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  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Ordinary Speeding Ticket Issued for Speeding in a School Zone

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

    I recently got a speeding ticket in california for going 42 in a 25 mph school zone. The time was around 8:30 so this definitely holds up even though I feel as though I was not going that fast. The main thing here is that normally this area is a 45 mph zone and when he gave me the ticket, he told me he was not going to write it as a school zone in order to help my fine. I don't think he realized that there is no extra fine in california for speeding in a school zone since it is treated as a normal speeding ticket, so he didn't do anything to help me. However he left the marked speed limit as 25 mph. So in essence, the ticket makes no sense without saying it was in a school zone because that is what changed the speed limit in the first place. Would i be able to just argue that the normal speed limit is 45 mph and he never claimed it was a school zone? any help would be great, just because i am very confused about the ticket in the first place now.

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Typically, 25mph school zones are only applicable when children are present.

    Were there children present?
    Did he cite you with 22350?

  3. #3
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    I honestly did not see any children, and he did not write me down as being in a school zone anywhere on the ticket. he cited me for 22350 for going 42 in a 25 and that is it when normal speed limit is 45. Most of the time on the ticket, they will write along with the 22350, in a school zone to explain the drop in the speed limit or at least that is the case I've seen every time.

  4. #4
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    May 2013
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Quote Quoting Hobbles007
    View Post
    I honestly did not see any children, and he did not write me down as being in a school zone anywhere on the ticket. he cited me for 22350 for going 42 in a 25 and that is it when normal speed limit is 45. Most of the time on the ticket, they will write along with the 22350, in a school zone to explain the drop in the speed limit or at least that is the case I've seen every time.
    "22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed
    greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather,
    visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the
    highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of
    persons or property."

    You need to find out what the school schedule is and determine whether children would have been going to or from school during that time. Second, if there were no children present (i.e. outside the school fence) then the citation is not appropriate.

    If you can delay things until the officer has no independent recollection of the event, depending on what notes he took and still has available when your trial comes around, you have a good shot here. I'd find out how and when you can delay arraignment and then how and when you can delay trial. Then set up calendar alarms so you don't forget any of these. Time is your friend in this case.

    Eventually, 20 days before trial, file an Informal Discovery Request, which can be a simple memo asking for the officer's notes, if he has any. Then, based on whatever you find on school times and those notes, and what you remember seeing the day of the alleged violation, you can do Trial by Declaration first, then, if you lose, go to court and make things as difficult as possible. Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you can make things very difficult, and you can present a good case.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Listen to donzoh. He is correct on the process you should follow. Also, understand that the PF speed limit in your case is 45 UNLESS all the conditions for the school zone exists:

    22352(a)(2) When approaching or passing a school building or the grounds
    thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a standard "SCHOOL"
    warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school
    either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The
    prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching or passing any
    school grounds which are not separated from the highway by a fence,
    gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by
    children and the highway is posted with a standard "SCHOOL" warning
    sign. For purposes of this subparagraph, standard "SCHOOL" warning
    signs may be placed at any distance up to 500 feet away from school
    grounds.

    The wording of this is kinda wonky. It says 25mph is applicable WHILE children are going to or leaving… DURING school hours or during the noon recess period. First, the noon recess period is during school hours. But, by the strict black letter reading of the statute, once school hours begin, all the children should already be in school! So, 25mph is not applicable at 7pm on a Saturday night (obviously, school is not in), but according to the statute, it is also not applicable at 830am if school starts at 845.

    Get all the facts. Find out the schedule of the school. Make sure the signs comply with the 500 feet rule. Then come back with your data and let’s discuss.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Quote Quoting donzoh1
    View Post
    "22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed
    greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather,
    visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the
    highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of
    persons or property."

    You need to find out what the school schedule is and determine whether children would have been going to or from school during that time. Second, if there were no children present (i.e. outside the school fence) then the citation is not appropriate.

    If you can delay things until the officer has no independent recollection of the event, depending on what notes he took and still has available when your trial comes around, you have a good shot here. I'd find out how and when you can delay arraignment and then how and when you can delay trial. Then set up calendar alarms so you don't forget any of these. Time is your friend in this case.

    Eventually, 20 days before trial, file an Informal Discovery Request, which can be a simple memo asking for the officer's notes, if he has any. Then, based on whatever you find on school times and those notes, and what you remember seeing the day of the alleged violation, you can do Trial by Declaration first, then, if you lose, go to court and make things as difficult as possible. Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you can make things very difficult, and you can present a good case.
    So i looked up the bell schedule and school does not start until 8:45 and there is not supervision for kids before 8:30. The light for the school zone was also not flashing at the time either. I'm a little worried its gonna come down to a he said she said debate, but i will follow what you have told me. thank you!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Quote Quoting Hobbles007
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    So i looked up the bell schedule and school does not start until 8:45 and there is not supervision for kids before 8:30. The light for the school zone was also not flashing at the time either. I'm a little worried its gonna come down to a he said she said debate, but i will follow what you have told me. thank you!
    Regardless of when the school session starts each day, children may or may not be present at a given time. If the zone lights are not flashing, that would make your case stronger, as you might rely on such signs to indicate when children are LIKELY to be present. Perhaps you can find out when they are set to go on or off, either by direct observation or by asking school personnel. However, even if you can prove they were not flashing, I think you could still be found guilty if the officer says children were present. If you drive that way on a few mornings, it might be worth your time to see when children arrive and when the signs flash or don't flash. I wouldn't attract the attention of the officer though if the same one is present.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Donzoh,

    I don't know... Read the language of the statute. It doesn't say "when children are present", it says when they are present during school hours.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    Quote Quoting Jim_bo
    View Post
    Donzoh,

    I don't know... Read the language of the statute. It doesn't say "when children are present", it says when they are present during school hours.
    That means that children present outside of the school and outside of school hours don't qualify for the protection of a lower speed limit. In other words, if a child is walking outside the school at 8 p.m., they're out of luck. So, language like "when children are present during school hours requires BOTH conditions...at least the plain language of the statute does. The legislative intent probably covers children immediately before or after school hours (assuming there's no definition of the term in the statute). Therefore, if the alleged violation happened fifteen minutes before school AND children were present, then the defendant might have some trouble here.

    If the statute said "...are present or reasonably expected to be so" that would cover the time frame immediately before and after school, children or not. If there's vagueness or possibly confusion in the statute's meaning, it should be interpreted in favor of the defendant, unless there's case law covering the situation. My guess is the officer shows up at a particular time before or after school and starts measuring speed. I think he probably issues citations regardless of whether a child is immediately present or not, but that's conjecture on my part.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2014
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in a School Zone Even Though Not Written

    most schools now have signs that state "when flashing" its 2 amber lights next to the sign, at least that's how it was in Baltimore, they would flash through the entire school day till around 4pm

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