It isn’t uncommon to have a lot of questions about speed limits. Is there a minimum speed limit? What is the prima facie speed limit?
And, if you are going with the traffic and 10 miles over the limit – surely, that is fine?
The Californian speed laws can be confusing to new drivers and those from other states – so you’re not alone when it comes to questioning Californian speed laws.
The basics of Californian speed law
When you learn to drive, you will be told many times that you shouldn’t go faster than the speed limit in order to avoid getting a speeding ticket. You should be mindful of the road conditions, the traffic, the visibility, and the weather.
In most circumstances, you will be required to use your judgment in combination with the lawful speed limit. For example, driving at high speed on a low visibility road isn’t a good idea. However, going below the minimum speed limit can also get you issued a ticket.
In most cases, if you are issued a ticket, the issuing officer will be the one making the assessment of your driving and the current conditions.
What are Prima Facie Speed Limits in California?
A Prima Facie Speed Limit refers to the default limits. You must adhere to the Prima Facie speed limits unless other factors indicate you must go faster or slower.
The term Prima Facie is in the California Vehicle Code and is the speed limit that applies where there are no signs to indicate the speed you should be traveling at.
Unless you have other indications, then Prima Facie is the following:
- 15 mph at railroad crossings and on approaches to low-visibility intersections.
- When nearing a railway crossing, you may not exceed 15 mph for the last 100 feet unless the vision is unobstructed for at least 400 feet in both directions, without a flagman or a visibly apparent crossing indication.
- 25 mph in business and residence districts, in school zones, and when passing senior centers.
- School and Senior centers should have SCHOOL or SENIOR warnings signed posted to help drivers adhere to the prima facie in this case.
If traveling on a multi-lane road, that road might be subject to a 65mph speed limit, whereas a single highway with opposite-facing traffic may be lowered to 55mph.
At the start of the speed zone, there will often be an indicator of the speed you are expected to travel.
What are the maximum speed limits in California?
Speed limits are set to help motorists drive safely – no matter which road type they are traveling along.
In California there here are the maximum speed limits you will see:
- 55 mph on two-lane undivided highways unless a higher limit is posted.
- 65 mph on all other roads unless a higher limit is posted.
- 70 mph only on those highways where it is posted.
It is important to note that these are overruled by the fundamental speed law and prima facie.
Is there a minimum speed law in California?
A minimum speed law is one of the four speed laws of California. The minimum speed law stops drivers from driving too slowly or impeding the normal flow of traffic. A few key factors need to be considered when talking about the minimum speed law in California.
- The assessment of whether a driver is going too slow to obstruct traffic will be based on all relevant factors in a given case.
- Those suspected of breaching VC 22400 have legal defenses, and offenders can retain counsel to contest any accusation (s).
- Vehicle Code 22400 VC is punishable by a $238 fine.
- In addition, a driver who drives too slowly will earn one point on his DMV record. If you receive 4 points in 12 months, 6 points in 24 months, or 8 points in 36 months, you face a negligent operator license suspension.
- Drivers in California cannot ignore a violation issued for breaching Vehicle Code 22400. This act will undoubtedly result in charge of failure to appear under Vehicle Code 40508 VC, which is a misdemeanor.
What are the fines for a Prima Facie violation?
There are consequences to a prima facie violation. The amount of the fines or potential penalties increases with the miles per hour you were driving over the prima facie limit.
- Between 1-15mph over the limit, you will receive a fine of no less than $237
- Between 16-25mph over the speed limit, you will face a fine of $367 and over.
- For those going 26mph+ over the limit, the fine will be $489 and over.
A violation of the prima facie – no matter how many miles per hour over, will add a point to your driving record.
What Types of Tickets Do We Help With?
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.