Speed Trap Defense in California

california speed trapMany have heard of the term speed trap or California speed trap. However, they do not understand the legal definition of what constitutes a California speed trap.

In many cases people say that the Officer was hiding behind a bush or on the on-ramp to the freeway and they think that is a speed trap. In fact the Officers can hide behind bushes and trees and behind buildings and use speed radar to detect speeders. Even though it may not be fair there is nothing illegal with the Officer hiding and using speed radar. It certainly does not constitute a speed trap under the California Vehicle code.

In these cases, a speed trap argument will not get a speeding ticket dismissed. The only way that a speed trap argument will get a speeding ticket dismissed in California is if the defendant can prove to the judge that the reduction of the speed limit on the roadway below the maximum speed limit was based on a Traffic and Engineering Study. Furthermore, the posted speed limit must meet the guidelines for the reduction of the speed limit as set by the California vehicle code. In summary, the reduction of the speed limit must be legal for the Officer to use radar to detect the speed of a vehicle. If the reduction of the speed limit was not done in accordance to the vehicle requirements then that constitutes a speed trap.

In order to determine whether the speed limit on a roadway was properly reduced, one must be completely familiar with Traffic and Engineering Studies and how to interpret the information in the study to determine the validity of the speed limit.

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