Is not knowing the speed limit an excuse?

Is not knowing the speed limit an excuse?

If you get pulled over by the police for speeding, the first thing they’re going to ask you is how fast you were going. They want to see if you know. They may also ask you what the speed limit is on that part of the road, to see if you know that it’s different than how fast you were driving.

Some studies have found that the most common thing drivers say is that they just didn’t realize that the speed limit was lower than their own speed. Can you use this as an excuse to get out of a ticket? Is your own ignorance of the speed limit going to help you?

This generally will not be useful, though there are some exceptions

As a general rule, a lack of knowledge of the speed limit is not going to get you out of a ticket. You are supposed to know the speed limit or you are supposed to follow the standard limit for each different road type.

So, if you were going 85 miles an hour, there’s no road in the state that allows that. Saying you didn’t know what the speed limit was doesn’t mean you can just drive at whatever speed you would like.

However, if you were going on a road that looks like it would normally be a 55, but it has a lower speed limit of 45, you may be able to claim that you didn’t see the sign and you just assumed that 55 was the standard based on state law. Even then, you may need to show that there were no speed limit signs or that they were so obstructed that you couldn’t see them, as simply failing to read the signs is also not an excuse for speeding.

There are many ways to fight traffic tickets, but you also need to know what not to do. As you consider all of your options, you can determine the best course of action.

 

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