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  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    I was cited with VC22350 in a 30MPH zone but on the citation itself, the officer states that safe for conditions at the time was 35MPH.

    I've requested and looked over the city's engineering surveys and the survey state that 30MPH is the reasonable, recommended limit.

    Does the officer's judgment/authority supersede posted limits or is there an argument for dismissal based upon the contradiction?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    The officer's assessment was based upon what? Bad weather?

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    What did he enter in the "Speed Approx" box? And how did he measure your speed?

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    50MPH using LIDAR

    Posted Limit: 30MPH
    Safe Speed: 35MPH

    Wet road, Cloudy, LT traffic, in a business zone on a 4 lane highway at 8:30AM

    I'm getting my TBWD papers ready and will be submitting it this month.

    Do I mention this detail in the Statement of Facts or should I leave it blank as suggested by helpigotaticket.com website?

  5. #5
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    LA LA Land
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    Quote Quoting highonboba
    View Post
    50MPH
    Then the "safe speed" is not as relevant as it may seem. Even if it were, you were cited for exceeding the "safe speed" by 15mph.

    Basically, the case will be based upon the 30mph posted limit (and so will the fine amount). So as long as the posted limit is justified by an E&T survey (and you say it is), as long as the officer is P.O.S.T. trained and certified, and as long as the LIDAR unit had been calibrated within the 3 year period prior to the date of the alleged offense, then VC 22351(b) rears its ugly head and says: "The speed of any vehicle upon a highway in excess of the prima facie speed limits in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is prima facie unlawful unless the defendant establishes by competent evidence that the speed in excess of said limits did not constitute a violation of the basic speed law at the time, place and under the conditions then existing".

    So even if you were to argue that the officer deemed the "safe speed" as 35mph, you're still 15mph in excess of that speed and you will likely be found guilty.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    Do I have to be cited for VC 22351 for it to "rear its ugly head?"

    I was cited for VC 22350 and my understanding is that they were different charges?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    Quote Quoting highonboba
    View Post
    Do I have to be cited for VC 22351 for it to "rear its ugly head?"

    I was cited for VC 22350 and my understanding is that they were different charges?
    I realize that you were cited for 22350.

    VC 22351 works in conjunction with VC 22350 in that it shifts the burden of proof back to the defendant to justify his speed if/when the officer meets the requirements under VC 40802.

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    VC 22351 works in conjunction with VC 22350 in that it shifts the burden of proof back to the defendant to justify his speed if/when the officer meets the requirements under VC 40802.
    I should rephrase that:

    VC 22351 works in conjunction with VC 22350 in that it allows you the opportunity to refute the presumption that "your speed was unlawful simply because it was in excess of the prima facie limit" by providing the court with any competent evidence to the contrary.

    In reality (your case) you were in excess of BOTH, the P.F. limit AND the "safe speed" and as such, you'd have no valid argument.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    California
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    540

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    Quote Quoting highonboba
    the survey state that 30MPH is the reasonable, recommended limit.
    That recomendation is what the speed limit sign should be.

    The survey's 85th percentile speed is actually the maximum safe speed. It might be e.g. 38 mph.

    I recommend getting Fight Your Ticket & Win in California, as it has a number of ways to contest the validity of an engineering and traffic survey (some of which I contributed).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    CT & IL
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket, Officer's Recommended Limit Contradicts Posted Speed Limit

    These above arguments assume, of course, that the speed limit posted is stated by the officer in court. If he does not testify that the speed limit was 30 MPH then how would this effect his testimony? He is not a traffic engineer. This is the best avenue I can see in winning the case. Its not a bad defense but it would hinge on his testimony not including the actual speed limit that is posted.

    Even if it is 30 MPH, if no testimony is given to this effect I would simply cross him on his educational experience to show the court that he is not qualified to determine an actual safe speed.

    It is interesting; in KY I was pulled over for doing 85 MPH in a posted 65. KY law at the time had the max. state speed limit as being an unsafe speed. I won my case because the officer just testified that my speed exceeded the posted limit ~ not that it was unsafe. So even if the speed limit is posted, does that mean going above it is unsafe? Search out case law in this respect...go to other states' like KY as well to support this claim. Its a harder sell since I doubt that CA has this history regarding speed. Doing 50 MPH in a 30 zone may have been safe if certain road conditions were present. It may be in CA that violating a speed limit sign shows its a violation ... if it says its a prima facia evidence of being unsafe then this can be rebutted.

    So, I would disagree that the OP has no defense ... I see two avenues of defense .. one stronger than the other.

    The OP should do a little research at google scholar & post back with a couple of cases that the OP thinks would be helpful for us to review.

    Quote Quoting highonboba
    View Post
    50MPH using LIDAR

    Posted Limit: 30MPH
    Safe Speed: 35MPH

    Wet road, Cloudy, LT traffic, in a business zone on a 4 lane highway at 8:30AM

    I'm getting my TBWD papers ready and will be submitting it this month.

    Do I mention this detail in the Statement of Facts or should I leave it blank as suggested by helpigotaticket.com website?
    As far as my previous post is concerned - this is one to advance at trial, not a TBWD ... you do not to provide the prosecution with your safety argument before trial as it will allow the procesution to prepare his questions better & to better prepare for trial. So, I would simply put "I am not guilty" on my TBWD.

    This assumes that you are willing to put the time in to prepare for trial & a willingness to go to trial. If not, do what ever you wish.

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