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School Zone Speed Trap?

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Meta

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? CA
I recently was ticketed for speeding in a school zone. It's not an average school zone in that it is a community center that has various tenants, including two preschools and a small prep school. The speed limit for this section of the street is 25 mph although a traffic survey that was done stated it should be set at 30 (it would have been 35 based on the 85% but they took into account feelings of the neighborhood) and the ticket was given on a weekday at 10:15 a.m. There were no children/pedestrians anywhere to be seen at the time.

I have a few questions:

The School Zone sign is located 500 feet from the community center's property line. Would this also be considered the school's property line? The schools are located 1,000 feet, or more, from the sign.

Each of the 3 schools have fences that enclose the portion of the property that they use at the community center. I noticed in a VC I read that if there is a fence enclosing the property of a school a different guideline is used to determine whether there is a speed trap, or not?

Thanks for your help.What is the name of your state?
 

JIMinCA

Member
What's a VC?

Anyway, if you were speeding in a marked zone, you're guilty.
You could not be more wrong if you tried. Probably half of the speeding tickets in CA are written as a violation of VC22350, the basic speed law, which doesn't mention anything about posted speed limit. Rather, it is for driving at a speed that presents a danger to persons or property. Also, prima facie speed limits must be justified by a traffic engineering survey, otherwise they could constitute a speed trap. Which means, you could be exceeding the posted limit and not be guilty of anything. I know... I have done it.


Meta,

You really need to provide all the details... especially the VC number.
 

Meta

Junior Member
More info

The violation is VC22350. I filed a written declaration and was found guilty.

My argument was that since there were no children in the area (outside) and there was fencing enclosing each school's outdoor areas that it was a speed trap as the traffic survey did not support the 25 mph speed limit and radar was used.

The officer's declaration stated that:

1. since I was in a school zone he could use radar, and

2. there are adolescent children dropped at all times during the day and that the school front is open to all traffic and not contained by an fencing.
 

seniorjudge

Senior Member
You could not be more wrong if you tried. Probably half of the speeding tickets in CA are written as a violation of VC22350, the basic speed law, which doesn't mention anything about posted speed limit. Rather, it is for driving at a speed that presents a danger to persons or property. Also, prima facie speed limits must be justified by a traffic engineering survey, otherwise they could constitute a speed trap. Which means, you could be exceeding the posted limit and not be guilty of anything. I know... I have done it.


Meta,

You really need to provide all the details... especially the VC number.
Okay, instead of saying, Anyway, if you were speeding in a marked zone, you're guilty, I should say...what?

You're not guilty?

Hmmm....
 

JIMinCA

Member
Okay, instead of saying, Anyway, if you were speeding in a marked zone, you're guilty, I should say...what?

You're not guilty?

Hmmm....
If you had any sense of the American judicial system, you'd recognize that you are INNOCENT until proven guilty. In the case of a speed trap, which is apparently what is in this case, the OP is NOT GUILTY.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Before Jim pipes up too much more. The 25 mph speed limit would have applied even if it WASN'T posted ;)
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
If you had any sense of the American judicial system, you'd recognize that you are INNOCENT until proven guilty. In the case of a speed trap, which is apparently what is in this case, the OP is NOT GUILTY.
25 mph is statutory - no speed trap.
 

JIMinCA

Member
The violation is VC22350. I filed a written declaration and was found guilty.

My argument was that since there were no children in the area (outside) and there was fencing enclosing each school's outdoor areas that it was a speed trap as the traffic survey did not support the 25 mph speed limit and radar was used.

The officer's declaration stated that:

1. since I was in a school zone he could use radar, and

2. there are adolescent children dropped at all times during the day and that the school front is open to all traffic and not contained by an fencing.
How do you know what the officer's declaration stated? Did you get a copy of it? I never got to see an officer's declaration in a TBWD.

Anyway, don't get too upset, many judges simply rubber stamp TBWDs guilty. However, your cop made this difficult for himself.

You should look at People v. Halopoff http://helpigotaticket.com/cases/halopoff.html which says that the prosecutor must establish that a speed trap did not exist when radar was used. Also, look at People v. Difiore http://helpigotaticket.com/cases/difiore.html which states:
We agree with Flaxman and Miller to the extent that those cases hold or suggest that the anti-speed-trap laws apply, where a defendant is charged with speeding, either under section 22348 or 22350 and evidence is introduced as to the prima facie or posted speed limit.
If the cop would have charged you with 22352, he would be right. In that case, you would have been charged with violating speed in a school zone. However, since he charged you with 22350, he relied on the prima facie speed limit (not the statutory limits provided under 22352) and therefore subjected himself to scrutiny under the speed trap laws.

First thing you MUST do is file for a Trial de Novo. Do it NOW as there is a short time limit involved. Then, do some research and prepare a case. You may just have a winner.
 

seniorjudge

Senior Member
...

First thing you MUST do is file for a Trial de Novo. Do it NOW as there is a short time limit involved. Then, do some research and prepare a case. You may just have a winner.

...


Don't count on it being a winner.

By the way, Jim, "innocent until proven guilty" is found nowhere in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence.

Do your research.
 

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