A speeding ticket is the most common infraction issued in the state. The fine amount you face is dependent on what the speed limit was and how many miles above the limit the officer claims you were going. For example, going 5 mph over a 70 mph limit will cost less than going 5 mph over a 20 mph limit. An officer does not have to prove you intended to speed. That is not a requirement. Simply the fact that you were traveling above the limit is sufficient to violate the law.
There are several different methods that officers typically use to determine a target’s speed. The most famous is “radar.” A radar gun can be used by an officer parked on the side of the road. Also, certain types of radar guns can also be used while the officer’s vehicle is moving. A radar with moving mode capabilities can target vehicles going the same direction as the officer as well as going in the opposite direction. Another type of “gun” is Lidar. This uses laser technology. A Lidar gun can target vehicles at very long distances if necessary (think 1,000ft+). However, a Lidar gun cannot be used while moving.
Officers also will attempt to determine speeds by conducting a “pace.” This means the officer tries to drive his vehicle at the same speed as your vehicle and then looks at his speedometer to determine the speed.
Lastly, the rarest of options is by aircraft. An officer will fly in a plane above a road with pre-measured markings on it watching traffic below. As a car passes one marking, the officer in the plane will start a stopwatch and then stop it when the vehicle passes a second marking. The officer then can calculate the speed based on that. The place officer will then radio down to a second officer who is in a car below and instructs him to pull over that specific vehicle.
No matter what method the officer used to calculate speed, there are often ways to fight the ticket. If you want the best chance at keeping this ticket off of your record and avoid increased insurance rates, give our office a call.
Speeding in a School Zone
Speeding in a school zone is very similar to a typical speeding ticket, except it occurs in a school zone. Officers regularly sit near posted school crosswalks and wait for speeders. When a vehicle is within 300ft of the crosswalk, they are within the school zone. Fines for a school zone speeding ticket are higher than a typical speeding ticket.
Normally, there is signage which will indicate when the school zone is active, such as when lights are blinking, when children are present, or during certain hours. Simply because it was not during normal school hours is not an excuse. There are many school activities before and after school and on “off” days. No matter what time it is, it is important to be attentive while traveling next to a school and playground.
Camera Speeding in a School Zone
Cities have now begun to place cameras in school zones to catch speeders. These tickets are just like a standard speeding in a school zone ticket except for one big exception: they do not know who was driving the vehicle, so it does not go on your record!
Camera tickets are treated like parking tickets. They know who the car is registered to but they do not know who was actually driving the vehicle at the time of the infraction, so it would be unfair to potentially punish the wrong individual.
If you want to fight your speeding ticket, contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced Seattle, WA traffic lawyer. We'll let you know your options and answer all of your questions.