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3/10/2005
Judge Shuts Down Santa Rosa, CA Speed Trap
California judge puts an end to a "speed trap" in Santa Rosa.

Steve Soldis
Online traffic school entrepreneur Steve Soldis has beat city hall. After being ticketed for speeding on Summerfield Road in Santa Rosa, California he challenged the road's speed limit in court and won.

Under California law, speed limits must be justified by a survey of how fast motorists generally drive on a road if tickets are given using radar. On Summerfield Road, for instance, 85 percent of people drove 42 MPH according to the most recent survey in 2003. The city could have rounded the limit up to 45 or down to 40, but would have needed additional justification to drop it to 35 MPH. The law is designed to prevent a situation where the vast majority of drivers are automatically eligible for a ticket -- a "speed trap", according to the law.

City officials have stopped using radar on this road but will attempt to justify the lower limit to the courts.

Article Excerpt:
California Vehicle Code Section 40802. (a) A speed trap is either of the following:
...(2) A particular section of a highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance .... 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.
Source: SR 'speed trap' runs into trouble (Santa Rosa Press Democrat (CA), 3/10/2005)

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