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Speeding Tickets & Traffic Citations Discussion of appropriate procedures and guidelines to successfully fighting speeding tickets and related traffic citations.

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Old 2008-10-21
TheWilldog TheWilldog is offline
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Exclamation Contesting a Speeding Ticket in FLA, questions


On 09/27/08 I received a ticket in the speed trap capital of Florida, Starke, FL. The officer used a Pro-Lite plus Laser. The ticket states that at 9:53 am he clocked me at 65 in a 55 mph zone southbound on US Hwy 301 near the intersection of CR 18. Look up Hampton, FL on Google maps and you'll see it. The Florida statute involved is 316.189.

Situation background: I drive a white 01 Chevy Camaro, Z28. I was on my way to Gainesville to attend a college football game. 301 is major shipping conduit sandwiched between I-75 and I-95. There is always a lot of commercial truck traffic. Large vehicle traffic is exacerbated on game days with camper and motor home traffic. Starke is known throughout the region as the #1 ticket issuer in the area.

My Background: I haven't had a speeding ticket since the 90's. I've never fought a ticket before.

My options on the citation are to within 30 days: (1) Pay the $181 fine, points are assessed (2) Request a court hearing, (3) Pay the fine and take a driver improvement course to avoid points.

My questions:

1. Option 2 states that if I lose the hearing, I may be ordered to attend class and the court may impose a penalty not to exceed $500. I'm concerned that if I lose the case, I'll be paying three times the price of the ticket. Do court fees run $500?

2. If I elect for a court date, can I change my mind?

3. What do you think of this defense?

Defense strategy:

HWY 301 is a four lane divided highway that goes from 30 mph within the Starke city limits to 65 mph on the open hwy. There are about 6 or 7 signs on the right hand side of the road along a six mile stretch that say 65 mph before the next stop light at CR 18. There is one sign that says 55 mph right at the light. I didn't see it. I had my cruise on 65 the whole time. In fact, when I was pulled over, I was back in the 65 mph zone, which is about 20 yards past the light. Classic trap, apparently the guy was hiding in the bushes near the light.

The other trap that I was already familiar with on this road is a few miles beyond CR 18. There the speed goes from 65 to 45 in a few hundred yards, but they signs all over the place warning about it. Apparently they're not making enough money there so they decided to move up the road a few miles and set up a new trap. The new trap doesn't have near the signage as the old trap.

My argument is going to center on three aspects of the situation. First, I was traveling in the left lane and and my view of the right shoulder was often blocked by commercial and game day traffic and therefore missed the speed change. Second, I plan to contrast the number of 65 mph signs versus the single 55 mph sign. I'm taking another trip down there this weekend and I plan to take pictures and video of all signs I see as well as the distance between them (judgmental). Third, I plan to compare the level of speed change notification between the CR 18 intersection and the old speed trap location. The old location has multiple signs stating reduced speed along with the new speed on both sides of the road. The new location does not.

Do I have a shot? Or should I just pay the fine and go to class?

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  #2 (permalink)   IP:
Old 2008-10-21
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Veil Guy Veil Guy is offline
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Default Speeding Ticket in Florida

65mph in a 55pmh, seems a bit weak, considering the preceding limit was 65mph, which you were traveling at.

However, I am inclined to suggest that you avoid using the argument that "I didn't see the sign..." I suspect most judges (if not all) would conclude that it is your responsibility to know your surroundings (and the includes posted limits) regardless of the circumstances.

While not really practical (from a time and/or expense standpoint) perhaps you could argue the speed limit was set unusually low, provided that a speed survey bears that out:

How Should Speed Limits Be Set?

Could one invest the time to conduct one to scientific standards to which the court would give consideration?

Some time ago, I received a citation for 28mph over the posted limit on I-95 south in the Ft. Lauderdale area. A good friend in the area suggested that I contact a traffic attorney (they're abundant and extremely competitive), which I did. For a nominal fee, I was able to have the citation amended to my favor without the requiring of my appearance in court (as an out of state driver, that was worth the price of admission alone).

For a painless solution, that would ultimately what I would recommend...I think you'll be extremely pleased with the outcome.

Just Google, one of the following:

I wish I could offer you a more inspired answer, but investing $65 in this case, is a very small price to pay, relative to the potential of the outcome. At least one of them offers a "guarantee."

It'll certainly be less expensive than $500 and may only take the time of a phone call.

Good luck and let me know how it turns out for you.

Veil Guy

Veil Guy's Sig:

Protect yourself from speeding tickets[/b] with the VEIL stealth coating.

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