My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Texas
Sometime in between 6:40 and 6:45am I was driving at approximately 41 mph in a 40mph zone when I passed a School Zone sign with a posted speed limit of 30mph in the case of the light flashing. The light was not flashing so I continued at my speed. A 0.4 miles and 31 seconds down the road (according to my own measurements and Google Maps) a policeman got me with his radar and ticketed me for speeding in a school zone. He wrote the time of violation as being 6:45am.
At first I called into question my own memory, but when I talked to the Traffic Signal technicians in the City of Austin Transportation Dept., they said that the sign I had passed was set on that day to start blinking at exactly 6:45am. They also told me that the signs are not hooked up to a network, but are instead manually set and could potentially be off by up to 3 minutes even.
Assuming that the sign was exactly on time, that would give me a 50/50 chance of having even seen the light flashing at the time I passed it. That doesn't even take into account the possibility that I stopped at the traffic light in between the school zone sign and the policeman (which I honestly can't remember if I did or not).
The school year ended a couple days after my ticket so I wasn't able to check the sign's accuracy then, but now that school is back in session I went down to see when it would start blinking. At 6:44am I got out of my car to take the picture and realized that it had already started a minute early. Since this is a new school year it has been reset since I was stopped, but this proves that it is potentially inaccurate.
So here are the factors that I plan to use in my defense: The 50/50 chance of me not seeing it given it, as well as the policeman's watch, were on time, the possibility that the signal was off, the possibility that the policeman's watch was off, and the fact that the policeman could not have possibly seen whether the light had begun blinking from where he was sitting (approx. 0.4 miles down the street according to Google Maps).
I guess the main thing I'm curious about is if there's a law that says it doesn't matter if I didn't see the light flashing so long as I was in the zone while it was. Other than that I would love some advice as to what factors to use and not use in my defense. Thanks a bunch!