My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Washington
In a 30 mph except 20mph School Zone when flashing area. The sign was not flashing @11:20AM when I entered. I pulled into a driveway inside the zone and spent approximately 50 minutes on-site doing computer maintenance. I then left and continued on the same road in the same direction. No visible signs indicating that it was a school zone. There was a crosswalk but no flashing lights and no 20mph sign. I was traveling at 30mph. I was cited for doing 31 in a 20mph school zone right in front of a 30mph sign with no mention of school zone. I suspect i was about 250 feet past the crosswalk. After I was pulled over I looked back and the lights were flashing in the opposite direction, but there was no way I could possibly know that the lights had started to flash.
I followed every visible traffic speed sign, but they cited me anyway.
I later found out the the flashing lights started at 11:38.
Does the presence of the 30mph sign supersede the school zone?
I requested a contested hearing, but it was continued because when I filed the request for discovery and then made the request to subpoena the officer, but it was contained in the discovery request and the court said it was not made on the proper form.
I am rescheduled to appear April 12, 2010. The prosecution has offered to reduce the $271 fee to $150 and will accept deferred prosecution on the incident, but I don't like admitting to something that I couldn't possibly have known and think I may have a case here.
Additional information. The statute cited was RCW 46.61.440. the language is:
(1) Subject to RCW 46.61.400(1), and except in those instances where a lower maximum lawful speed is provided by this chapter or otherwise, it shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to operate the same at a speed in excess of twenty miles per hour when operating any vehicle upon a highway either inside or outside an incorporated city or town when passing any marked school or playground crosswalk when such marked crosswalk is FULLY posted with standard school speed limit signs or .....
note the word "FULLY" (my emphasis) there are several other streets and driveways that are inside the flashing light zone and clearly the crosswalk has no speed limit or flashing lights. I have seen other school zones that are clearly marked, have several sets of flashing lights with a sign announcing the hours in effect and "End School Zone" markings. These are fully posted IMHO.
Should I throw myself at the mercy of the court (since I followed every sign), try to fight based on the "FULLY" clause and placement of the 30 mph sign or accept the deferral?
Ps: Is it required that the officer have personal recollection of this incident?