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Is It Legal To Speed When Passing Someone  
User currently offlineSean1234 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 411 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8102 times:

So I am in California, and I am contesting a speeding ticket. The court provides, for my convenience and theirs the right to trial by written declaration (by mail). I got busted for 71 in a 55 zone on a one lane highway. Basically the cop was coming in the opposite direction, stopped, turned around and pulled me over. Since I had just passed someone prior to this my speed was up a bit. I am thinking maybe I could cite the minimum safe speed law, which hopefully can be broadly interpreted here.


22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.


It is probably written just for traffic in the same direction. But I think it could be reasonably read to apply also to opposing traffic, as someone on the wrong side could
block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic from the opposite direction.

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8091 times:



Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
Since I had just passed someone prior to this my speed was up a bit. I am thinking maybe I could cite the minimum safe speed law, which hopefully can be broadly interpreted here.

You can try that angle, but I wouldn't think that the traffic court judge will give it a broad interpretation. Speeding is a strict liability offense. All the officer has to do is prove that you were traveling in excess of the speed limit. If 55 is the maximum speed authorized in the zone where you were cited, you cannot argue (successfully) the minimum safe speed code. If you were passing on a two lane highway, your obligation would be to follow the slower vehicle until reaching a point where you can safely pass it without endangering approaching motor vehicles while maintaining a legal speed.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineBlackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8090 times:

No, you can't exceed the speed-limit to pass someone legally, even though it's common-practice.

Blackbird


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8075 times:



Quoting Blackbird (Reply 2):
No, you can't exceed the speed-limit to pass someone legally, even though it's common-practice.

Depends on state statutes. Here in Arizona, one statute does permit authorized funeral escort vehicles (marked vehicles displaying red and blue lights to the front and rear) to exceed the posted speed limits by no more than 15 miles an hour for the purpose of overtaking the lead vehicle in the procession. The situation this typically applies in is where an escort vehicle stops to block cross traffic at a signaled intersection and then must return to the lead position in the procession.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1458 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8068 times:

It depends on the state law but from what I remember from my drivers ed days in high school in Washington State. You can overtake a car by exceeding the speed limit by10 mph and once you have returned in to the appropiate lane once passing the car then you must return to the speed limit.

Mike


User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9771 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8045 times:
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Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
It is probably written just for traffic in the same direction. But I think it could be reasonably read to apply also to opposing traffic, as someone on the wrong side could
block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic from the opposite direction.

If you need to speed up enough to avoid opposing traffic, I'd think you probably shouldn't have been passing in the first place.

Not to mention, if the guy you passed was doing, say, 60, I'm sure the court would say there was no need for you to pass him.

Then again, I also wouldn't contest a ticket for 71 in a 55.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3567 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8037 times:

I got caught in the exact same situation in Nevada once. 90 in a 70 in my motorcycle. The Sate Patrol was a rider though and gave me an environmental ticket. $10 I think, no points. I love Nevada attitudes.

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8020 times:

Quoting AZ" class=quote target=_blank>57AZ (Reply 3):
Depends on state statutes. Here in Arizona,

I got stopped by AZ state patrol for going 76 (!) in a 65mph 2-lane north of freakin' Page AZ in the middle of the desert. Trooper was stationed at the 1 safest passing zone, and pulled me over. If he gave me a ticket I would have considered flying back just to contest that bullsh**. Fortunately he let me go.

But it got me thinking about this exact question. Of course going 76mph passing someone is just fine in the Arizona desert. That cop was punishing me for a good, safe pass that I was proud of. Stupidest sh&* i've ever been pulled over for, and that's saying a lot. This trooper was actually punishing good safe driving, and I was mad he wasted my time (of course was very polite to him).

On behalf of Arizona law enforcement he made clear it is illegal to exceed the speed limit even when executing a pass. I expressed mild doubt at this but he stood firm. Of course, needless to say, that interpretation of the law is completely impractical and could encourage unsafe situations -- even death, due to sluggish passing and subsequent collisions. There's a safety reason to pull smartly ahead.

[Edited 2008-08-17 23:52:54]

User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8015 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
Stupidest sh&* i've ever been pulled over for, and that's saying a lot.

I had a buddy (who is famous for driving like an old lady, in an old lady's buick) get pulled over for doing 77 in a 75 zone by an AZ trooper almost in the border with Nevada. Talk about a cop having nothing better to do.  Yeah sure


User currently offlineAirPortugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3579 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7951 times:

In MA you cannot go above the speed limit to pass someone. They essentially have to be going way below the speed limit and you need to stay below it to pass.

Frankly, the way people drive around here, you would have to pass someone driving 50mph at something like 70 because people around here hate passers and will intentionally speed up to keep you from passing them...



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7929 times:
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Quoting AirPortugal310 (Reply 9):
people around here hate passers and will intentionally speed up to keep you from passing them

Now that is something that deserves a quick trip to jail. It is infantile and dangerous.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7895 times:



Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
So I am in California, and I am contesting a speeding ticket. The court provides, for my convenience and theirs the right to trial by written declaration (by mail). I got busted for 71 in a 55 zone on a one lane highway. Basically the cop was coming in the opposite direction, stopped, turned around and pulled me over. Since I had just passed someone prior to this my speed was up a bit. I am thinking maybe I could cite the minimum safe speed law, which hopefully can be broadly interpreted here.



Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.


#1 - Since this appears to be a radar ticket, you're screwed, go to traffic school, the judge is going to laugh about the part "my speed was up a bit" 16 mph over? What county did this high crime happen?

#2 - The section you quoted was designed to freeways. I never cited it on a two-lane highway, besides based on your speed, I guessing the other vehicle speed was somewhere near the posted limit anyways.

But on the plus side trial by written declaration, after you mail in your response, it goes to the officer who then files his account. It's been rumored sometimes the officers realize that they won't get any overtime, the written declaration from the officers never makes back to the court which results in a not-guilty.


User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3078 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7872 times:

speeding tickets are the easiest to defend from the police side. Pretty much as long as the radar is tested at the beginning of shift and the end of shift you will lose. All I have to prove is you were speeding and have reasonable grounds i identified the correct driver....then it does not matter the reason or place. The posted speed is X...and you were going X+...and i used the radar or paced you with my cruiser your guilty.....With our electronic ticketing it also takes the chance of me making a fatal error on a ticket out of the equation...

Probably similar everywhere.

Plus our court dates are scheduled for work days so it gets rid of the cop did not show up for court. If we do no and do not have a good reason we can be charged with neglect of duty.

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineTylerDurden From United States of America, joined May 2008, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7831 times:



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 5):
Then again, I also wouldn't contest a ticket for 71 in a 55.

Up to you....depends on if your worried about points on your license (which depends on your State). I have no issue paying the fine...I just don't want my driving record in jeopardy.

I've never had a speeding ticket stick--half were by radar--the others pace (which are incredibly easy to get out of....). I get about two a year in Texas.

Parking tickets are another matter....

Just depends on how much time your willing to set aside for it...


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7827 times:



Quoting AirPortugal310 (Reply 9):
people around here hate passers and will intentionally speed up to keep you from passing them...

That is clearly vehicular assault. If there was an oncoming car it would be a matter of self-preservation and I would unhesitatingly force that car off the road in self-defense to prevent a head-on collision. I began the pass legally and with normal expectation that the car ahead would, at most, maintain its speed.

I drive fairly fast but always cooperate with any car attempting to pass me. If I am going 90 mph down a mountain road and someone comes up behind me wanting to go 110 it is none of my business. I am not the cops and I am not a speed bump.

* * *


It is my undertanding that in California the only absolute is the Federal 55 limit where it applies. Any other speed limit is based on a "rebuttable presumption" that it is unsafe. To beat a speeding ticket on that basis, however, it would probably be necessary for you to get the arresting officer to note that the roadway was safe, the weather was good, visibility was okay, your car and its tires were in good condition, you seemed alert and aware and no other vehicle was endangered. I'll bet you didn't do thost things did you?

I once drove a highway patrol officer's Corvette and came up a freeway onramp at 100 mph with her in the car with me. She said, owing to the conditions, that I might be able to talk my way out of a ticket but she couldn't help me there. Barring that I might have been able to talk my way down to a lower speed on the ticket but, once the ticket was written, it was her opinion that there would be no beating it.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7798 times:



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
It is my undertanding that in California the only absolute is the Federal 55 limit where it applies. Any other speed limit is based on a "rebuttable presumption" that it is unsafe.

No that's not correct. The rebuttable presumption or unsafe speed for conditions falls under 22350 CVC for speed limits under 55 mph.

22349. (a) Except as provided in Section 22356 (70 mph), no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:

(1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.

So basically our tread starter is out of luck with a defense. Think traffic school..


User currently offlineSean1234 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 411 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7777 times:



Quoting AirCop (Reply 11):
What county did this high crime happen?

This happened in Calaveras Co on Hwy 4 near Copperopolis.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7770 times:



Quoting AirCop (Reply 15):

Thank you. I stand corrected. It has been a long time since I attended

Quoting AirCop (Reply 15):
traffic school

...which I agree is the guy's best option. In fact every driver should do one of these.

Another word of advice. You probably could have seen or anticipated the police better. Paying attention to that sort of thing will have a minor benefit of getting you fewer tickets. The real benefit is the reduction in accident risk when you actually pay attention to conditions around your car.

Huge believer here in the idea that a ticket you just got is a crash you just dodged.
Accept it as a painless wakeup call, not on speed so much as situational awareness.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7510 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7753 times:



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
It is my undertanding that in California the only absolute is the Federal 55 limit where it applies.

The Federal limit(s) were scrapped back in late 1995.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7716 times:



Quoting Greasespot (Reply 12):
speeding tickets are the easiest to defend from the police side

Which is the very reason why the police enforce speeding so much compared to other moving violations such as cruising in the left lane, blocking intersections, running yellow lights, not stopping for pedestrians at a flashing crosswalk, cyclists doing what ever the hell they want, failing to yield, etc. Easy to defend, easy money.

As far as I know in BC, you have to obey the posted speedlimits at all times. Not that most people do .... Big grin



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7671 times:



Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
The court provides, for my convenience and theirs the right to trial by written declaration (by mail).

I have done a trial by declaration on a ticket I absolutely should have won on and they took the cop's side. I would go to court if you think you have any chance of beating it.

Quoting Sean1234 (Thread starter):
Since I had just passed someone prior to this my speed was up a bit. I am thinking maybe I could cite the minimum safe speed law, which hopefully can be broadly interpreted here.

The Basic Speed Law is rather weak in California, as there are so many subsequent restrictions on speed. Now, you are allowed to speed if you are in some sort of danger, but it doesn't sound like you were. That said, just how did this cop catch you if they were driving in the other direction?

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):

It is my undertanding that in California the only absolute is the Federal 55 limit where it applies.

There is no Federal 55 anymore.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7664 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
There is no Federal 55 anymore.

That's already been posted.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7652 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Now, you are allowed to speed if you are in some sort of danger, but it doesn't sound like you were.

While executing a lawful pass, there is a risk of a head-on collision with oncoming traffic. This is highly, highly dangerous. This is exactly why speeding should be / is often treated as legal during a lawful pass (i.e., especially when passing someone who is under the limit). It is legal to begin the pass. The question is, what is the safest way to complete it? Going 65mph, or 75-80? May I suggest clearly the latter, in most cases?


User currently offlineTylerDurden From United States of America, joined May 2008, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7623 times:



Quoting AirCop (Reply 15):
So basically our tread starter is out of luck with a defense. Think traffic school..

Huh? If you have an attorney, the dismissal rate in California is over 80%. In some jurisdictions,, it's over 95%.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 17):
...which I agree is the guy's best option. In fact every driver should do one of these.

Hell no. Contest it. Those online safety classes are a waste of time.
You'll get a ton of advertisements from law firms to get your ticket dismissed for a flat fee, typically $75 or so.
Do it. They have junior associates that typically do nothing but do traffic charges.

You'll easily spend twice that in driver safety class and the court fee to take it....

I've had at least 15 tickets dismissed in the last 6 or so years.


User currently offlineAirPortugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3579 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7618 times:



Quoting TylerDurden (Reply 23):
Huh? If you have an attorney, the dismissal rate in California is over 80%. In some jurisdictions,, it's over 95%.

People hire attorneys to get out of speeding tickets?

I have just found thru experience that if you just go in there without an attitude and seem like remorseful, you stand a far better chance of getting out of trouble (based on two experiences with the Mass Staties...)

Now, that being said, what would the fee be to get a lawyer? Cheaper than paying a surcharge for a few years and the ticket cost (if not at least reduced to being with)?

A ballpark figure works for anyone who knows...



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
25 Moose135 : If you have to speed to avoid a head-on collision, it may be argued that it wasn't safe to make the pass in the first place.
26 Jetblueguy22 : People in Mass and people in CT are crazy drivers. When my cousin lived in Mass he called some drivers Mass holes. Blue
27 BristolFlyer : It's the American way! People who can't stand up and take responsibility for their actions do stuff like that. Speaking of which... With tickets comi
28 Flighty : It's just the reality in the rural American roads I have seen. There is generally enough traffic that it's safer to speed up. Even if you can't see a
29 102IAHexpress : Indeed. Think about it. What if you drive a big rig or have a commercial drivers license. One ticket conviction and you’re out of a job. No money f
30 N1120A : It really depends, but sure? What? People who can't stand up and take responsibility hire defense attorneys? So, should we deny lawyers to those accu
31 Kmh1956 : Nothing's changed....my daughter in NH calls them that too. However, to the topics at hand. if you were doing 71 in a 55, you were speeding. Pay the
32 AirCop : In California, in about fifteen years of writing traffic citations for CHP I only seen 1 person ever bring an attorney to fight a traffic citation an
33 Greasespot : All tickets are easy to defend......in this job you get good at going to court and you think we go around ticketing people frivolously....We know what
34 TylerDurden : Texas is generally $50-75...it's actually fairly competitive--and it's a flat fee in most cases for speeding or other violations that did not involve
35 Greasespot : Ummmm did you miss that part? I think i covered with lawyer....but them most but them in over two years of ticket writing i hit my first lawyer the o
36 RJdxer : Long ago and far away I was passing a person on an open stretch of 2 lane highway. I was on my motorcycle, sounded my horn, flashed my bright light,
37 AirCop : I did notice one law firm claiming that rate, but I did notice from several web sites law firms if seems that it was in the mid-90's when law firms s
38 TylerDurden : I pulled Superior Court records---by dismissals ---by violation---by firm for Los Angeles County (it takes too long to pull all of them that's why I
39 N1120A : I actually got one of those not long ago and I set a trial date. I will probably take someone from the office with me. And some bad luck apparently.
40 Flighty : I just learned how to spot cops and anticipate them. A lot cheaper and easier than law school, plus no court time.
41 TylerDurden : Unless it was on camera...it likely will be dismissed the minute to try and set a court date. I drive a lot. Apparently too fast, at times. But nothi
42 N1120A : I already set the date online.
43 Moose135 : If they really want to have people drive at the speed limit, they need to have marked patrol cars cruising up and down the highway AT THE SPEED LIMIT
44 57AZ : One of the most effective ways that I have seen traffic speeds controlled was when I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Chattanooga Police Depa
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