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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    7

    Default Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

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

    Hello everybody,

    Here are the conditions in which this incident occurred:
    1. This occurred at 7 AM back in August.
    2. Weather conditions were clear skies and sunny.
    3. Light traffic since it was very early in the morning.
    4. Roads were dry.
    5. I was cresting over a hill so I had great visibility.


    As I mentioned, I was just cresting over the hill travelling southbound on the PCH in Malibu at Red Square A marked on the map below. The police officer was parked in his motorcycle at the bottom of the hill at Blue Circle B. He pulled me over when I reached the bottom of the hill and cited me for '22350VC - Speeding', driving 60 in a 45, and ticked the 'Laser' box.



    I have requested an Engineering and Traffic Survey from CalTrans for the stretch of road where this incident occurred and it can be viewed here:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/116657889

    Here are some points about the traffic survey:
    1. It was initially conducted in 2003 (see Page 2).
    2. 85th percentile speed is between 44-54mph (see Page 3). Normally a 50mph speed limit would be posted but due to a variety of conditions, it was set to 45mph.
    3. In 2010 (7 years after the last survey) on Page 7, it says that a new traffic survey may be postponed until 10 years from the last survey (2003) if all the boxes are checked "No". However, Question 2 is checked "Yes". So because of this, it was recommended that the existing survey be extended an additional 3 years from the date of the most recent survey. It was signed at dated in 2010. Does that mean that it was extended to 2013? The last real traffic survey was conducted still back in 2003, and in 2010, it was more of an evaluation of existing conditions, does that count?


    My appearance date was initially set to be at the end of November and was given the option of traffic school but I have filed for an extension until end of January next year. I think my best course of action would be a Trial by Written Declaration first. I have several questions:
    1. Do I have to physically appear in court in order to request a Trial by Written Declaration? If so, it would present a problem for me since this occurred in Malibu, CA (SoCal) and I closer to San Francisco, CA (NorCal).
    2. If I am granted TBD, what would be my best defense?


    Any help as to how I should go forward with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    It would be nice if you can go through your survey and mark the pertinent roadway segments. It would make it easier for us to review the related information and guide you further.

    At first glance, I am not seeing any issues with the 3 year extension. But someone is free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Quote Quoting nolimits
    View Post
    My appearance date was initially set to be at the end of November and was given the option of traffic school but I have filed for an extension until end of January next year. I think my best course of action would be a Trial by Written Declaration first. I have several questions:
    1. Do I have to physically appear in court in order to request a Trial by Written Declaration? If so, it would present a problem for me since this occurred in Malibu, CA (SoCal) and I closer to San Francisco, CA (NorCal).
    2. If I am granted TBD, what would be my best defense?


    Any help as to how I should go forward with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    You can request a TBD by mail, however, there is a likelihood that the court might reject your request at this point in time since you've requested and have received an extension. This would be pursuant to

    Rule of Court Rule 4.210. Traffic court—trial by written declaration
    (b) Procedure
    (2) Extending due date

    If the clerk receives the defendant’s written request for a trial by written declaration by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear, the clerk must, within 15 calendar days after receiving the defendant’s written request, extend the appearance date 25 calendar days and must give or mail notice to the defendant of the extended due date on the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) with a copy of the Instructions to Defendant (form TR-200) and any other required forms.

    I'm not saying this will happen, I'm saying don't be surprised if it does happen!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    At first glance, I am not seeing any issues with the 3 year extension. But someone is free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Ok... I'll correct you.

    How about the simple, plain language of the survey itself? It clearly states that if any of the five items are checked yes, a COMPLETE survey will have to be conducted. Then it says if "no" applies to all the items, the survey can be extended to 10 years. Note that the underlined words are NOT my emphasis... rather they are the emphasis on the survey. It is not only clear that all the items must be answered no for the survey to be extended... it is emphatic!! Item 2 is marked "yes". Clearly, and emphatically, the survey is invalid... despite the contradictory statement made by they signature block at the end of the survey. This is indisputable. CALTRANS themselves are emphatically telling you the survey is not valid, yet you would see no issue with the three year extension??

    Absolutely amazing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Quote Quoting nolimits
    View Post
    Here are the conditions in which this incident occurred:
    1. This occurred at 7 AM back in August.
    2. Weather conditions were clear skies and sunny.
    3. Light traffic since it was very early in the morning.
    4. Roads were dry.
    5. I was cresting over a hill so I had great visibility.
    You're going to have a hard time using these conditions, which are typically the conditions on PCH year rounds and more likely the same conditions that existed at the time the survey was conducted (as is often the requirement) as a way to justify your speed of 60mph (or 15mph in excess of what was determined to be the safe speed by methods that are predicated on legal requirements described under the law, was safe in any way. Looking back from the location you've indicated, it appears you had already crested the hill a while back, and frankly I am not so sure how that would change anything. Looking forward from that same location and it appears that you still had quite a ways to go downhill. And if you were at 60mph midway, I'm guessing your speed increased by some before you reached bottom.

    Either way, an evaluation based on this:

    Quote Quoting nolimits
    View Post
    85th percentile speed is between 44-54mph (see Page 3).
    ... is highly inaccurate as that range might indicate several 85th percentile speeds (45, 50 and 55mph). And so you need to determine which segment described on page 3 you were in, and then determine whether the speed reductions were appropriate. And hence my request at the top to narrow it down for us by reviewing the survey limits against a map and providing some direction for us to start.

    I should preface my comments by saying that there are times when an attempt to reduce too many speed differentials (i.e. in an attempt to eliminate several up and down speed variations), engineering judgement might dictate and slight variance from the typical procedural allowances. So you need to take engineering judgment into account as well.


    Quote Quoting EWYLTJ
    View Post
    Ok... I'll correct you.
    Well, what do you know... Mr STALKER IS HERE

    "no limits" you're free to follow who's ever advice you feel will serve you best here. You're free to click on my screen name to review my post and get an idea on my views in here, or you can click on EWYLTJ's screen name and get an idea on how he's done nothing but attempt to stalk me and disrupt the flow of advice on this forum. Don't ask me why the Mods won't do anything to resolve this issue. I only post on this forum, I don't moderate it!

    Quote Quoting EWYLTJ
    View Post
    Absolutely amazing.
    What's even more amazing is that you can sit behind your computer monitor and pretend that you have a clue... Tell the OP to go argue with the court that your opinion should override the opinion of the senior engineer who's primary duty and the way he earns a living are these surveys. See where that gets you! After all, that survey has his professional engineer stamp... (Who are you again)!

    You should also give the OP an idea on when was the last time you were in court making any argument about a speed survey. Going by what you've bragged about on here:

    Travesty of Justice in California Traffic Court

    Proof of the "Tickets for Revenue" Scam

    .... and the hypocrisy that you demonstrated and purported ever since, you didn't argue much in front of a judge in years, so what do you know about what will stand up in court and what wont?


    Better yet, when was the last time you were in an L. A. County courthouse?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    TG,

    You are the one who asked people to point out if you were wrong. I simply accommodated.

    It's interesting how in this thread, much like in several others, you attack me personally. You post irrelevant links in a vain attempt to discredit me. You spew a lot of venom and blather... But the one thing you don't do is provide a legitimate rebuttal to the valid points I make.

    In this case, the survey defeats itself. That is plain and indisputable. On its face it is invalid. Yet you see nothing wrong with it. I point out that which is obvious and you attack me. So, who does that make a stalker?? The fact is, you have already had numerous posts and signature lines removed by the moderator of this site for your irrelevant personal attacks against several people... Not just me. You are out of control. And the fact that you would continue to argue the validity of this survey based on what has been presented clearly demonstrates your lack of objectivity.

    Now, with that being said.... You have missed the most obvious point. On item number two where a yes response was given, there is a parenthetical note that says "see attached." if you are so desperate to show that the survey is valid, you should have been asking the OP to find out what the attachment says. Anger makes you blind.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Thanks guys for your help!

    TG, here's are the two mile markers that I was in between when I got stopped:


    Concerning my request for a TBD:
    1. How would I go about requesting a TBD by mail? Do I file a TR-205 form just for the request and wait for their instructions?
    2. To whom do I send it to?
    3. Do I have to post the bail amount along with the request? If so, how do I find out how much it is?


    And do you guys know if I have any ground to stand on regarding Question 2 that was check "YES" on the most recent survey? If not, what would be my best defense?

    Again, thanks for all the help guys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    nolimit,

    If you want to do a TBD, go to helpigotaticket.com. There is a good tutorial for doing it there. Just understand, if the cop sends in a statement, you will likely lose the TBD. It is irrelevant what how obvious the circumstances may be... TBDs typically are just rubber stamped "guilty". This is because there is no judicial review for a TBD. A judge can be as ridiculous and as arbitrary as he likes with no repercussion. And this is because there is no appeal for a TBD... there is only a trial de novo. This means that no appellate body will ever evaluate the judge's decision. So, a finding of guilty is a no lose situation for the judge.

    Personally, I think it is pretty clear that your survey is expired. Period. But I am curious about what that "attachment" is. You should call CALTRANS and tell them to send it to you.

    Even if the survey was not expired... there is no justification for the lowering of the limit from 50 to 45. Of all the excuses used, the only one that is not "readily apparent to the driver" is the one about the fatal accidents. However, there are no statistics about any fatal accidents nor is there a primary cause for the fatal accidents. For all you know, a drunk driver drove off the road and hit a tree. Clearly, this would not warrant lowering the speed limit. So, without any data to support, the mere claim of fatalities does not substantiate anything. And, as I already said, all the other items are apparent to the driver, which by statute, does NOT justify lowering the speed limit below the 85th percentile.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    EWYLTJ, I appreciate your frankness regarding my chances with TBD. In a way, maybe I'm just wishing that the police officer will choose not to respond.

    However, would it make sense to say in my TBD that:
    • The engineering survey may in fact be expired so I could possibly use the speed trap argument.
    • The 85th percentile critical speed is 5mph above the posted 45mph speed limit.
    • There were clear weather conditions so I did not pose a danger to people or property.


    I will also contact Caltrans to inquire about the missing attachment and also file for an information discovery request with the Malibu DA and LA County Sheriff Department.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    * *
    Nolimits,

    I can only offer you my opinion. *I have my biases, just like everyone else. *But my biases are based upon my experiences. *Personally, I have never heard of anyone who actually won a TBD where the cop actually submitted a statement. *Hence, my opinion that TBDs are simply rubber stamped. *Additionally, I'm convinced that there is not even consideration of a traffic survey in a TBD. *You likely have read here of many people who have done a TBD and after they lost, they got a copy of the officer's statement. *Out of all of those cases, how many have you read about getting an officer's statement that included a speed survey?

    Personally, I would normally do a TBD. *It's only a small chance that you will be successful and win your case before trial, but there is a zero chance that you will win your case before trial if you don't do a TBD. So, in essence, it is a free bite at the apple.

    I think you should get the attachment. *But you could search on posts that I have made concerning discovery. *I have a different opinion than most. *I believe you should NOT send discovery to a police agency as they are not legally obligated to provide discovery. *Remember, the cop is only a witness. *So, they may or may not provide discovery and they also can withhold exculpatory evidence. *Only the prosecuting attorney is legally obligated to provide discovery. *Only the prosecuting attorney is obligated to turn over any exculpatory evidence. *So, in essence, you do not do a discovery request with a police agency... it is only a request for information.

    Get the attachment. *As it stands, your case looks very solid. *I'm having a hard time imagining what the attachment could say that would overcome the statements in the survey itself... but you don't want to be surprised in court.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Quote Quoting EWYLTJ
    View Post
    How about the simple, plain language of the survey itself? It clearly states that if any of the five items are checked yes, a COMPLETE survey will have to be conducted. Then it says if "no" applies to all the items, the survey can be extended to 10 years.
    Take a look at 40802 (c)(2)(B)(i)(II):

    If an engineering and traffic survey was conducted more than seven years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and a registered engineer evaluates the section of the highway and determines that no significant changes in roadway or traffic conditions have occurred, including, but not limited to, changes in adjoining property or land use, roadway width, or traffic volume, 10 years.

    According to the law, it's up to the engineer to decide whether or not the changes are significant. If so, then a new survey is warranted. In this survey, the engineer did note that a change was present, but thought that it wasn't significant. While the document claims that the policy requires a new speed survey, the law in 40802 doesn't.

    Quote Quoting nolimits
    View Post
    The 85th percentile critical speed is 5mph above the posted 45mph speed limit.
    Since the survey indicates other safety factors here, it's going to be hard to argue that the 5mph reduction isn't warranted. The interesting thing about these 85th percentile numbers is that they're all over the map. I'm not sure this helps the southbound drivers, but at least on the northbound side it looks like a higher speed limit might be warranted in a few sections. That said, VC 22361 authorizes separate speed limits on multiple lane highways with two or more separate roadways. If this highway doesn't qualify, then the speed limit must be the same on both sides. If that's true, then I'd get the raw data for these calculations and determine whether the aggregate 85th percentile speed for the sections in question is calculated correctly.

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