My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California (southern california)
I got a pacing 22350 ticket on surface streets. I am innocent. My core argument is that the speed I was going is "safe and prudent." The city's speed survey violates the MUTCD standards for speed surveys (among other problems) so the 85th percentile is skewed WAY too low; plus the survey was done in the middle of the week whereas I was ticketed on a Saturday morning when traffic is much lighter and prevailing speeds are much higher.
Doing my own survey (not as hard as you think) showed that my speed was below the 85th percentile for the conditions. Although I'm not a traffic engineer I have the technical credentials to conduct a survey that dramatically improved on the survey done by the city.
1) What is the legal importance of an invalid prima facie speed limit in a pacing case?
From what I read, the only real effect is that it might technically shift the burden to the prosecution by removing the presumption of guilt. But, the officer admitted his judgment of safety was based on the speed limit alone (I was in the slow lane of a 4-lane road not passing anybody), so if the officer admits in court that his allegation of unsafe driving was based solely or primarily on the "invalid" prima facie limit, does this have weight? FWIW, the officer was CHP, and apparently not familiar with this city. I don't know why he was there.
Is there a statutory, regulatory or other standard that establishes that the 85th percentile defines a "safe speed." This http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117810 earlier thread says CalTrans defines the 85th percentile speed as safe, but I couldn't find it. Shouldn't it be sufficient for acquittal to show that the speed alleged by the officer is under the 85th percentile for the given conditions?
Does it matter that this location is a de facto speed trap? No radar was used (AFAIK) so statutory speed trap laws don't apply. However, the Goulet opinion certainly suggests that de facto speed traps are not appropriate either. Goulet simply allows for police to spontaneously pace - which makes sense - but it still discourages simply substituting pacing technology for radar to sidestep speed trap protections for the accused.
Are there implications at trial for doing my own speed survey that I may not be aware of? (Again, this link http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117810 touches on the subject.
As a legal matter, can I use discovery for the TBD?