Operating a vehicle or driving at a speed greater than the posted speed limit is a common traffic violation. Unlike many other traffic offenses, speeding is considered to be a "no intent" offense. The driver is not presumed to be acting willfully or with intent to break the law, thus the offense carries a lesser punishment, typically a fine.

TIP: Fleeing or attempting to elude the police officer is a separate and more serious offense than speeding.

What does a speeding violation require?

A speeding violation requires driving:

  • at a speed greater than the posted speed
  • on a public road

The ticket must set out the alleged rate of speed, the posted rate of speed and the location of the speeding violation. The ticket is defective if one of these elements is incorrect or does not conform to the actual law.

TIP: For instance, if the posted speed limit was 40 mph and the officer indicated on the ticket it was 30 mph, the ticket may be dismissed, even where the driver was clocked at a speed of 45 mph.

Sidebar: Contrary to urban myth, an emergency, medical or otherwise, does not give the driver the right to speed, or exclude her from obeying speeding laws.

If I am speeding, can I be automatically ticketed for reckless driving?

No. Excessive speed alone is not a reckless driving offense. There must be additional facts that show you endangered the lives or safety of the public.

Can an officer testify to my speed without relying on a radar unit or other device?

Yes. The officer's testimony estimating your speed to be over the legal limit is enough to convict you of a speeding offense.

Sidebar: Law enforcement officers are considered to be experts at estimating vehicle speeds due to their experience and training.

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