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Thread: Speeding Ticket for poorly marked school zone

  1. #1
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    This morning, I pulled out of my house onto the main road, heading to a doctors appointment a couple miles away. There are two entrances to my subdivision and I rarely take the one I used today. The main road has a speed limit of 35.

    Within seconds I had been pulled over by a police officer. I had the window halfway down, car off, hands on the wheel, etc. I informed the officer that I was a CPL holder but was not carrying. He asked if I knew why I had been pulled over. In part because I had no idea, and also in practicing my 5th amendment right, I politely responded that I was unaware of his reason for pulling me over. The officer kindly explained that I was speeding, and that I had been going 37 in a 25mphschool zone. He took my license and insurance and quickly processed the ticket.

    The officer then returned to my vehicle and explained that he had to cite me as he was on traffic patrol and have to give everyone he stopped a citation. He suggested I call the court to get them to lower the offense to a no-points offense or take it to a hearing if they would not comply with that request.

    A quick background on myself. I have already graduated from college, but I am taking two courses at a local university and work as many hours as I can get at a gun store in order to pay tuition. I live with my parents but because I am responsible for all of my own bills, including insurance, gas, etc, it is already nearly impossible for me to make ends meet and I have no savings.

    I plan on taking the ticket to court because I simply cannot afford the ticket. The township in question has raised their traffic violation rate to a whopping $180 and that is well beyond my means. My chief concern, however, is the fact that despite living along this apparent school zone for some time, I was completely unaware of its presence until today. On my way back, I soon discovered why - the signs for the school zone are at the opposite end of the street, far from my subs entrance - which
    I rarely use anyway.

    direction of travel, ---->
    ==[sign] ======= [entrance] ======= [site of violation]==

    I have already taken pictures to show that the signs are not visible from my entrance. Furthermore, (more in a matter of curiosity than of evidence, as I doubt it is submissible,) I asked both my father and brother what the speed limit was outside our house. Both responded with 35mph. When given a time, my brother responded that it was 35mph, 24/7.

    Does anyone here have any suggestions with how to deal with this citation? What is my strongest argument? I'll be speaking to a good friend who is an attorney, but plan to represent myself.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Regular Member EM87's Avatar
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    Geez, that's not cool at all. I don't know how to go about fighting a ticket, but I'm sure someone here can tell you how. Good luck getting it taken care of!
    "You'll be walking along.. OC.. and you'll feel GREAT. You'll feel FREEEEE like 1776 kind of Free." -cscitney87

  3. #3
    Regular Member dougwg's Avatar
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    So you had no idea there was a school there?

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    I obviously knew there was a school there.

    However, because of the 35mph speed limit, I, (and many others, apparently,) had assumed that that was the school-zone speed limit. All the other schools around here are in 40s and 45s. Not saying it was logical, but like I said - I rarely enter or exit on that road, and had honestly never thought of it. And, since I never drive by a sign that would have tipped me off to said zone, I never gave it much more thought.

    Another interesting tidbit. When I was on my way back from the Senate Hearing on SB747 yesterday I stopped at the Subway right where I was stopped this morning. As I was waiting for my sandwhich I looked out the window and say a sign that said, "End School Zone." I specifically remember thinking, at the time, that it was the weirdest sign, seeing as their was no speed limit modification and the zone apparently existed only as a formality.

  5. #5
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    I would check with the requirments for proper signage in regards to school speed zones. I knew of a school that had a yellow sign showing children crossing , thena bit later a reduced speed limit also in yellow (yellow means recommended and is not enforcable) and no sign later on indicating where the zoned ended. There also was no time limits or school year indications, so that evenings and summer months they tried to cite people.

    Many cases were dropped because of poor signage. So be sure to check all the laws in this regard.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    FOIA ALL notes and other evidence they might have on you. Demand ALL evidence they have pertaining to the stop, on any medium. It's your right to cross examine all the evidence. If they don't give it to you, you need to ask the judge or magistrate to drop the charges because you were denied due process.

    Get the exact law(s) you're being cited for. Once you have these things in hand, a defense will become easier to arrange.

    I've obsessively taken on bogus tickets like this before, for myself and others, to the point of putting in way more time researching the subject than I'd care to even think about. It's the dumb ass tickets like this that are winnable usually if you put the effort in. If you'd like, we could talk on the phone or perhaps in person about how to arrange a defensive strategy. I'm more than happy to help. PM me if you're interested.
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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Another..MUST...go take your own pictures of where the supposed infraction took place. Take them to court with you. Judges do not know most areas by heart and only take the officer's report for fact. I have got out of more than one ticket this way by proving poorly posted /obstructed signage.

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    ...have to give everyone he stopped a citation.


    Yeah right. Even ones NOT breaking the law? Sounds like a quota to me.

    Get yourself a video camera and make the trip again (slowly) so the judge can see that there is no signage between you and the school.

    My dad had a similar situation where he turned at at intersection. The sped limit was 55 on the road he was on, and the road he turned onto had a 45 speed limit. There was no posted change of speed limit between where he turned and where he was stopped. He advised the trooper and the trooper told him where the sign was. Dad said "but I turned (intersection) and the LAST sign was posted 55 MPH". Then the trooper told him there was another sign further up and Dad says "But I didn't get there yet". Trooper issued a ticket and stated that it was my Dads "responsibility to know the speed limit".
    Dad videotaped the route. Ticket was dismissed.

    You gotta figure the troopers KNOW that 90% of people just send in the $ instead of wasting a day from work and spending the day in court haggling over it.




    Look at it this way, if you plead guilty and send in the $ it costs you the ticket + court costs.
    If you go to court to challenge it and lose, it still only costs you the ticket + court costs. So it doesn't cost you any more to dispute it, and you might get it dismissed.








    .

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    Google msp traffic control orders. there is info there that may help you. Good luck and take it as far as you have resources to.springerdave.

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    So talked to my attorney friend and his advice was this -

    Assuming the signs are posted properly, (correct times, etc), there is essentially no way out of the fine. Because I live at that area, the response will be that I should have known anyway. At that point, my issue is that- even if I was aware of the school zone - I would need to have the times memorized in order to comply. Seeing as I pass the alleged sign so infrequently, it would be unreasonable to expect that. My attorney, however, disagrees.

    He does say that I will be able to easily get the points taken off and any record of the ticket removed.

    Like I said, I don't care about that. All I care about is the money, asit is moneyI quite literally do not have. So hopefully I will be able to find them in violation of some signage act. I'm emailing the OC Road Commission in order to obtain those sign placement dates and guidelines for signage.

    I'll keep you posted if anything changes, but let me know if I'm missing something.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Again, FOIA all their notes. There is a chance you can use a screw up of theirs to your advantage. Use everything at your disposal to your potential advantage. Going to court not knowing what the cops will say is downright foolish.
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    Regular Member CrossPistols's Avatar
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    I would not use the "I don't use that entrance a lot" excuse, because you do live in the neighborhood and they will argue that you should know the speed limit.
    Was there a sign letting you know of the school times? Is there a light that blinks when school is starting or letting out?

    257.627 Speed limitations.Sec. 627.
    (1) A person operating a vehicle on a highway shall operate that vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition then existing. A person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead.
    (2) Except in those instances where a lower speed is specified in this chapter or the speed is unsafe pursuant to subsection (1), it is prima facie lawful for the operator of a vehicle to operate that vehicle at a speed not exceeding the following, except when this speed would be unsafe:
    (a) 25 miles per hour on all highways in a business district as that term is defined in section 5.
    (b) 25 miles per hour in public parks unless a different speed is fixed and duly posted.
    (c) 25 miles per hour on all highways or parts of highways within the boundaries of land platted under the land division act, 1967 PA 288, MCL 560.101 to 560.293, or the condominium act, 1978 PA 59, MCL 559.101 to 559.276, unless a different speed is fixed and posted.
    (d) 25 miles per hour on a highway segment with 60 or more vehicular access points within 1/2 mile.
    (e) 35 miles per hour on a highway segment with not less than 45 vehicular access points but no more than 59 vehicular access points within 1/2 mile.
    (f) 45 miles per hour on a highway segment with not less than 30 vehicular access points but no more than 44 vehicular access points within 1/2 mile.
    (3) It is prima facie unlawful for a person to exceed the speed limits prescribed in subsection (2), except as provided in section 629.


  13. #13
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    CrossPistols wrote:
    I would not use the "I don't use that entrance a lot" excuse, because you do live in the neighborhood and they will argue that you should know the speed limit.
    There could be some merit to it. At my former apartment complex in Phoenix, there are 2 levels. I never, ever went on the second floor, because I didn't have a reason to.

    The law does not require mundane and seemingly worthless tasks with a cover all should have known law. I'd call it minimally a mitigating circumstance.
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    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

  14. #14
    Regular Member CrossPistols's Avatar
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    Michigander wrote:
    CrossPistols wrote:
    I would not use the "I don't use that entrance a lot" excuse, because you do live in the neighborhood and they will argue that you should know the speed limit.
    There could be some merit to it. At my former apartment complex in Phoenix, there are 2 levels. I never, ever went on the second floor, because I didn't have a reason to.

    The law does not require mundane and seemingly worthless tasks with a cover all should have known law. I'd call it minimally a mitigating circumstance.
    I agree as long as he can prove he never went in that direction after exiting his more usually used entrance/exit. I'd also ask for all info pertaining to the radar unit that was used. What model, if it was a laser, or a radar unit, what radar wave it used, if it is a radar what certification, or calibration is required, and dates that it has been serviced & calibrated. We used The Falcon it used k band radar wave. It is basically was junk, but LE rely on majority of people just paying the fine.

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    Here's how to handle a speeding ticket at the time you get it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OnhZ...eature=related

  16. #16
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    Haha.

    Yes, I expect that the entrance defense may not be the best one.

    I'm already hoping to get somewhere on the calibration issue. I know some people who have gotten out of tickets for that reason before.

    There is also another thing I am unsure of. I live on the border of two townships; my side of the main roadis Township X, the other side is Township Y. The office who pulled me over was a police officer in Township Y. However, he pulled me over and issue me a citation in Township X. Is any of that relevant? If so, it would sure be an easy way for me to make it go away... I assume the question is where the violation occured. I would have to dig deeper to find out who exactly the road belonged to.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    In the middle of the night, Oak Park cops like to slam people on 8 mile between Royal Oak Township and Detroit for going standard day time speeds of 55 or 60. Seems like a money funnel for them.

    If 2 or more cities or townships have an agreement for overlapping jurisdiction, it's typically legitimate.

    Definitely worth looking into, but probably legally irrelevant.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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