Safety on the road depends on a variety of factors. For starters, every driver needs to drive while sober. Secondly, they must follow all the traffic rules and obey road signs. Drivers must also drive at a safe speed or below the speed limit. If all the traffic rules are followed and every driver on the road drives responsibly, the roads will be much safer as there would be fewer accidents. Police patrol vehicles are usually stationed in different parts of the highway or local roads to ensure there is compliance with local traffic rules. Since different jurisdictions may have different rules, it is imperative you learn about local traffic laws. If you are cited for reckless driving, speeding or any other traffic offense, you will be given a ticket, which you can decide to pay or fight it.
Fighting traffic tickets is recommended because paying a fine is akin to admitting guilt. Consequently, the conviction will be added to your driving record. This may increase your auto insurance premiums and increase future fines for other traffic violations. Therefore, you should consider fighting traffic tickets.
Common Defenses Seen in Traffic Court
Poor Determination of Speed
There are many traffic ticket defenses that can be used by drivers who have been cited for speeding. Since different roads usually have different speed limits, driving above the limit can earn you a traffic ticket. However, you can effectively defend yourself in court by challenging how the officer who cited you determined your speed. There are several ways of doing this. The officer might have done pacing, which is basically driving at the same speed as you and checking their speedometer. If this is how the officer determined your speed, you can challenge their evidence by enlightening the court about the fact that the officer has neither been trained nor certified in pacing for speed determination purposes. If the officer used a speed gun, you can ask for records of equipment calibration and maintenance to prove that the equipment used was not calibrated or maintained as required.
You may drive over the speed limit out of necessity. For instance, someone might have been following you, so you had to speed to get away from them. If you called the police, your speeding may be justified. Similarly, your house might have caught fire, so you might have been rushing to help put it out as you wait for the fire department. There are many other reasons that may necessitate speeding on a public road.
Mistake of Fact
You can argue that mistake of fact led to the traffic violation. For instance, if you are cited for ignoring a stop sign that has recently been installed on a stretch of road you normally use, you can argue that you did not have sufficient notice, which is a mistake of fact. Most judges would throw out the ticket if there was mistake of fact. Another case of mistake of fact is when you make a right turn in a no-right-turn section because strong winds recently blew away the warning sign.