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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Flow of Traffic vs Speed Limit

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    Well it is pretty simple, I was driving from la mesa to chula vista and was pulled over by a motor cycle higway patrol. He came over and showed me the radar which read 83 mph and wanted gave me a ticket based on the fact that it said 83 in a 65 mph zone. It also read special 99 in the spec box, not sure what that ment.

    Now I was in the passing lane and passing cars at about 3-5 seconds a car. That seems safe for me, anyway if the flow of traffic is above the speed limit and you are in the passing lane aren't you supposed to move faster then the cars to your right? I had asked a DMV agent when I first recieved my license a few years ago and they said that I needed to move at the flow of traffic, as a matter of fact I even thought there was a question regarding that very thing on the test and the answer was flow of traffic.

    I don't get it, what did I do wrong then? I know I was going faster then the posted limit but going slower than the posted limit could cause there to be danger on the highway right? I mean about 5 minutes before I got pulled over there was a dude weaving in and out of traffic in the various lanes and i know that is dangerous.

    I guess my question is, What should I do in the future? The guy seemed nice but his only advice was just don't be the fastest guy out there... which I sort of translated into don't be in the passing lane.

    Anyway, any advice as to what I should do to prep for court or just on the situation would be appreciated.

    Take Care and God Bless,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Northern California

    Default Re: Flow of Traffic vs Speed Limit

    Quote Quoting Lharrs
    View Post
    I don't get it, what did I do wrong then? I know I was going faster then the posted limit but going slower than the posted limit could cause there to be danger on the highway right?
    You were going faster than the maximum speed limit. No where does it say, MAX SPEED 65 UNLESS PASSING.

    Quick search of the 2010 CA DMV handbook with "flow of traffic",

    Choosing a Lane
    Traffic lanes are often referred to
    by number. The left or “fast” lane
    is called the “Number 1 Lane.” The
    lane to the right of the “Number
    1 Lane” is called the “Number 2
    Lane”, then the “Number 3 Lane”,
    Example of numbered traffic lanes
    Drive in the lane with the smoothest
    flow of traffic. If you can choose
    among three lanes, pick the middle
    lane for the smoothest driving. To
    drive faster, pass, or turn left, use
    the left lane. When you choose to
    drive slowly or enter or turn off the
    road, use the right lane.
    If there are only two lanes in your
    direction, pick the right lane for the
    smoothest driving.
    Do not weave in and out of traffic.
    Stay in one lane as much as possible.
    Once you start through an intersection,
    keep going. If you start to make
    a turn, follow through. Last second
    changes may cause collisions. If you
    miss a turn, continue until you can
    safely and legally turn back.

    8. Collisions can happen more often when:
    a. All vehicles are traveling about the same speed.
    b. One lane of traffic is traveling faster than the other lanes.
    c. One vehicle is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic.

    Correct anwser is C

    Trucks are designed to transport
    products and they are not as maneuverable
    as passenger vehicles.
    Large trucks have longer stopping
    and starting distances. They take
    more space for turns and they weigh
    more. On multilane highways and
    freeways, large trucks usually stay
    in the center portion of the lane to
    help the flow of traffic. This also
    increases the trucker’s options if he
    or she must change lanes to avoid
    a hazard.

    Be sure you are at the proper speed
    for leaving the traffic lane–not too
    fast (so you remain in control)
    and not too slow (so the flow of
    can still move freely).

    Those are the only for things I found referring to the flow of traffic. Unless I missed something, I don't see where you can exceed the speed limit to pass. When it comes down to it, you are setting your own flow of traffic by passing everyone, which happened to be 18 MPH in excess of the speed limit (65). Good luck in court. Pray for the officer not to show.

    In fact, a majority of the collisions which happed involving a slow moving vehicle are primarily caused by the vehicle approaching traveling at an unsafe speed for the conditions on the roadway ie, the slow vehicle (22350 VC - an unsafe speed section). So, in theory, your speeding is more dangerous than the people going slow in the right lane (who were in all honesty, probably right around 65).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Re: Flow of Traffic vs Speed Limit

    Yes, going with the flow of traffic is a very sound defense for defendants charged with VC22350, but not when the charge is a VC22349a/b citation for exceeding the state-wide speed limit set by an arbitrary bureaucractic proclamation rather than proper traffic engineering. Even if your own kid is about to die in the backseat, you must still drive at or below 65mph regardless of traffic conditions (55mph for undivided 2-lane highways and 70mph in zones posted per VC22356).

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