My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California
I recently received a speeding ticket on a two-lane (55mph) highway, clocked at 72 mph according to the officer, and was cited for violating VC 22349(b). While I was unable to talk my way out of the ticket, he did write down the speed as "65+" instead of 72 as a nice gesture, I suppose.
Here are the circumstances and the basic idea behind my defense. I was behind a truck towing a large RV trailer for about 10 miles with no passing lane. The truck was averaging 10 mph BELOW the speed limit during that entire time, and had certainly accumulated more than 5 cars following it, with me being the first. As a passing lane appeared, I moved to the left to utilize the passing lane. With the extra space and the chip on the shoulder that people towing large objects sometimes have, this truck also sped up when the passing lane appeared. In order to execute the pass, I accelerated, unaware of exactly what speed I was going but only concerned with getting in front of the vehicle and moving to the right (as there was a line of cars behind me) to safely complete the pass. Because the truck accelerated with the passing lane, I may have exceeded the speed limit to complete the pass, but my focus was not on my speed but on executing the pass safely and to allow cars behind me to also complete the pass, as cars behind me were also moving into the passing lane. As I completed the pass, I saw the officer pull out of a shoulder and move to follow me.
How good is my defense here? I am well aware that the 55mph on a 2-lane highway is quite absolute and harder to defend than the basic speed law, but I cannot go to traffic school and want to fight this if possible, as I don't see serious downsides to fighting it. I can also hope that my discovery request is ignored/takes too much time and/or the officer doesn't show up, but in the case the officer shows up I want to have the best possible thing to say.
Lastly - I'm almost certain this isn't relevant - the officer transcribed my birthday incorrectly on the ticket and was off by 10 years (he wrote 93 when it should have been 83, month and date were right).
It is clear this officer was positioned to catch people trying to pass slow vehicles after a 10 mile stretch without a passing lane. While this is not my defense I just have to say that's pretty slimy. I had just spend 1 hour with cruise control set at the speed limit. How frustrating. I did learn from all this that speed limits in California are absolute, with no exceptions made to passing, whether in a dedicated passing lane or on the left side of a 2-lane highway! Go figure. Perhaps this was one of the questions I missed when taking my driving test 15 years ago....