3/24/2005Massachusetts: Teen Battles Speed Limit
A 17-year-old Delaware resident is using the law to challenge the speed limit on a local road.
Nick Sever, a high school senior in Dover, Massachusetts is fighting the speed limit of a local road in court. Although he has partially lost the first round in court, he is continuing the battle on appeal.
On September 2 he was pulled over on Dover Road for driving 49 MPH in a zone marked 30 MPH. Instead of just accepting his first-ever ticket, he did some research. He found a Massachusetts state regulation that says, "If a speed limit is posted without [a speed survey], it is in violation of Chapter 90, Section 18, and is therefore considered illegal and unenforceable."
Sever confirmed with Dover Police Chief Joseph Griffin that the survey had not been performed and secured a letter from the chief admitting that the "posted speed limit is unenforceable."
Armed with this evidence, Sever went to court last week to have charges dismissed. The judge, instead, charged the defendant with "violating an unposted speed limit." Sever filed an appeal to this ruling last week.
I just feel like the point of the judicial system and the legal system is to find the truth and correct mistakes," Sever said. Although he's disappointed, he said he's not placing blame.Source: Zoom, zoom, zoom (Dover-Sherborn Press, 3/24/2005)
"The point of the legal system is to fix [mistakes], and it's kind of discouraging and disheartening when that doesn't happen," Sever said. "Sometimes you'll find yourself in a hole, but if you think it was a mistake, do the research," he said.
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