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What Is a “Speed Trap” & Are They Legal in California?

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In general, a police speed trap is any technique used by police to catch speeders with the primary intent of raising revenue through issuing tickets. When police enforce speed limits to ensure safety, it is not a speed trap. However, enforcement isn’t always so genuinely motivated. If the goal is to issue tickets to meet quotas and charge fees, then it is a speed trap.

Depending on the tactic used, speed traps may be illegal in California. However, many strategies are completely legal. Additionally, even with prohibited techniques, you may need a speeding ticket lawyer to help you challenge the ticket.

When Speed Traps Are Illegal in California

The above begs the questions: when are speed traps legal and when aren’t they? The traps prohibited under California’s speed trapping laws are “marked road traps” and “unjustified speed limit traps.”

The former of these prohibited police speed trap techniques is a section of road that has been marked for measuring the speed of a vehicle by calculating travel time. In other words, it is a method of catching speeders by seeing if they travel between two points more quickly than legally should be able to.

The second of these tactics is a section of road that has an unjustified drop in the speed limit. This technique causes people to speed if they don’t notice a change in the speed limit without any change in the road conditions that would justify a lower speed.

Challenging Speed Trap Tickets

If you receive a speeding ticket as the result of a speed trap you can challenge it in California. Even if it was not issued due to one of the above-mentioned techniques, you may still be able to get it thrown out or reduced.

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Don’t let police speed traps or other tickets go unchallenged. Trust your speeding and reckless driving lawyers to help you fight unfair tickets and get the best possible outcomes even when you’ve made a mistake. Contact us today.

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