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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2

    Default Ticketed for Speeding in a School Zone with No Lights Flashing

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

    Google Map of the streets involed here:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...02773&t=h&z=19

    Yesterday I was traveling east on Erie Parkway which has a speed limit of 35 mph from 119th to East County Line Road. There was a cop parked on the south side of Meller facing Erie Parkway. I thankfully was travelling at 35 mph due to the left lane being closed for landscaping of the median (There were no signs to indicate a reduced speed limit for construction) and noticing that there was a cop car in front of the mini van I was following (I was about 40 yards back of the mini van).

    Now you may notice the top of a school zone sign with the solar top that is 15 trees to the East of Meller street, however the lights WHERE NOT ON (It's a sign that only says "When lights are flashing", no time or when children are present) so I continue at 35 mph. The car cop and mini van in front of me also had no reaction to the sign as I didn't gain any ground on the mini van. Ok back to the cop hanging out on Meller street, I pass him thinking nothing of the situation until he pulls me over. I'm quite baffled at this point as to what in the world he could pull me over for. Once he get to my window and ask the "Do you know why I pulled you over?" I answer in a very strange looked no. He going on to say the speed limit is 20 mph when the lights are on, which is true, but the lights where not on. Any ways he writes the ticket an brings it back. The ticket reports that I was going 34 mph in a school zone at 1:05 p.m. After the stop I a course flip a U turn to make sure I'm not crazy and the lights are not on going either east or west.

    So looking around here yesterday I noticed others that had tickets in schools zones went to the Public Works dept. to find out info about the school lights. I emailed them about the first thing that popped into my head, which is: what is the schedule of the school lights there. I've actually always wondered this since there are no times posted on any of the school zone signs. The respond first thing this morning and what do I find, they are on from 11:20 am to NOON then 3:00pm to 4:15 pm.

    I'm curious as to what my next steps maybe? I'm guessing step 1 is get discovery, however after that i'm at a loss as to what to do next. Also what should I do if on his notes he claims he show the lights on? This is pure crap, I don't have a picture yet but check out the street view:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...287.3,,0,-0.44

    Sorry for any bad english above, i'm a math person.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Ticketed for Speeding in a School Zone with No Lights Flashing

    Quote Quoting standub
    View Post
    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Colorado

    Google Map of the streets involed here:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...02773&t=h&z=19

    Yesterday I was traveling east on Erie Parkway which has a speed limit of 35 mph from 119th to East County Line Road. There was a cop parked on the south side of Meller facing Erie Parkway. I thankfully was travelling at 35 mph due to the left lane being closed for landscaping of the median (There were no signs to indicate a reduced speed limit for construction) and noticing that there was a cop car in front of the mini van I was following (I was about 40 yards back of the mini van).

    Now you may notice the top of a school zone sign with the solar top that is 15 trees to the East of Meller street, however the lights WHERE NOT ON (It's a sign that only says "When lights are flashing", no time or when children are present) so I continue at 35 mph. The car cop and mini van in front of me also had no reaction to the sign as I didn't gain any ground on the mini van. Ok back to the cop hanging out on Meller street, I pass him thinking nothing of the situation until he pulls me over. I'm quite baffled at this point as to what in the world he could pull me over for. Once he get to my window and ask the "Do you know why I pulled you over?" I answer in a very strange looked no. He going on to say the speed limit is 20 mph when the lights are on, which is true, but the lights where not on. Any ways he writes the ticket an brings it back. The ticket reports that I was going 34 mph in a school zone at 1:05 p.m. After the stop I a course flip a U turn to make sure I'm not crazy and the lights are not on going either east or west.

    So looking around here yesterday I noticed others that had tickets in schools zones went to the Public Works dept. to find out info about the school lights. I emailed them about the first thing that popped into my head, which is: what is the schedule of the school lights there. I've actually always wondered this since there are no times posted on any of the school zone signs. The respond first thing this morning and what do I find, they are on from 11:20 am to NOON then 3:00pm to 4:15 pm.

    I'm curious as to what my next steps maybe? I'm guessing step 1 is get discovery, however after that i'm at a loss as to what to do next. Also what should I do if on his notes he claims he show the lights on? This is pure crap, I don't have a picture yet but check out the street view:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...287.3,,0,-0.44

    Sorry for any bad english above, i'm a math person.
    I would simply make a public records request to the Dept of Public Works requesting the times those lights were scheduled to be on on the date of the citation (an official letter from Public Works which will most likely be printed on their letterhead might be much easier to authenticate as evidence in court than an email.

    I would also contact the school and request the same info (I would make an effort to be polite and respectful and might even explain how my speed was measured at 34 in 35 zone during a time when the school zone limit was not in effect, how I understand and appreciate that the safety of children is paramount and am respectful of those lower limits when they are in effect... etc, and how much I would appreciate it if the school would provide a written listing of the times when the lights are on/lower speed limit is in effect...

    I'm not sure why you'd need discovery but now that you know for a fact that the lights were NOT on, regardless of what the officer had is not likely to validate the citation. but I you feel the need to request it, the by all means...

    Either way, you would then appear in court on the date indicated on your citation and you would approach the prosecuting attorney handling your case and you would explain the situation to him. Basically you want to try and see if will hear you out and dismiss the case at that juncture. If he does, you will present him with copies of the letters you hopefully have by then, point out the time of the violation as written on the citation, and explain how the officer made an error by citing you for the lower limit at a time when it clearly was no in effect. You would also point out that the non-school zone limit (when lights are off) is 35, and how the citation shows your speed being at 34 which means you were in compliance. And you would ask him for a dismissal.

    If for some odd reason he refuses to dismiss, you would have no other choice but to plead not guilty and request a court trial, and that way you will have the opportunity to present the same explanation to the judge and ask him to dismiss the case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Update to Old Thread of a School Zone Light

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

    Previous thread: http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148979
    Recap: Ticket for 34mph in a 20mph school zone(normal speed limit 35 mph) @ 1:05pm. The next day the dept. of public works sent me a schedule stating the school zone lights for the zone I was in are on from 11:20am-12:00pm and 3:00pm-4:15pm.

    This past Monday was my trial date, however the officer was at another trial so the prosecutor was granted a continuance till next months traffic court. In an effort to get the case dismissed so I wouldn't have to waste another morning I showed the prosecutor my print out of the schedule showing the officer was outside the school zone time. She takes the print out I have and say she'll go talk to the dept and likely dismiss if it pans out. Fast forward to today and in my email I get a "corrected" from the town clerk showing that the zone I was in is actually also on from 12:45pm - 1:05pm, and the previous schedule was for another school in town. I happened also to get a look at the cops notes during the continuance hearing. He states that from "previous research he knows that the lights are on from 12:45pm - 1:15pm", which doesn't line up with the actual schedule. There is another school in town that has a zone from 12:50p-1:25pm. Also included in the notes is that he never observed flashing lights at the time he pulled me over. What should be my next step here? Am I just out of luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? To be fair the prosecutor has a month to decide so this whole thing could still get dismissed.

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