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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    6

    Unhappy Ticketed for > 65 MPH, But I Wasn't Driving That Fast

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

    hey guys, this is my first post so sorry if its in the wrong place or something. the other day I was driving to school in the morning on the PCH (speed limit 45) and I was cruising with traffic at 50-55 mph which is normal on PCH, I was in the far right lane (PCH is 3 lanes at that part) and was coming up to a two lane tunnel, so I needed to move one lane to the left.

    there was a large semi truck on my left and Its bumper was about equal with my body (so I was ahead of him a bit) and there was a motorcycle about 2 car lengths in front of me in my lane. so I speed up to 58 mph and I was looking at my speedometer (no possible way I was above 60) and used my blinker to change lanes infront of the truck. right after I made the lane change, I passed a beach parking lot where a cop happen to be pulling out, I stared braking naturally because I had made the lane change and slowed to 50 before the cop had exited the lot. he pulled out onto pch and put on his lights right away (defiantly not enough time to pace me). he gave me a cvc22350 and a cvc22107.

    ok so I understand the speeding part, but on my ticket under approx speed box it says >65 which makes no sense at all. I also doubt he was using a radar or laser because he was pulling out of a parking lot at the time (it also doesn't have an exact speed anywhere on my ticket. only that >65 number thats it.) but what I really dont understand is the unsafe lane change, because I had room and I did use my blinker. also on the ticket, next to the speed boxes there is a box titles laser that says "8115", is this the serial number of his laser or something?

    this is where it happened 1100 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90403

    this is my first ticket, in 17 years old, Im ideally trying to have the unsafe lane change dismissed and hopefully the speed reduced to 60 (that would take me from the 16-25 mph over bracket to the 1-15 mph which is over $100 difference) could this be possible? any help is greatly appreciated, any suggestions for how to fight this? thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,789

    Default Re: Ticket

    I was driving to school in the morning on the PCH (speed limit 45) and I was cruising with traffic at 50-55 mph which is normal on PCH,
    So, the first thing you have to learn as a new driver is that you drive AT THE SPEED LIMIT. 5 to 10 mph over the limit is BREAKING THE LAW. That everybody does it is no defense.

    I speed up to 58 mph and I was looking at my speedometer (no possible way I was above 60)
    You weren't looking at the speedometer through the entire lane change. You had to be looking away from your speedometer to watch the traffic. There is no way you can say no way that you were doing over 60.

    this is where it happened 1100 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90403
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0126...7i13312!8i6656

    Where, exactly, did you make your lane change in relation to that pedestrian overpass?

    I understand the speeding part, but on my ticket under approx speed box it says >65 which makes no sense at all. I also doubt he was using a radar or laser because he was pulling out of a parking lot at the time (it also doesn't have an exact speed anywhere on my ticket. only that >65 number thats it.)
    Who do you think the judge will believe?

    The officer, of course.

    what I really dont understand is the unsafe lane change, because I had room and I did use my blinker.
    By your own admission you had to go 13 mph over the speed limit, maybe more. That, in itself, makes your lane change unsafe. A safe lane change would have involved slowing down and getting in behind the semi. And if you didn't have time to do that, it means you weren't driving safely in the first place.

    Im ideally trying to have the unsafe lane change dismissed and hopefully the speed reduced to 60 (that would take me from the 16-25 mph over bracket to the 1-15 mph which is over $100 difference) could this be possible?
    Anything's possible. You can plead not guilty to both, go to court, and you might be offered a plea bargain to drop one and take the other.

    Though I suggest you talk to a traffic attorney and review your options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    6

    Default Re: Ticket

    thank you for your answer,
    I looked at speedometer right as I began to move into other lane and I checked it again once I was in the other lane.

    made my change exactly right here
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0165...7i13312!8i6656

    Also do you know what the box on my ticket that says laser means? and should my ticket have an exact speed?
    any other help would be greatly appreciated aswelll. thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,255

    Default Re: Ticket

    Quote Quoting tunataco
    View Post
    thank you for your answer,
    I looked at speedometer right as I began to move into other lane
    So you checked you speed before you started to accelerate.

    Quote Quoting tunataco
    View Post
    .....and I checked it again once I was in the other lane.
    Then you checked it again after you finished decelerating, but you never checked it when you were driving at your fastest speed, so you could very well have been driving as fast as the officer alleges. As a side note, when was the last time your speedometer was calibrated?

    Quote Quoting tunataco
    View Post
    Also do you know what the box on my ticket that says laser means?
    If there is anything in the Lidar box, that means your speed was measured by a Lidar device, which is extremely accurate.

    Before you can formulate a defense, you first need to find out what evidence they may have against you. This is done through Informal Discovery.

    When seeking informal discovery on a California traffic citation, mail a copy of your citation to the law enforcement agency that issued it. Clearly address the envelope to “Custodian of Records” and attach a letter indicating you are requesting informal discovery in connection with the enclosed citation. In addition to any items you feel are necessary to your defense, be sure to ask for:

    1. A copy of the officer’s copy of the citation, including the back side containing any notes he may have made.

    2. Copies of all other notes, reports and other documents prepared by the officer in connection with the matter.

    3. If you were cited for speeding, copies of calibration records for all speed measuring devices used to determine your speed.

    4. If you were cited for speeding, a copy of any traffic and engineering surveys for the highway in question (if applicable).

    5. Copies of the patrol car dash cam video and audio recording of your stop (if any exist).

    6. Copies of any personal audio recording the officer may have made during his contact with you.

    Items 1 & 2 will give you an idea as to what the officer may testify to.

    Item 3 will determine if the device used to determine your speed was recently calibrated.

    Item 4 will probably not be applicable unless you were written for CVC 22350.

    Items 5 & 6 are valuable because during the traffic stop, drivers tend to make all sorts of incriminating statements that the officer will offer in court if you deny having committed the violation. It’s difficult to convince the court you are innocent if the officer recorded you admitting the violation. Words mean things, so it’s best to know what you said ahead of time, to ensure you don’t make a fool of yourself in court.

    Records Custodians are usually pretty prompt in responding. It’s just a matter of making sure your letter reaches them and isn’t lost in the vast bureaucracy, so make sure your letter is properly addressed to the Custodian of Records so it can be routed accordingly. Usually the only delay is if the citing officer is on vacation and unavailable to get a copy of his copy of the citation and notes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    6

    Default Re: Ticket

    Quote Quoting L-1
    View Post
    So you checked you speed before you started to accelerate.
    Then you checked it again after you finished decelerating, but you never checked it when you were driving at your fastest speed, so you could very well have been driving as fast as the officer alleges. As a side note, when was the last time your speedometer was calibrated?
    sorry if I did not explain clearly. I accelerated until I was infront of the truck and looked at my speedometer, then I proceeded to move over to the middle lane and checked my speedometer again, then I decelerated. I have a 2016 car so im sure there isn't a problem with the speedometer


    Quote Quoting L-1
    View Post
    If there is anything in the Lidar box, that means your speed was measured by a Lidar device, which is extremely accurate.
    ok so he says he used a lidar but if he actually did shouldn't my exact speed be written down? and isn't it also possible that the motorcycle infront of me caught one of the beams because it was directly in-between my car and where the cop was.

    and thanks so much for all this info. I will send that letter in asap.
    thank you. and once again all help is greatly appreciated!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1,255

    Default Re: Ticket

    Lidar uses a very narrow bean that is directed at the target vehicle's license plate. Adjacent vehicles are not captured by accident.

    Go here to see how it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ5DNU0Lxxo

    As far as the speed issue, wait until you receive discovery. That may clarify things. If I had to speculate, I would guess that Lidar may have captured you going in excess of 65, but he left it at 65 to give you a break. There is no law or rule requiring that he cite you for the highest speed and because you reached the 65 MPH mark when accelerating and decelerating, 65 MPH is an accurate speed to use. This is not an uncommon practice, as it allows leeway for speedometer errors in the driver's car (I too, have a new car it its' speedometer is not accurate) and it looks better for the officer in court because it is clear he has already given you a break. You can bring the issue up in court, but you do so at your own peril. What usually happens is the judge will inquire of the officer, the officer will explain why he lowered the speed and the ask the court's permission to amend the citation to the correct (higher) speed. The court will allow it, the matter you complained about will have been corrected to your and everyone's satisfaction and the fine you pay will have been increased by however many more miles per hour were just add to the citation. The whole point here is don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Ticket

    ok I will wait for the discovery,
    I know that there is no way I was above 65 for a fact unless i have a problem with my speedometer calibration.
    I will check to see if my speedometer is correct.
    and what about the cvc22107? do you think I could get that off at least?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Ticket



    There was a motorcycle 2 car lengths ahead of you when you were 1/2 way past the truck. That means to pull into the other lane you had only 1 1/2 car length buffer to divide between you, the truck, and the motorcycle after having past the truck entirely (after moving the remaining 1/2 car length to be last the truck you would be 1 1/2 car lengths behind the motorcycle

    The act of cutting off the truck was an unsafe lane change. The act of tailgating the motorcycle the entire time was unsafe driving. You should have been approximately 167 feet behind the motorcycle at all times and that much in front of the truck before pulling in front of him. You had a total of less than 30 feet. That is an unsafe lane change.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    1,255

    Default Re: Ticket

    Without knowing why the officer felt you made an unsafe lane change, it is impossible to even remotely suggest a defense for that. You will need to wait until you receive informal discovery and see what he has to say.

    With respect to your speed, remember too, that he may have measured your speed at a different location prior to passing the truck and when you were not looking at your speedometer. People often drive at a speed they feel comfortable with, not realizing they are exceeding the limit and in violation. With speed, people often assume the violation occurred in one place when it really occurred in another. Again, wait until you receive discovery as it may clarify a lot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Ticket

    Quote Quoting L-1
    View Post
    Without knowing why the officer felt you made an unsafe lane change, it is impossible to even remotely suggest a defense for that. You will need to wait until you receive informal discovery and see what he has to say.

    With respect to your speed, remember too, that he may have measured your speed at a different location prior to passing the truck and when you were not looking at your speedometer. People often drive at a speed they feel comfortable with, not realizing they are exceeding the limit and in violation. With speed, people often assume the violation occurred in one place when it really occurred in another. Again, wait until you receive discovery as it may clarify a lot.
    good point, maybe another officer might have measured my speed because he was in the parking lot so no way it could have been him.
    ill update this when I get all the info back. thanks so much L-1!

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