Speeding ticket in a school zone during COVID. Pay the ticket or fight it in court?
Yesterday I was pulled over for going 30 mph in a 20 mph school zone. I had just turned onto the street and was moving with the flow of traffic. Most of the other people around me were moving at 35-40 mph. I genuinely do not remember seeing the school zone sign/lights, but that's beside the point. I even had to go back to Google Maps street view to confirm that there even was a school zone. I am new to the area so I really, truly did not know any better. Plus, it was a religious school tucked away behind a church and most (if not all) schools are remote right now. Because I was driving in the school zone, the fine is doubled ($215) and I would get 2 points on my license. I've never even been pulled over before, but the cop didn't even give me a chance to explain. Should I just pay the ticket, or should I try to fight it in court? I read online that a lot of times the cop doesn't even show up to speeding trials, but if they do, you may be charged even more of a fine and get more points on your license. I also read that the courts are usually pretty hard on people who speed in school zones. But the thing is, it was a genuine accident and I was going 30, only 10 mph over. What really irritates me is that while the cop pulled me over for going 30, 3 other people sped past me and the police officer going at least 40.
Some advice would be helpful! Please don't bother replying if you're going to be rude about it!
Since Scott B. apparently gets off on being rude in response to people's genuine questions, let me make something clear: the fact that schools are remote right now is not part of "why" I was speeding. It just furthers the case that nobody was actually in danger. I did not say this was a viable defense, it just adds to the context of the situation. Like I said in the original post, if you're going to be rude about it, do not bother replying. I was literally just asking a question.
I did do my research. I have been reading conflicting things and wanted to see if other people who have experience with this knew better. That's what this platform is for. Like I said, I've never even been pulled over. When I said to please not reply if you're going to be rude, that's not really a huge request. A lot of people, like Scott B. here, get off on making other people feel like crap on these threads. I'm asking for advice, not to be made to feel like garbage for an honest mistake.
- 1 month ago
If you go to court, you'll probably get the fine reduced if you behave reasonably. It's your money. What is your time worth?
Admittedly, I'm not even sure why you mention COVID.
- brian 2010Lv 71 month ago
Using COVID-19 as an excuse in this situation isn't going to cut it. Even with school not in session during the pandemic, it's your responsibility to travel the 20 MPH speed limit in a school zone. The logical thing you can do is just pay the fine and move on. Fighting the ticket in court could end up worsening things for you.
- CeeLv 71 month ago
Either pay the fine ( mature option ) or scream, " I CAYN'T BREATHE !! "
- LLv 51 month ago
Obeying speed limit signs has NOTHING to do with COVID-19. I don't care if you're new to the area or not - you MUST always be aware of signs around you....it's in the Driver's Manual.
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- 1 month ago
As a cop I would pay the fine and get it out of the way! The courts can set up a monthly or in some cases weekly pymt plans!
- SocratesLv 71 month ago
It may depend if the sign said "on school days when children are present," or not.
- BruceLv 71 month ago
Nothing you said is a valid defense. The court will not care about what anyone else was doing, you are the one on trial.
With that said, it is common for a first offender to get a break. You can take your chances with the judge, or you can plea not guilty. They should give you a chance to discuss it with the prosecutor first, and it is common to offer you a reduced penalty to avoid trial. You could also contact the court clerk to see if they offer diversionary programs such as community service or traffic school to keep it off your record.
- Anonymous1 month ago
A speed limit is STILL a speed limit if it involves a school which is not in session. Think summer vacation. Speed limits/school zones do not change.
Maybe "he did the same thing and he's not being punished" worked when you were a child. It's not going to change anything in Court.
IF you want to fight it, bring PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF that there were no VISIBLE speed limit signs on the street you were traveling. You never passed a speed limit sign? Then you aren't expected to guess the speed limit.
You ADMITTED that you were speeding. The Officer doesn't have to listen to your explanation and, yes, he will show up for Court.
My sister was caught speeding and represented herself. She settled for a non-moving violation with an extremely high fine but no points. Unfortunately, her insurance company "caught it" and her premiums went up anyway. A BETTER plan would have been to say, "Yes, I was speeding" and ask for school.
And another thought - rude or not rude, the people answer don't have this problem. You do. "Do not bother replying." Really, from a person who can't research his own problem?
- Anonymous1 month ago
I would go to court, the worst that can happen is you are right where you are now. Don’t go with an attitude or get defensive go calmly up there, talk to the officer or prosecutor explain the situation in a rational manner, be apologetic that you understand the reason for school zone limits and now you know the area you won’t let that happen again. Request dismissal for 1st offense or at a minimum reduced charge with no points. They will work with you if you are calm level headed and are apologetic when speaking.
- scott bLv 71 month ago
So, let's sum up your defenses:
1. Everyone else was doing it.
2. I didn't see the sign and flashing lights.
3 You missed the important street signs because you're "new to the area"
4. It was behind a church
5. I thought all the schools were closed (interesting excuse, since you already said you didn't see the sign)
6. It was an accident, and I didn't mean to do it.
7. I was ONLY speeding by 10 mph
If these are going to be your defense, don't bother to fight it. Oh, and by the way cops ALWAYS show up for court. They get time off the streets, and they get overtime for going. Appearing in court is part of their job, and they don't miss it.