You might have been speeding because you were late for work, school or an appointment. So you drove too fast and the next thing you knew, you could see police lights in your rearview mirror.
If you got a speeding ticket, you are not alone. Speeding is the most common moving violation in Pennsylvania. But a speeding ticket – or two or three – can lead to escalating difficulties like points on your driving record, costly fines, rising insurance premiums and even suspension of your driver’s license. A Montgomery County defense attorney in Pennslyvania can help you minimize or avoid these problems.
What You Need To Know About Speeding
In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to drive over the posted speed limit.
If a street or expressway does not have a posted limit, you should use the following guidelines:
- 25 MPH on residential streets
- 35 MPH on non-residential streets
- 55 MPH on expressways
You can be convicted of speeding only if you are driving 6 or more miles over the speed limit.
However if the police calculated your speed using a VASCAR device, and you were driving in a 55 MPH or under zone, you need to have been going 10 MPH over the speed limit to be convicted.
In an active work zone or an active school zone, you can be convicted of speeding if you are going as little as 1 MPH over the speed limit.
How The Police Measure Your Speed
Following your car. The police officer will usually pace your speed against the police car speedometer. In Pennsylvania, the officer needs to follow you for at least 3/8ths of a mile before they can get a good enough reading of your speed to legitimately pull you over.
Manual speed traps. Police use a manual device similar to a stopwatch to clock your car over a pre-measured, pre-determined distance. Sometimes aircraft are used to detect your speed, than their report is radioed in to a police officer on the ground who will pull you over.
Frequently, the stopwatch-type devices used in manual speed traps by both ground and air officers are VASCAR devices, and their reliability has been called into question in Pennsylvania, especially when they are used in short distances (less than 500 feet). Pennsylvania law singles out the questionability of VASCAR device results by stipulating that you can’t be convicted for speeding in a zone that is 55 MPH or under, unless you were going 10 MPH or more, if the reading was done by a VASCAR.
Automatic speed traps. These traps are technology-driven and as a result there is less room for human error. The police set up transmitters on either side of the road that calculate your speed automatically and send the readings to a computer in the officer’s car.
Radar. In Pennsylvania, only the state police can use radar guns to measure your speed.
Points For Speeding
- Exceeding the speed limit by six to 10 MPH: 2 points
- Exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 MPH: 3 points and a 15-day license suspension if in a work zone
- Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 25 MPH: 4 points and a 15-day license suspension if in a work zone
- Exceeding the speed limit by 26 to 30 MPH: 5 points and a 15-day license suspension if in a work zone
- Exceeding the speed limit by 31 MPH or more: 5 points, a 15-day license suspension if in a work zone, and possible other penalties as determined by a hearing examiner
Hearing for Excessive Speeding
If the police charge you with excessive speeding, it means they believe you exceeded the posted speed limit by 31 MPH or more. You will be notified to attend a mandatory PennDOT hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your license will be suspended immediately for 60 days.
At the hearing, a PennDOT examiner will make a recommendation for you to either take a driving road test or to have your license suspended for 15 days. The suspension has larger implications because you will also receive five points on your record. Having an experienced attorney by your side at the hearing will give you a better chance to avoid the harsher punishment.
What To Do If The Police Pull You Over
- Turn the ignition off but don’t get out of the car.
- Don’t argue with the police officer or get angry.
- Be polite.
How A Montgomery County Defense Attorney Will Help
When you are up against a traffic violation, you need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Traffic Violation Law
Traffic violation is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Code under Title 75. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, a Montgomery County defense attorney from Fienman Defense will try to get your traffic violation charges dismissed or lowered. Should the case go to a hearing or trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.