My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Washington
Hello, I was ticketed in King County last week - 36 mph in what I thought was 40 mph, but the officer said the yellow school zone flashing lights were on, making it 20mph. I told the officer that I did not see the flashing lights, and I was so certain of it, I went back to the school the following day with my daughters, and we discovered that the yellow flashing lights turn off sooner on one side of the school / cross street (the street I was on) than they do on the other side of the school (the street where I got my ticket). There’s about a one minute difference.
When I passed the school shortly before 4pm, there were no kids, no flag patrols, and no flashing yellow lights. I turned right onto the other cross street and it was impossible for me, or any other driver to know that the yellow lights were still flashing on this street, as the lights were behind us by about a block, and in front of us, but facing the opposite direction (the direction that the police officer was watching). As far as I knew, the speed limit was 40mph.
I sent an email to both the City of Sammamish & the WSDT to see if I could get some information on how the lights were timed, etc. When I didn’t hear back, I contacted the manufacturer of the solar panel school lights and was informed by the President of the company that the most common reason for timing inconsistencies occurs during installation of the actual lights by the technicians. Each light has its own internal clock, and if there was more than one technician who helped install the lights, they could have used their wristwatches, or they could’ve been on different cell phone carriers in which he has seen up to a two minute timing difference.
Do I have a case for getting my ticket dismissed? How much proof do I need to bring?
When I got pulled over, both my car & cell phone listed the time as 3:59pm, but my ticket lists the time as “on or about 15:56”. Does anyone know how accurate the times are on printed tickets? When the officer went back to write my ticket, I looked out of my rearview mirror and saw that the flashing yellow light on the opposite side of the street was off and according to the officer, the lights are timed to turn off at 4pm. Both my daughters witnessed this as well. I wonder how many other people are getting caught in this unavoidable trap at the very end of each school day?