Traffic violations are a common occurrence on roads, and many drivers receive citations for various offenses. In California, traffic laws are designed to ensure the safety and orderly flow of traffic. Two common types of traffic violations in California are disobeying a traffic control device and receiving a speeding ticket. While these offenses may seem similar, there are distinct differences between them.
In this blog post, we will delve into the nuances of disobeying a traffic control device versus receiving a speeding ticket in California, helping you understand your rights and the potential consequences.
Disobeying A Traffic Control Device
Under California Vehicle Code Section 2815, it is an infraction to disregard any traffic signal or direction given by a non-student school crossing guard, appointed pursuant to Section 21100, or authorized by any city police department, county board of supervisors, or the Department of the California Highway Patrol. This law specifically emphasizes the protection of individuals crossing streets in the vicinity of schools.
Additionally, California Vehicle Code Section 2800 states that it is unlawful to willfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order, signal, or direction of a peace officer when that officer is in uniform and performing duties pursuant to the provisions of this code.
Disobeying a traffic control device refers to the violation of any traffic signal, sign, or pavement marking prescribed by California traffic laws. It encompasses actions such as running a red light, ignoring a stop sign, or making prohibited turns. In essence, it involves any act that disregards the instructions or prohibitions set forth by traffic control devices.
If caught disobeying a traffic control device, the penalties can vary depending on the severity of the offense and any previous violations on your record. Typically, it can result in fines, points on your driving record, an increase in insurance premiums, and potentially attending traffic school. Multiple violations could lead to a license suspension or requirement to attend a court hearing.
Speeding in California is governed by several sections of the Vehicle Code. Section 22352 establishes prima facie speed limits, which are presumed to be safe under normal conditions. However, as per Section 40831, exceeding these limits does not automatically constitute negligence but must be proven as a fact in civil actions.
For more severe cases, Section 23582 applies additional penalties for driving 30 or more miles per hour over the freeway speed limit or 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit on other streets during the commission of a DUI offense.
Receiving a speeding ticket occurs when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit. California follows a “basic speed law,” which requires drivers to adjust their speed based on the road conditions and surrounding circumstances while still staying within the legal limits. Thus, exceeding the speed limit, irrespective of how much, can warrant a speeding ticket.
Similar to disobeying a traffic control device, the consequences of a speeding ticket may vary depending on factors such as the extent of the violation and your driving history. Penalties can include fines, points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, and the option to attend traffic school to mitigate the impact. Habitual or excessive speeding can result in harsher consequences, including license suspension and mandatory court appearances.
- Nature of the Offense: Disobeying a traffic control device often involves failing to follow specific signals or directions, such as red lights, stop signs, or instructions from a peace officer. Speeding, on the other hand, involves exceeding the posted speed limits.
- Penalties: Both offenses typically result in infractions, leading to fines. However, the severity can vary based on the situation. For instance, speeding in conjunction with a DUI can lead to harsher penalties, including jail time.
- Impact on Driving Record: Both violations add points to a driver’s record, which can affect insurance rates and, with accumulation, lead to license suspension.
- Defensive Claims: In speeding cases, drivers can sometimes challenge the accuracy of the speed measurement or the validity of the speed limit signage. In contrast, disobeying a traffic control device often involves more straightforward evidence, such as eyewitness testimony or camera footage.
It is important to note that both offenses can impact your driving record and insurance rates. As such, it is advisable to practice safe driving habits, obey traffic laws, and be aware of the specific regulations in your jurisdiction to mitigate the risk of receiving citations.
Understanding the distinctions between disobeying a traffic control device and receiving a speeding ticket is crucial for California motorists. By being aware of the specific definitions, consequences, and potential implications of these traffic violations, drivers can make informed decisions, exercise caution on the roads, and protect their driving records. It’s always advisable to adhere to traffic laws and exercise caution while driving. In case of a violation, consulting with a legal expert can provide guidance tailored to the specific circumstances of the offense.
Remember, this blog post provides general information and should not be considered legal advice. If you find yourself facing a traffic violation, consult with a qualified attorney to understand the best course of action based on your circumstances. Safe driving and adherence to traffic laws are paramount, ensuring the safety of both yourself and other road users.