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Speed Trap Defense
With a Twist

In 1984 I bought a new VW Rabbit GTI, the original pocket rocket. My friends talked about organizing a pool to bet on how long until I got my first ticket. The Buena Park Police did not give them time to get the pool set up; they gave me a ticket the first week I had the car.

I was on Valley View heading south, coming off the light at Artesia, when the BPPD motorcycle cop clocked me at 61 mph on his radar gun. He issued me a citation for violation of CVC 22350 (Basic Speed Law), writing me for 61 mph in a posted 45 mph zone.

I went to court armed with pictures showing that, while Valley View was posted 45 on the southbound side of the street, it was posted 40 on the northbound side. I also had a map showing that while the northbound side was in Buena Park, the southbound side was in Cerritos.

Per CVC 22359, a speed limit on a boundary line street has to be the same on both sides of the street. Since the posted limit was in violation of the law, there was no survey that could justify it.


22359. With respect to boundary line streets and highways where portions thereof are within different jurisdictions, no ordinance adopted under Sections 22357 and 22358 shall be effective as to any such portion until all authorities having jurisdiction of the portions of the street concerned have approved the same. This section shall not apply in the case of boundary line streets consisting of separate roadways within different jurisdictions.

40802. (a) A "speed trap" is either of the following:
(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.
(2) A particular section of a highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects. This paragraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

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