If you have received a ticket for speeding in a school zone, you may wonder if you can do anything to fight it. In this article, we will go over whether you can fight a school zone ticket.
While it is always possible to contest a ticket, it is crucial to understand the potential consequences and weigh them against the likelihood of success.
Below we will discuss some of the factors to consider when deciding whether or not to fight a school zone ticket and provide some tips on how to do so effectively.
School Zones– What Are They?
School zones are designated areas around schools that have reduced speed limits during certain times of the day. These zones are designed to protect children who are walking or biking to and from school and pedestrians who may be in the area.
In most cases, school zones have lower speed limits during the hours when children are likely to be coming and going from school, such as before and after school, during lunchtime, and during recess.
The specific hours and speed limits for school zones vary depending on location. So it is vital to be aware of the rules in your area. The majority of schools have lights that flash or signs with the time frames.
Reasons You Can Get Ticketed
There are a few reasons why you may receive a school zone speeding ticket. The most common reason is simply exceeding the designated speed limit in a school zone.
Moreover, you may receive a school zone speeding ticket if you are involved in an accident in a school zone, even if you were not speeding at the time of the accident.
Lastly, you may receive a school zone speeding ticket if you are caught on camera speeding in a school zone. Or if a police officer pulls you over for speeding in a school zone.
Fines and Fees
If you have ever been pulled over, you know the ticket comes with a price. The fines for a school zone speeding ticket can vary depending on the location and the severity of the offense.
Fines can range, especially per state. Driving above the speed limit in a school zone can cost you a hefty $280 in the state of California. Texas ranges from $185 to $335. And Florida fines $100 for the offense.
In general, the fines for speeding in a school zone are higher than the fines for speeding in other areas. Much like road work zones, this is because speeding in a school zone is considered a particularly dangerous offense. Both are due to the presence of children/people in the area.
In addition to the fine, you may also face additional penalties. Such as an increase in your insurance premiums and points added to your driving record.
What To Do If You Receive A School Zone Ticket
If you have received a school zone speeding ticket, you have a few options for how to handle it:
One option is to pay the fine and accept the consequences. Such as an increase in your insurance premiums and points added to your driving record.
This is the easiest option, but it may not be the most desirable if you believe the ticket was issued unfairly or are concerned about the impact on your insurance premiums and driving record.
Another option is to fight a school zone ticket. To do this, you will have to contest the ticket in court. This involves appearing in court and presenting your case to a judge. Who will then decide whether or not to dismiss the ticket.
To successfully contest a school zone speeding ticket, you will need to provide evidence. Either that you were not speeding or that extenuating circumstances justified your speed.
For example, you may be able to show that you were driving within the speed limit, that the speed limit sign was obstructed or not clearly visible, or that an emergency required you to exceed the speed limit.
It is generally a good idea to hire an attorney to help you present your case in court, especially because there will only be three possible outcomes to the situation.
The judge might dismiss you, and you will have to face the consequences. Or, they can reduce or dismiss the charges altogether. If you can lessen the amount you have to pay, or walk away with no fine, then it makes fighting a school zone ticket worth it.
Proving Your Innocence
In order to fight a school zone ticket, you must have some proof or reason as to why you did not slow down.
One way to provide evidence that you were not speeding is to show that you were driving within the speed limit. This can be done by providing a record of your speed from a GPS device or a dashboard camera if you have one.
Alternatively, you can prove that the speed limit sign was obstructed or not clearly visible. For example, if a tree or other obstruction was blocking the view of the sign. Make sure you can provide photos as evidence.
Proving that the flashing lights, if applicable, were not on is also a great argument for your case. Furthermore, if you can prove it was before or after the school zone timing. Therefore, you can only get a fine for speeding, which is cheaper than speeding in a school zone.
Finally, you can argue that an emergency situation requires you to exceed the speed limit. For example, if you were rushing to get to the hospital or to help someone in danger, you could provide evidence of the emergency situation.
School zones are areas with limited speed for drivers to ensure the safety of children. Breaking the speed limit in a school zone can result in a ticket, fines, and an increase in insurance premiums.
You can fight a school zone ticket by appearing in court and presenting your case. But it is best to avoid getting one by following the designated speed limits in your area.