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Can I beat my speeding ticket?

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I don't believe driving at whatever speed you want is reasonable.

No one ever claimed that. However, I don't think there was anything unreasonable about progressiveman1's "speeding" by failing to slam on his brake at the 25 MPH sign. In fact, I even remember being told by my driving instructor not to brake hard when I see a limit sign, just to take my foot off the gas and let the car slow down gradually. But, as you said, the law is meant to be observed strictly, so if you're as much as .1 MPH above the posted limit the moment you pass the sign, you're guilty.

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It costs $125. Is that not a lot of money to most people?

125? It shouldn't be. Just pay it, I have pairs of cuff links that cost more.

Besides, if you were really concerned about the money that much, you would be driving slow enough that you would be automatically following the speed limit. That way you would use less gas. Moreover, driving consistently in excess of the speed limit will typically put more wear and tear on your automobile, thereby speeding up its depreciation rate.

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25 mph is a ridiculous speed limit.

A human being can run faster than this.

Ask the judge if you deliver pizza on foot and exceed 25 mph if you will get a ticket.

In the last few months I've received 2 speeding tickets, both on the same road.

Road is a 6 lane highway, speed limit should be around 70 mph, but in some areas for no reason I can understand, is 40 mph!

Court is only open on Wednesdays during work hours and tickets were $85 each so I just paid them.

I'm not going to lose half a days pay and surround myself with disgusting lawyers, cops and judges for 3 hours to save $85.

You just have to admit to yourself that the world we live in is full of mooching communist losers.

Trying to argue with these people using reality based facts and logical arguments is a complete waste of time and effort.

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2) In my jurisdiction, when we pace someone (gauge their speed by following behind them) we have to follow them at least 1/4 of a mile for an "accurate" pace. You may check with an attorney or some other source to find out if your jurisdiction has some other such requirement. Addtionally, the officer may be required to show some certificate that his speedometer was recently calibrated as accurate.

I got a speeding ticket the other day as well. I was going over a part of the Interstate that turned into a bridge, first time on the road, and I didn't see the sign that the speed limit dropped from the regular 70mph to 60mph. When the cops pull me over, they were just parked on the side of the road clocking people's speed... not following people.

It's my first speeding ticket ever. Which pisses me off because I went the speed limit the entire way down there on my trip, never broke 75... trying to save gas.

No good deed goes unpunished right?

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No good deed goes unpunished right?

Yea, nobody likes their first ticket but all the cops know when they stop you is the speed indicator on the radar gun. That doesn't look like a good deed to them. They have no idea how you were driving for the previous stretch of the road. Granted, that may well be a "trap" in that they know people routinely don't slow down for that drop in the limit so they sit there and "reel them in".

I got 3 speeding tickets during my 18th year on this earth. Bad year. But I was guilty each time and I paid the fine each time. I have some issues with speed enforcement but it's there and if one speeds, intentionally or otherwise, the risk of getting nailed is there.

One time I was traveling with my family on I81 in VA. My "over-willingness" to pull over when I was going too fast apparently saved me a ticket. I saw the officer pulling out from the side of the road but he was having difficulty due to the level of traffic. I pulled into the right lane anticipating the stop and he flew right past me! He got about a couple hundred yards ahead of me, slowed down and turned off his lights.... he freakin' lost me in the traffic. I didn't intentionally try to evade the guy, but I wasn't inclined to go tell him "Hey, you looking for me?"

Two of the things bad about the situation was the traffic problems he and other officers were causing pulling out onto a busy interstate merging with lots of cars going really fast while trying to catch speeders (almost a more harm than good situation). The other is... bad tracking on his part. If you can't identify the car you are trying to pull over you are just grabbing at straws. The heavy traffic played a part in that he had to spend so much time watching traffic to get into the roadway that he couldn't watch me.

Now it is possible he wasn't going for me; maybe he got a call which was canceled shortly after. However, the timing and the behavior of his driving seemed pretty much like it was me he nailed.

From my own perspective at work, I'm less concerned with just the speed as I am the operation of the vehicle overall. I haven't written many speeding tickets in my years but I have written and / or arrested lots of folks for reckless driving and DUI.

I do a lot of riding on my motorcycle on less traveled routes in rural areas where you run into new towns about every 15-25 miles. I try to stay VERY cognizant of the speed limits because I've see far too often a sudden drop in speed as you approach Podunk USA.

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25 mph is a ridiculous speed limit.

That depends on where.

A human being can run faster than this.

As best I can tell from looking on the internet, the world record human running speed is 23 mph. VERY VERY few people can approach that speed.

Ask the judge if you deliver pizza on foot and exceed 25 mph if you will get a ticket.

It might be possible, but not for speeding. The law isn't written to include humans as motor vehicles. Besides, they would be less concerned with the damage a 150 lb. person could do versus a 1000-2000 pound machine. At least to other people and their property.

In the last few months I've received 2 speeding tickets, both on the same road.

In the business we call that "a clue".

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25 mph is a ridiculous speed limit.

A human being can run faster than this.

Here are a few facts to put the above into perspective:

1) A four-minute mile requires an average speed of 15 miles per hour.

2) A mile run at 25 miles per hour would take only 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

John Link

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In the business we call that "a clue".

I'm glad you call it a business, because that's exactly what it is.

Speed limits 20-30 mph lower than they should be have nothing to do with defending the life or property of citizens.

Speed limits like this only exist so politicians, judges and police officers can screw citizens and provide themselves with job security.

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business....

The fact that it is a business does not imply a negative.

Speed limits 20-30 mph lower than they should be have nothing to do with defending the life or property of citizens.

Actually, in many instances, that is exactly the purpose of the slow speed, though I would agree that some instances of low speed limits seem improper. Whether or not it's the government or a private property owner, it makes good sense to set a slow speed limit in a densely populated residential neighborhood.

Speed limits like this only exist so politicians, judges and police officers can screw citizens and provide themselves with job security.

Not really. All those folks would still have job security without low speed limits. There probably are a few people in those occupations above that do "screw citizens", but I personally know quite a few others who earnestly believe they are doing what is right in enforcing the law, even some bad laws. The fact that many operate under a flawed philosophical foundation does not mean their intent is to "screw" with anyone.

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This link you posted specifies that the fastest instantaneous speed recorded is 12.1 m/s which equals 27 mph.

I stand corrected, but the one you point out is heavily disclaimed in it's accuracy. The one mentioned as accurate was 11.91 m/s (26.64 mph). That still doesn't defeat the main point of my comment... people are not motor vehicles and thus speed limit laws do not apply to them (and people still weigh 1000's of pounds less than vehicles). As such, asking a judge that question still makes no sense.

Edited by RationalBiker
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25 mph is a ridiculous speed limit.

A human being can run faster than this.

Ask the judge if you deliver pizza on foot and exceed 25 mph if you will get a ticket.

The human being that can run 25 mph is few and far between.

What isn't so unusual is biking 25 mph or more. Not biking as in motorcycles, but biking as in bicycles. I routinely exceed 25 mph on my road bike. If I push it I can get up to 30. I have friends who've clocked themselves over 40.

Speed limits slower than the speed of a bicycle are ridiculous.

Edited by Myself
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Speed limits 20-30 mph lower than they should be have nothing to do with defending the life or property of citizens.

Speed limits like this only exist so politicians, judges and police officers can screw citizens and provide themselves with job security.

There is a very valid reasons to require people to drive at slower speeds, and they would apply and be enforced even if roads were privately owned. Namely that since cars drive in areas where various household animals and small children roam, not to mention ordinary adults crossing the road, high-speed driving is a danger to others. Similar facts hold for the driving areas in (privately owned) shopping mall lots, where an even lower speed is appropriate and typically posted. The fact that privately controlled speed limits tend toward the lower side in areas where people are looking for parking or walking to their cars should tell you that the ability of special humans to run faster than the speed limit is an irrelevant extreme case.

A 20-25 mph speed limit is perfectly appropriate in that context, and given the contempt that most people have for the law and the variable tolerance policies that law enforcement practices, in order to have an actual limit of 25 mph, you may have to set the nominal limit to 15 mph. The proper solution to this problem is of course to set the limit at what it should objectively be given the conditions, and then absolutely enforce it. No more of this "you can get away with 5 mph over" nonsense.

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What isn't so unusual is biking 25 mph or more. Not biking as in motorcycles, but biking as in bicycles. I routinely exceed 25 mph on my road bike. If I push it I can get up to 30. I have friends who've clocked themselves over 40.

Speed limits slower than the speed of a bicycle are ridiculous.

What's particularly ridiculous is the way certain municipalities treat bikes as both fish and fowl. Columbus bikers are on average particularly annoying (there are some exceptions but they are unlabeled), especially since they have been granted the rights of both cars and pedestrians, and none of the responsibilities. They can now drive on the sidewalk (and have the right to go 40 MPH and run into pedestrians who are unaware of their presence), and they also have the right to go at 5 mph on ordinary city streets (including very busy arterials) bringing traffic to a standstill. They are a particular menace, I find, when they zip down a sidewalk which is typically overgrown by vegetation so a driver cannot see them coming, and then they barrel through the intersection at 40 mph right when a car is making a right turn. Were it not for the damage they's do to my car and the fact that the bleeding heart courts would probably hold me responsible since after all I have the car, I'd love to provide free lessons in reality and basic civility to these bastards.
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What's particularly ridiculous is the way certain municipalities treat bikes as both fish and fowl. Columbus bikers are on average particularly annoying (there are some exceptions but they are unlabeled), especially since they have been granted the rights of both cars and pedestrians, and none of the responsibilities. They can now drive on the sidewalk (and have the right to go 40 MPH and run into pedestrians who are unaware of their presence), and they also have the right to go at 5 mph on ordinary city streets (including very busy arterials) bringing traffic to a standstill. They are a particular menace, I find, when they zip down a sidewalk which is typically overgrown by vegetation so a driver cannot see them coming, and then they barrel through the intersection at 40 mph right when a car is making a right turn. Were it not for the damage they's do to my car and the fact that the bleeding heart courts would probably hold me responsible since after all I have the car, I'd love to provide free lessons in reality and basic civility to these bastards.

Hah, it was just yesterday that I read a long thread of comments on a Hungarian blog about the similar behavior of bicyclists in Budapest. It's not legal for them to go on the sidewalk, but some of them do it anyway. I once came within a fraction of a second of hitting one who sped on a sidewalk, out of my view because of buildings, and then crossed the street right in front of me without slowing down a bit or even looking around.

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Speed limits slower than the speed of a bicycle are ridiculous.

Please explain the line of reasoning that motor vehicle speed limits should be decided with reference to how fast bicycles can go? I've seen the assertion that it's "ridiculous", but no argument present why the two are even related.

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Please explain the line of reasoning that motor vehicle speed limits should be decided with reference to how fast bicycles can go? I've seen the assertion that it's "ridiculous", but no argument present why the two are even related.
My supposition is very simple. Bicycle speeds aren't regulated because the velocity they are capable of attaining doesn't pose a sufficient risk to bystanders (given proper operation, alertness, and mechanical status). Bicycles also have two limitations compared to cars. One is the issue of acceleration. A human powered bicycle takes time to build speed and could take up to a quarter of a mile to build up to 20 mph. The other is the issue of braking. A bicycle's brakes are orders of magnitude less powerful than a motor vehicle's and deceleration can only safely occur gradually. That means that the cyclist has limited control over his own speed -- and when operating any type of machinery the greater control, the safer the operation. Even with those limitations I've never lost control of my bicycle or failed to react to or slow to unexpected obstacles or bystanders when traveling at speeds 25 mph or more.

A motor vehicle can accelerate to 25 mph in seconds and decelerate even faster. That means that a car can travel at more consistent speeds than a bicycle, making it easier to anticipate and react to. It also allows for more responsive braking, decreasing the risk of collision. A car has more responsive handling and can maneuver better than bicycle. It's more visible. It has a greater range of visibility (mirrors).

If a person can safely operate a bicycle at or above 30 mph than a car certainly can. To have a speed limit lower than that of a bicycle assumes that driver of the car is semi-comatose or mentally handicapped. That is why I find such a speed restriction particularly ridiculous.

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If a person can safely operate a bicycle at or above 30 mph than a car certainly can. To have a speed limit lower than that of a bicycle assumes that driver of the car is semi-comatose or mentally handicapped. That is why I find such a speed restriction particularly ridiculous.

No, it actually assumes unpredictable situations that even good drivers don't have time to react to, situations that are not uncommon on populated, residential streets. People darting out from between cars at the last second, two cars passing each other on narrow streets with parked cars, etc. I know, I've seen accidents like these on residential streets.

What you don't seem to consider in your analysis is the comparable damage potential (life and/or property) between a car and a bike, another important factor in consideration of speed limits.

I also suspect they realize that many folks are going to ignore speed limits anyway, but if they ignore them in a posted 25 area, they will still probably not go much faster than 30-35.

I also think it's an exaggeration to say the speed limit assumes someone is semi-comatose or mentally handicapped. Actually, what it assumes is that they can pass the low standards of the driving test and that there are a wide range of drivers out there with varied levels of ability to react quickly to unforeseen situations.

I might be inclined to agree that lower speed limits could be minimally increased if driving requirements were more stringent and driver's skills were more thoroughly tested.

Though I still disagree, I appreciate you spelling out your position in more detail.

It also allows for more responsive braking, decreasing the risk of collision.

I'm not sure this bears out factually. I'm open to your evidence and I'm going to look myself. However, since accident reports are not generally done on bikes (unless involving motor vehicles), this information may be hard to capture.

If we look at the Fatality Reporting System it indicates the following numbers for 2007 (using fatalities as one indicator of 'safer' operation);

Motor Vehicle Fatalities: 35, 555 (including motorcycles 30, 401 without MCs)

Pedalcyclists: 698

To understand the relationship between those numbers we'd have to also know the number of riders vs. drivers, and the relative number of miles traveled between the two and a few other factors.

Here is a link that indicates that cycling (generally) may be safer than driving. You read and be the judge.

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  • 4 months later...
That's correct, in the sense that if you do anything the law prohibits, no matter how reasonable, you are screwed. However, in a more philosophical sense, the laws are meant to be broken:

Just want to add to this - you can be ticketed for driving too fast and driving too slow. So you have to obey the speed limit to the number, and magically decelerate and accelerate on speed change signs.

Thank god I don't drive, but I know many people that beat traffic tickets due to impossible laws, quotas on tickets and police not showing to court. Seemingly the only things the police really enforce (traffic-wise) here in Canada are erratic driving and drunk driving.

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