I recently recieved a citation on the way home from work for traveling 70mph in a 45mph zone. The alleged 45mph zone is about a 1 mile stretch after exiting a tunnel (there are LED signs inside the tunnel that say : TUNNEL SPEED LIMIT 45MPH).
Upon exiting the tunnel, like all of the motorists around me, I accelerated to 65mph. I maneuvered my vehicle to the far left lane and the speedometer on my dash never went above 65mph.
I believe the 'violation' is invalid for a several reasons.
One, the officer checked that the limit was posted, which it was not. I passed signs that said "TUNNEL SPEED LIMIT 45MPH", and "35 MPH Curve". I am going to return to the scene today and take either video or photo of the roadside.
Two, the officer pulled me over at exit 18, which is about 1-1.5miles outside of the 45mph tunnel. When I was pulled over, the officer told me that this was a 45mph zone. Can signs that clearly state "TUNNEL SPEED LIMIT 45MPH" apply to zones outside of the tunnel?
The officer 'clocked' my speed... Being a child of science I wonder what method he used to clock my speed. Normally you would use the formula D=R/T. I find that if I was indeed traveling 70mph (which I was not), it would be nearly impossible to make such a calculation in your head in under 55 seconds, while keeping pace with a car traveling 70mph while avoiding any traffic during the busy hour of 11pm (when second shift gets out all over Boston)
I am going to ask the officer the exact method he used to clock my speed (hoping that he'll forget or state something different then what is on the citation- if he does not have access to a copy of it prior to my hearing).
Does 'clocked' mean he used a stopwatch and two points of reference (distance known) to calculate my speed?
Do you think that if I can't prove that I was not traveling 70mph (either by proving the officer used inaccurate methods by showing standard deviations of some sort, or by proving that the officer doesn't fully understand the D=R/T concept), that I will be able to have the amount of points and/or fine reduced by proving that the speed limit was not posted?
I know that in the MGL, Chapter 90, Section 18 it states:
Three points here:Section 18. The city council, the transportation commission of the city of Boston, the board of selectmen, park commissioners, a traffic commission or traffic director, or the department, on ways within their control, may make special regulations as to the speed of motor vehicles and may prohibit the use of such vehicles altogether on such ways; provided, however, that except in the case of a speed regulation no such special regulation shall be effective unless it shall have been published in one or more newspapers, if there be any, published in the town in which the way is situated, otherwise in one or more newspapers published in the county in which the town is situated; nor until after the department, and in the case of a speed regulation the department and the registrar, acting jointly, shall have certified in writing that such regulation is consistent with the public interests; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting the right of the metropolitan district commission or of the department of environmental management to make rules and regulations governing the use and operation of motor vehicles on lands, roadways and parkways under its care and control.
No such regulation shall be effective until there shall have been erected, upon the ways affected thereby and at such points as the department and the registrar, acting jointly, may designate, signs, conforming to standards adopted by the department, setting forth the speed or other restrictions established by the regulation, and then only during the time such signs are in place. Any sign, purporting to establish a speed limit, which has not been erected in accordance with the foregoing provisions may be removed by or under the direction of the department.
One- this 45mph zone is on a 4-lane interstate highway. I believe this is a 'special regulation', since the standard speed limit on most interstates (and indeed for the majority of i93) is 65mph.
Two- if I can find that no such special regulation was posted in a newspaper, I can prove that the 'special regulation' is invalid.
Three- No signs outside of the tunnel were posted
Do I have a case?