You are driving on a
bright sunny summer’s
day and you see that
the “Law” has pulled
The driver is bummed
as he knows a speeding
ticket is on its way. But
was the driver actually
breaking the law? This
might be a valid question.
Oh, but it is black and
white, right! The speed
limit is posted and the
driver is going under,
on, or over it. Not so
fast, however, because the driver might not have been going too fast!
Car and Driver says, “Jim Walker admits he was driving faster than
the posted 30-mph limit when the cop pulled him over, but he was
able to beat the ticket by demonstrating in court that the speed limit,
not his driving were the culprit.”
The judge ended up dismissing the ticket because he determined that
the speed limit was not legal. So is the Law enforcing something that
is unlawful? And if so, why is it happening?
In 1995 Congress repealed the national speed limit law and states
have been increasing the speed limit. Thus, while state legislatures
have voted to increase speed limits, local municipalities have been
reluctant to follow as such would mean a loss of ‘ticket’ revenue.
Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services
Section, told Car and Driver, “In many cases, the problem is the speed
limit, not the motorist.”
The state law, Public Act 85 of 2006, mandates communities to set
speed limits based on the speed at which 85 percent of drivers are
traveling at the time when the study is being conducted. Additionally,
speed limits are also based upon the number of driveways and cross
streets that intersect a given stretch of highway.
Furthermore, if either of the above stated methods are not used,
a 55 mph speed limit applies by default, except in some cases such
as housing subdivisions or business districts.
Lt. Megge goes on to tell Car and Drive, “If you’re driving down a
road, and it just feels like the speed limit is way too low, it probably is.”
Steve Purdy, director of the National Motorists Association’s Michigan
Chapter, says that prosecutors will most likely dismiss tickets challenged
under PA 85 because it simply does not look good and it would set a
Places to watch for the stacked law include highways that are inlets
to communities and roads that are in communities. As with most other
aspects of modern life, does money play a big part? Yes it does indeed!
It might not be entirely right, however, being aware of the situation
and driving accordingly is a good defense until you get out on the
Have an auto question or comment? You can email it to me at
[email protected] Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best
for the Price…” www.DriveTheBestBook.com.