Re: Freeway Speeding in a Construction Zone
Sorry, things are running a bit slow here this morning and I don't think I am catching on... You're saying that potentially, because the sign can be blocked by a pick up truck, you're not guilty of the infraction you were cited for? That sign is probably properly posted at or close to the standard height...
In fact, there is a legal presumption that it is and the burden to prove it was not in compliance is upon you!
The other facts is that almost all sings are posted at such a height where they all can potentially be blocked by a pick up truck, or a semi, or an SUV if your vehicle is low enough... I am not clear on the rest of your description... But my guess is that you passed at least one sign announcing the construction zone speed limit.
You were probably cited for 22350, however, as far as the legal requirement for posting of the construction zone speed limit, this is the controlling code section:
It is prima facie a violation of the basic speed law for any person to operate a vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit upon any portion of a highway where officers or employees of the agency having jurisdiction of the same, or any contractor of the agency or his employees, are at work on the roadway or within the right-of-way so close thereto as to be endangered by passing traffic. This section applies only when appropriate signs, indicating the limits of the restricted zone, and the speed limit applicable therein, are placed by such agency within 400 feet of each end of such zone. The signs shall display the figures indicating the applicable limit, which shall not be less than 25 miles per hour, and shall indicate the purpose of the speed restriction. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve any operator of a vehicle from complying with the basic speed law.
While it is mandated that the sign announcing the beginning of the construction zone be posted 400 feet from where the work is actually being performed I don't see anything that would come close to what you described. Meaning just like any other P.F. speed limit, it has to be posted to be in effect. So the question is then, how many signs must you pass before the particular prima facie speed limit goes into effect?
Also, the following code section plays an important part in that it places the burden upon you to have to prove that signing was inadequate.
(a) Whenever a traffic sign or traffic control device is placed in a position approximately conforming to the requirements of this code, it shall be presumed to have been placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority, unless the contrary is established by competent evidence.
(b) Any sign or traffic control device placed pursuant to this code and purporting to conform to the lawful requirements pertaining to it shall be presumed to comply with the requirements of this code unless the contrary is established by competent evidence.
You can also review the requirements under the 2012 CA-MUTCD and hope you'll find a discrepancy but at the end of the day, your excuse is a mere hypothetical that it could be blocked, you do however describe it location with great detail, so I'm not sure what the problem is!
I will add this as well, you did get a HUGE break with the officer citing you for a lower speed. At 20 mph over and assuming your fine does carry the construction zone enhancement, you're looking at approximately $514. had he cited his measurement of 30 over, you would have been looking at $634...
I am right 97% of the time... Who cares about the other 4%!