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  1. #1

    Default Municipal Jurisdiction Over Interstate Freeways

    Can city ordinances apply to federal or interstate freeways? It is my knowledge that city officers can obviously patrol these freeways, but if, say, a speeding offense occurs, can they cite a violation of a municipal code, or are they obligated to cite the state law governing speed restrictions?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Municipal jurisdiction over interstate freeways?

    Sorry I posted this here instead of the speeding forum.

    By the way, the same city code I allude to above also mentions (in its latest copy) that speeds on highways shall not exceed 55 mph - a direct contradiction with the state law.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Municipal jurisdiction over interstate freeways?

    The city officers can always write tickets on the interstate if it is within the city limits as far as I know. In some states officers have jurisdiction statewide and in others it is limited to so many miles outside the city limits. They would have the option of citing city or state.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Municipal jurisdiction over interstate freeways

    What state are we talking about?

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5

    Default Re: Municipal Jurisdiction Over Interstate Freeways

    This is for the state of Michigan. The reason I ask is because any municipal ordinance that states that one may not exceed a posted speed limit may violate a prima facie speed limit indication, as mentioned in state law. Technically, since normal interstate speed limits are not conclusive (to my understanding) in Michigan, isn't it true that a municipal ordinance stating that one may not exceed the speed limit is contradicted by higher law?

    Example - In California on a straight, dry stretch of road at noon, if the posted speed limit is 35 and I'm driving 36, hypothetically, I am allowed to be ticketed (unless CA has some law saying that minimum speeding offenses are at least 5/10 over the limit). I may be able to argue convincingly, however, that my speed was careful and prudent, and that I posed no significant threat to other motorists by driving at such a speed, perhaps triangulated by expert testimony. However, a municipal code stating that a motorist may not exceed a posted limit would violate a statewide "basic speed law", and legally would not allow for one to drive at 36 mph, negating any stipulations of a "careful" or "prudent" speed. Would the municipal code prevail, or is it superseded by a state law?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Municipal Jurisdiction Over Interstate Freeways

    I cannot comment on the state of the law in MI, but in CA citing for 36 in a 35 would be silly as the officer could well lose. Since +/- 2 MPH is within the tolerance of most radar units, and likely speedometers as well, reasonable doubt is effectively built in.

    A speed limit here is what it is. A local regulation cannot lower the speed limit on a highway passing through town merely by ordinance. There is a specific process that must be adhered to when adjusting these limits. Ergo, out here there can be no municipal code modifying a speed limit simply by ordinance. And they certainly could not do it on an interstate freeway!

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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