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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Speed Limit Not Posted

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: CA

    Hello,

    How often is the Speed limit supposed to be posted???

    I got a speeding ticket for doing 80 in a 65? on Hwy 101 South of San Jose. I commute this route so the next time I looked for Speed limit signs. I saw one north of San Jose, and then some signs that said speed patrolled by air craft, but no speed limit signs between San Jose and Morgan Hill (where I got my ticket). Is the lack of speed limit signs a valid defence?? I am also interested it finding out when the last engineering speed survay was done for this stretch of road.

    I've read the tipmra web site, and I am woundering how likley it is that a ticket such as this could be dismissed. I think the cop tailed me in my blind spot to gauge my speed. Do they have to get the speedo in their cruisers calibrated? do they have to test it for accuracy?? If I go to court, how likley is it that the cop will show up?

    One last question: I've gotten conflicting info on wether trafic school helps when it comes to insurance premiums. Some people say that insurance will go up no matter what. the courtesy notice saus that if I don't take traffic school it may adversly effect my insurance, but it dosn't say that it won't effect my insurance if I do take traffic school. So what's the deal? if I take traffic school will my insurance stay the same, or will it go up any way?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,800

    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    I do not know how often it must be posted for the posted limit to be enforceable but if there is an area that is not posted, the speed limit is then the default limit per the state for that type of road. All roads in California have default limits. Since 70 is the max limit is California, the speed limit is no more than 70. If that is better than 80 in a 65 I don't know.

    The speed engineering information is available from the state.


    I think the cop tailed me in my blind spot to gauge my speed.
    smart cop, poor driving skills on your part. You should always know if there is a vehicle in your blind spot. If you don't, then you aren't paying attention to the traffic around you well enough.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    I do not know how often it must be posted for the posted limit to be enforceable but if there is an area that is not posted, the speed limit is then the default limit per the state for that type of road. All roads in California have default limits. Since 70 is the max limit is California, the speed limit is no more than 70. If that is better than 80 in a 65 I don't know.
    Actually, the default speed limit is 65 (CVC 22349), except school and senior zones (25 mph) (CVC 22352) and 2 lane roads (55 mph) (also CVC 22349). Upon a traffic study and consent of the CHP (well, "consultation"), CalTrans can enact a 70 mph limit on freeways, which is a different charge than violating a 65 mph speed limit (CVC 22356). No engineering and traffic study (ETS) is required for a 65 mph speed limit.

    Regardless of the charge, all speeding tickets for 1-15 mph over carry the same fine, which after penalty fees and assessments, comes out to about $230. Speeding charges also carry a point. Also, for maximum speed limit offenses (22349, 22356, and 22352) the speed trap laws do not come into play. Similarly I don't think there's any statute requiring them to be calibrated, but they often are. The biggest problem is that you would need to show that the calibration is 15 mph off and no one noticed. Also, police officers are trained to visually estimate speeds, and while there's generally a few mph worth of error there, 15 mph falls well outside that range by over 10 mph.


    If it was the CHP, apparently they almost always show up. I got lucky and the officer for my speeding ticket didn't return his response. If you are going to play "officer roulette," then you should start with a trial by declaration. If the officer doesn't respond, then you win. Assuming a 22349 then it's going to be relatively easy to prove (the officer visually estimated your speed then confirmed it with either a pace, radar, or LIDAR. If you lose, however, you have the right to request a new trial (trial de novo) and get to play officer roulette a second time. The catch is if you fight the ticket, then the judge has the discretion to allow (and by connection not allow) traffic school.

    If you take traffic school, then the point is held confidentially from insurance companies. Your rates can't be raised off of an offense that they don't know about. There used to be 12 hour traffic school for repeat offenders. The 12 hour school removed the point, thus helping people keep their license, but the offense was still reported and insurance companies know how to interpret a moving violation that didn't carry a point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Silicon Valley
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    528

    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    Quote Quoting Devil_Fish
    View Post
    How often is the Speed limit supposed to be posted???
    The California MUTCD says that for freeways with posted 65mph speed limits, the maximum interval between speed limit signs is 25 miles. (CA-MUTCD 2012, sec. 2B-13 p. 148). Google maps estimates the distance between Morgan Hill and San Jose as 23 miles.

    Quote Quoting Devil_Fish
    View Post
    Is the lack of speed limit signs a valid defence?? I am also interested it finding out when the last engineering speed survay was done for this stretch of road.
    No, the lack of signage is unlikely to be a winning defense. The maximum speed on multiple lane highways is 65mph unless otherwise posted. See CVC 22349(a).

    Caltrans maintains the surveys for highways like 101. You should contact them for a copy; however, if you were cited for 22349 the survey probably isn't relevant to your defense, since all the prosecution must do is prove that you were going faster than 65mph.

    Quote Quoting Devil_Fish
    View Post
    I've read the tipmra web site, and I am woundering how likley it is that a ticket such as this could be dismissed. I think the cop tailed me in my blind spot to gauge my speed. Do they have to get the speedo in their cruisers calibrated? do they have to test it for accuracy?? If I go to court, how likley is it that the cop will show up?
    Was your ticket from CHP? They're very thorough about performing their maintenance and calibration, and their officers are really good about showing up for court. Nowadays, officers get paid overtime to attend court so the likelihood that one would fail to show is low.

    Quote Quoting Devil_Fish
    View Post
    One last question: I've gotten conflicting info on wether trafic school helps when it comes to insurance premiums. Some people say that insurance will go up no matter what. the courtesy notice saus that if I don't take traffic school it may adversly effect my insurance, but it dosn't say that it won't effect my insurance if I do take traffic school. So what's the deal? if I take traffic school will my insurance stay the same, or will it go up any way?
    If you haven't taken traffic school in the last 18 months, and you take it for this violation, then the violation should be hidden from the record that is available to insurance companies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    Quote Quoting themadnorwegian
    View Post
    Was your ticket from CHP? They're very thorough about performing their maintenance and calibration, and their officers are really good about showing up for court. Nowadays, officers get paid overtime to attend court if the scheduled court appearance is outside of their regular shift,so the likelihood that one would fail to show is low.
    Fixed that for you.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    California student;605223]Actually, the default speed limit is 65 (CVC 22349), except school and senior zones (25 mph) (CVC 22352) and 2 lane roads (55 mph) (also CVC 22349). Upon a traffic study and consent of the CHP (well, "consultation"), CalTrans can enact a 70 mph limit on freeways, which is a different charge than violating a 65 mph speed limit (CVC 22356). No engineering and traffic study (ETS) is required for a 65 mph speed limit.
    Oh, I thought is was 70 due to Cal VC 22356


    22356. (a) Whenever the Department of Transportation, afterconsultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol,determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey onexisting highway segments, or upon the basis of appropriate designstandards and projected traffic volumes in the case of newlyconstructed highway segments, that a speed greater than 65 miles perhour would facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic andwould be reasonable and safe upon any state highway, or portionthereof, that is otherwise subject to a maximum speed limit of 65miles per hour, the Department of Transportation, with the approvalof the Department of the California Highway Patrol, may declare ahigher maximum speed of 70 miles per hour for vehicles not subject toSection 22406, and shall cause appropriate signs to be erectedgiving notice thereof. The Department of Transportation shall onlymake a determination under this section that is fully consistentwith, and in full compliance with, federal law. (b) No person shall drive a vehicle upon that highway at a speedgreater than 70 miles per hour, as posted. (c) This section shall become operative on the date specified insubdivision (c) of Section 22366.
    I guess that law has not gone into effect due to the verbiage in 22366/

  7. #7

    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    No. We do have freeways signed at 70 MPH. However, if you read the wording of CVC 22356, 70 is an exception to 65 that can only occur following a traffic study and consultation with the CHP. While 70 mph is the highest speed limit possible in California, it is not a default speed. If you're on a multilane freeway and aren't sure if the speed limit is 65 or 70, pick 65. You'll be right the vast majority of time and going 65 in the right lane isn't ever going to be illegal (especially since traffic with trailers are limited to 55 regardless of the posted limit), where as 70 is only legal in specific places.

    22349. (a) Except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour.
    Emphasis added.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    I see it now. It specifically states signs would be erected for the 70 mph sections which means....


    yes, it is not a default speed. Gotcha.

  9. #9
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    Silicon Valley
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    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    Quote Quoting sniper
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    Fixed that for you.
    Thanks! Based upon my limited experience, it looked like the courts endeavor to work with the officer to find a time that works with their schedule. I observed a number of cases where the cases were continued because the officer called in and requested a continuance. The court then gave the defendant a set of dates, presumably ones where the officer had time off, and the trial was rescheduled. Would it be fair to say that it's still pretty difficult to deliberately schedule a trial that an officer wants to attend? That was certainly my impression, at least.

  10. #10
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    Northern California
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    Default Re: Speed Limit Not Posted

    Quote Quoting themadnorwegian
    View Post
    Thanks! Based upon my limited experience, it looked like the courts endeavor to work with the officer to find a time that works with their schedule. I observed a number of cases where the cases were continued because the officer called in and requested a continuance. The court then gave the defendant a set of dates, presumably ones where the officer had time off, and the trial was rescheduled. Would it be fair to say that it's still pretty difficult to deliberately schedule a trial that an officer wants to attend? That was certainly my impression, at least.
    Wow, must be nice to work where a court allows random continuances for whatever reason. Most courts that I have seen you (the officer) must be on a previously scheduled vacation, sick, or in the hospital for a continuance. I've seen 50/50 on when the officer, on the way to court, is delayed due to a work related emergency where the judge tosses the case, even though there is a valid reason to continue it. Really it would be more trouble then it's worth to jockey dates around like that to get overtime. If you want the overtime, court is always a guaranteed overtime if you work nights. Then any court appearance is off your normal shift.

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