Speeding and Speed Limits

Speeding can cause vehicular accidents. A driver who violates the speed limit might be liable if the excessive speed was the proximate cause of the injury or death. If you want to know if you can file a claim against a speeding driver who caused the car accident where you sustained injuries, a consultation with a car accident attorney regarding your case can is the first step to securing compensation.

Speed Limits

The Vehicle Code (CVC 22350) prohibits anyone from driving upon a highway at speed greater than reasonable and prudent after considering the weather, visibility, traffic, highway surface, and width. It also bars any person from driving at a speed that is unsafe to any person or property.

In California, the speed limit is usually capped at 65 miles per hour (mph). However, this may be raised to 70 mph in certain areas, and signs informing the motorists that the speed limit is 70 mph. For a two-lane undivided highway, the speed limit is 55 mph. These numbers are the maximum speed a motorist may drive; a motorist cannot go beyond these limits.

How I Can Help You

I help clients secure financial compensation for their injuries. Specifically, I help injured clients recover compensation from insurance companies, negligent drivers, and other liable parties.

The first step to financial recovery is a free consultation. Call my office at (916) 270-6880 Monday – Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM to learn more about your personal injury rights and damages.

Prima Facie Speed Limits

For certain areas, there are also different speed limits. These are lower than the usual speed limit of 65 due to the nature of the area. These are called ‘prima facie speed limits‘ to distinguish them from the maximum speed limits mentioned above. They are:

  • Fifteen miles per hour when passing a railway grade crossing, provided that if during the last 100 feet crossing approach, the driver had an unclear and obstructed view of the crossing and any traffic on the railway for 400 feet in both directions along the railway.
  • Fifteen miles per hour when moving in any intersection of highways.
  • Fifteen miles per hour in an alley
  • Twenty-five miles per hour or any highway other than a state highway in any business or residence district unless the local authority sets a different speed.
  • Twenty-five miles per hour while approaching or passing a school building or any school grounds.
  • Twenty-five miles per hour while passing a senior center or other facilities primarily used by senior citizens.

Local authorities also have the power to set special speed limits when they determine it would better serve the community’s needs. If the local authority exercises this power, signs must be posted on the street indicating these speed limits. For example, a local authority may set a speed limit of 25 mph on any street near a children’s playground, but only during hours when children are expected to use these facilities.

Effect of Violation

If a speeding car causes an auto accident, the fact that the driver was speeding can help the other part prove negligence, and by extension, liability.

Violation of Maximum Speed Limit

The violation of the maximum speed limit set forth by law creates a presumption of negligence on the driver involved in an accident. For example, a motorist who drives at 65 mph on a two-lane undivided highway (where the speed limit is 55 mph) is considered automatically negligent.

Violation of Statutory Prima Facie Speed Limits

The violation of prima facie speed limits does not create a presumption of negligence, unlike the violation of maximum speed limits. Negligence, in this case, is a question of fact, meaning it still has to be proven in court. Thus, the victim may provide evidence showing that the defendant was speeding, thereby violating the prima facie speed limits, to hold the defendant liable.

For example, a motorist who drives at 30 mph near a school is not automatically considered negligent. However, any evidence proving a motorist moving beyond the speed limit may prove that the motorist was speeding and thus negligent.

Call Now Button