. This law stipulates that no person should drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is “reasonable or prudent,” considering visibility, weather, traffic, and the surface and width of the highway. It essentially mandates that all drivers maintain safe and appropriate speeds, given the current conditions.
“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.” — CVC 22350, Speed Laws.
What Are the Various Levels of Speeding & the Penalties for Each?
Speeding violation fines in California are grouped into different categories based on how much the driver “allegedly” exceeded the speed limit:
- One to 15 mph over the speed or safe driving limit: The fine for this category is approximately $238. Additionally, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point on your driving record, which will stay for three years.
- Sixteen to 24 mph over the limit: The fine increases to around $360, with one NOTS point assessed to your driving record.
- Twenty-five mph or more over, up to 100 mph: The fine jumps to $490, accompanied by one NOTS point. Drivers falling into this category are not eligible for Traffic Violator's School (TVS) without approval from a traffic court judge. Many courts will make this into a mandatory appearance for the defendant or the attorney they hire.
- Speeding over 100 mph: This is a major infraction, typically incurring a $900 to $2,600 fine and two NOTS points, which stay for seven years. It also requires a mandatory court appearance, and the judge can immediately suspend your driving privileges for 30 days.
Fines in a School or Construction Zone are "Doubled"
Speeding in a school or construction zone can result in doubled fines, emphasizing the importance of adhering to posted speed limits in these areas for the safety of all involved.
To coincide with the national campaign “Slow Down, Move Over,” CA traffic laws require drivers to move into the next available lane when possible and slow down in a marked construction zone when workers are present.
You may have a strong case for dismissal if you are ticketed for speeding in a construction zone when no workers were present, or the construction zone was not marked. Always consult a traffic attorney before pleading guilty and paying the fine.
Unless otherwise posted, school zones have a 15 to 25-mph speed limit within 1,000 feet of a school when children are present. It is best to stick to the lower speed as children are unpredictable.
These reduced speed limits are only applicable when school is in session. If you get a speeding ticket late in the evening or on a weekend, you should consult a traffic attorney about challenging the ticket. In fact, you should always consult an attorney about moving violations.
Although these fines are not exactly double the regular fine, they can ruin your family budget, particularly when you are not eligible for TVS. Your auto insurance provider takes your “good driver’s discount” and adds the appropriate speeding risk.
Consult with a Traffic Attorney
Hiring a traffic attorney could be incredibly beneficial in speeding cases. They could help you get approval for TVS if you were caught speeding more than 25 mph over the limit, potentially reducing fines and insurance premiums. Moreover, they may be able to get your speeding ticket dismissed, protecting your driving record and keeping your insurance premium stable.
Many drivers with speeding tickets only consider the fine. That can be critical to your family budget when your premium escalates.
In California, losing your "good driver's discount" of 20% due to a speeding conviction could add roughly $800 annually to your auto insurance for three years. A conviction for speeding 100+ mph could potentially double or triple your premium. Given these potential financial implications, consulting with an experienced CA traffic attorney should be a top priority when facing a speeding charge.
Ask Bigger & Harman for Assistance with a Speeding Ticket in Victorville, CA Traffic Court
Most traffic court cases for speeding on I-15 that Barstow Traffic Court previously handled are now being heard in Victorville Traffic Court on 14455 Civic Drive in San Bernardino County, CA.
Contact Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300 for help with your San Bernardino County traffic tickets. Use our handy online contact form to schedule a consultation, or email email@example.com.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
CVC 22350, Speed Laws.