You know that you can get a ticket for going too fast on the freeway, but what about too slow? We’ve all been frustrated with the driver on the freeway going 50mph when the speedlimit is 65. But, is it illegal? Should it be?
Generally, it depends on the state, or jurisdiction. Many speed related laws are very ambiguous, and can be interpreted differently by law enforcement depending on associated conditions. In California, Vehicle Code Section 22350 is such a section, reading:
No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property. DMV.
One such story caught my eye, where a woman in Maryland was given a citation for going 2mph (yes, two miles per hour) under the speed limit:
A Maryland woman says she was stunned after receiving a traffic ticket Friday for driving in the left lane at 63 mph in a 65 mph zone.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, told WRC-TV (Channel 4), a local NBC affiliate, that she was driving on Interstate 95 in Laurel when she was pulled over by a police officer and ticketed for failing to move right.
“[I was] really shocked,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, you’ve got to be kidding me.’”
Winds were gusting up to 40 mph that day, so the woman, who had never gotten a ticket before, slowed down a little to be safe.
“Sometimes when it’s dangerous, you have to do what you can to stay safe,” she said.
John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, called the ticket “silly.”
“It’s sending the wrong message,” he told NBC 4. “And that is, ‘We will tolerate you driving at more than the speed limit, but it you drive below the speed limit, then you’re penalized for that.’”
The woman plans to fight the ticket in court. Read more.
Does this mean drivers MUST drive at exactly the posted speed limit? Some states post minimum and maximum speed limits (on a road trip through Utah, I remember seeing a minimum of 45mph and a maximum of 65mph). I think this is a better policy.
What do you think?
The author, Josh Bonnici, is the managing attorney at BONNICI LAW GROUP, who helps injured individuals with their claims. Questions? Concerns? Contact him today, at: www.bonnicilawgroup.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.