Police Speed Traps Are Illegal!
In California, the police are prohibited from using Speed Traps to investigate Speeding.
California Vehicle Code 40801 States
“No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution under this code.”
What is a Speed Trap?
There are two types of Speed Traps under the California Vehicle Code.
- Marked Road Trap – CVC 40802(a)(1)
- Unjustified Speed Limit Trap – CVC 40802(a)(2)
Marked Road Trap
California Vehicle Code 40802(a)(1) defines this speed trap as
“A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.”
The police have set a speed trap under this code section if they
- Measure boundaries on a road including a start point and end point
- Time cars from the start point to the end point
- Calculate the speed of the vehicle by dividing the distance by the time. (Speed = Distance/Time)
For example, if a car is driving on a one mile stretch of road marked with a start point and an end point. The speed limit is 55 mph. The police determine that it takes the car exactly one minute to get from the start point to the end point. The police then calculate that the car was going 60 mph on that stretch of road. The police have just conducted an illegal speed trap.
Unjustified Speed Limit Trap
California Vehicle Code 40802(a)(2) defines this speed trap as
“A particular section of highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects. This paragraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.”
The police have set a speed trap under this code if they
- Are using an electronic speed measuring device (usually lidar or radar)
- On a non-local road
- Where the road is mark with a speed limit lower than 65mph (prima facie speed limit)
- And the speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within 5 years.
How Can This Help You In Court?
If a police officer obtained the speed using an illegal speed trap his testimony will be excluded from the infraction trial. This means it will most likely result in a dismissal of the ticket. Our attorneys know how to use the protective speed trap laws to get tickets dismissed. Call now to find out more.
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