22350 No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
Most of us would like to believe that as long as we’re within the posted speed limit, we are not speeding. But under California law this is not always the case. VC 22350 is California’s “basic speed law” that says you must drive at a speed that’s reasonable given the conditions—even if that is much slower than the posted limit.
Officers have wide discretion in deciding whether your speed was unreasonable. Some of the circumstances where they might ticket you include:
- You were driving at the speed limit during a heavy downpour or storm, when most drivers would choose to go slowly.
- You went too fast in fog or other low-visibility conditions.
- You traveled too fast on an area with poor road surface, such as gravel or badly damaged pavement.
- You went at full speed around a tight curve.
- You could clearly see children playing along the side of the road but you did not slow down.
Going too fast in an alley, school zone or railway crossing can also result in a ticket under VC 22350.
The penalty for VC 22350 is a fine, usually of several hundred dollars. The exact amount depends on the county you’re in and how fast you were going.
A Basic Speed violation can also be paired with a more serious charge like DUI. Officers who arrest someone for alleged drunk driving know that the case is stronger if you did something else dangerous or illegal. They may decide you were going too fast and ticket you for Basic Speed on top of the DUI, to show that you were clearly impaired.
If you’ve been charged with a basic speed violation or DUI, you need to speak to a lawyer. We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.
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