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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    3

    Default Will Proof of an Improper Speed Limit Sign Help the Defense to a Speeding Ticket

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

    I am a certified traffic technician and I already know the speed limit sign is not compliant with the MUTCD. Would turning the issues into the public works department and having them fix the sign before my case help or could this possibly hurt my case?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,126

    Default Re: Would It Help or Hurt My Case at My Court Appearance

    What exactly is a "traffic technician"?

    How is the sign not compliant?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Would It Help or Hurt My Case at My Court Appearance

    What case as well?

    Fixing the sign? What's wrong with it? Is it the wrong size? Is it the wrong speed limit that is displayed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    3

    Default Re: Would It Help or Hurt My Case at My Court Appearance

    I am certified to install and maintain traffic control devices with a focus on compliance with the mutcd. (There are classes that provide training and certification on the MUTCD)

    The speed limit sign is currently installed at a height of 5feet 8 inches above the curb which is not in line with 07 of section 2A.18
    Other issues with the citation: My speed was taken before reaching the sign as by the time I passed the sign I had slowed to enter a protected turn lane, and the fine is doubled for a school zone when no fines double signs are present as is also required by the MUTCD.

    Quote Quoting Section 2A.18 Mounting Height
    Standard:
    01 The provisions of this Section shall apply unless specifically stated otherwise for a particular sign or
    object marker elsewhere in this Manual.
    Support:
    02 The mounting height requirements for object markers are provided in Chapter 2C.
    03 In addition to the provisions of this Section, information affecting the minimum mounting height of signs as a
    function of crash performance can be found in AASHTO’s “Roadside Design Guide” (see Section 1A.11).
    Standard:
    04 The minimum height, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the elevation of the near edge
    of the pavement, of signs installed at the side of the road in rural areas shall be 5 feet (see Figure 2A-2).
    05 The minimum height, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the top of the curb, or in the
    absence of curb, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the elevation of the near edge of the
    traveled way, of signs installed at the side of the road in business, commercial, or residential areas where
    parking or pedestrian movements are likely to occur, or where the view of the sign might be obstructed,
    shall be 7 feet (see Figure 2A-2).
    Option:
    06 The height to the bottom of a secondary sign mounted below another sign may be 1 foot less than the height
    specified in Paragraphs 4 and 5.
    Standard:
    07 The minimum height, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the sidewalk, of signs installed
    above sidewalks shall be 7 feet.

    08 If the bottom of a secondary sign that is mounted below another sign is mounted lower than 7 feet above
    a pedestrian sidewalk or pathway (see Section 6D.02), the secondary sign shall not project more than 4
    inches into the pedestrian facility.
    Option:
    09 Signs that are placed 30 feet or more from the edge of the traveled way may be installed with a minimum
    height of 5 feet, measured vertically from the bottom of the sign to the elevation of the near edge of the pavement.
    Sorry, the case being a citation for speeding. I plan to contest the citation on the three issues.
    Improper installation.
    Not having passed the sign before slowing.
    Fine is doubled without required signage.

    TO recap: Would requesting the sign be fixed by the municipality's public works department, and having it fixed, help contest the citation.

    The court as far as I am aware has no knowledge the sign is a problem and likely would not even know if I complained to the city and the sign was fixed before the court date.
    I work for a different municipality and that level of information sharing is highly unrealistic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Would It Help or Hurt My Case at My Court Appearance

    (Its a good thing you said you works at a different municipality because I was going to ask if it was your job to maintain the sign in question! Lol!)

    Your issue seems to be not with the sign but you were cited improperly in a different speed zone. In reality the height of the sign shouldn't have anything do do with the adjacent speed zone you were in.

    That being said I don't think it would hurt to address the sign height issue with public works. It sounds like it needs to get fixed anyway. Do it before your court date and so you can have it handy.

    I don't know what Kansas requirements are for doubling citation fines. What was their justification for doubling yours? Construction, enhanced safety zone, school, for the heck of it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Would It Help or Hurt My Case at My Court Appearance

    The Requirements should be the same in most of the US as the MUTCD is the federal minimum standards for traffic control (Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

    The doubling was a school zone.

    Section 2B.17 Higher Fines Signs and Plaque (R2-6P, R2-10, and R2-11)
    Standard:
    01 If increased fines are imposed for traffic violations within a designated zone of a roadway, a
    BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-10) sign (see Figure 2B-3) or a FINES HIGHER (R2-6P) plaque
    (see Figure 2B-3) shall be used to provide notice to road users. If used, the FINES HIGHER plaque shall be
    mounted below an applicable regulatory or warning sign in a temporary traffic control zone, a school zone,
    or other applicable designated zone.

    02 If an R2-10 sign or an R2-6P plaque is posted to provide notice of increased fines for traffic violations,
    an END HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-11) sign (see Figure 2B-3) shall be installed at the downstream end of
    the zone to provide notice to road users of the termination of the increased fines zone.
    Guidance:
    03 If used, the BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE sign or FINES HIGHER plaque should be located at the
    beginning of the temporary traffic control zone, school zone, or other applicable designated zone and just beyond
    any interchanges, major intersections, or other major traffic generators.

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