When can I be ticketed for speeding?

State, county, city, and town statutes in Ohio authorize law enforcement officials to stop and ticket drivers for the following speed-related offenses:

  • Exceeding a posted speed limit
  • Going too fast for traffic, road, or weather conditions
  • Driving slowly enough to create problems for other drivers
  • Failing to reduce speed as warned to do so when crossing a bridge or passing through a construction zone
  • Failing to reduce speed in a school zone
  • Street racing

Can an officer ticket me just because he thought I was speeding?

No. An officer must use radar, a laser gauge, a stopwatch, or some other electronic device to track your speed over a fixed distance. Police can also follow suspects and track the speed with their own cruiser's speedometer.

The law does not get more specific than that, but the message is clear: Police must have proof of how fast (or slow) you were going in order to cite you for speeding.

How can I get ticketed for driving too fast for conditions if I obeyed the posted speed limit?

First, an officer must still have proof of your actual speed to cite for you going too fast in bad weather, on damaged pavement, or in narrowed lanes. The officer can make the subjective judgment because the reason Ohio and its municipalities recognize speed limits is that drivers should be able to stop safely, without crashing. When ice, rain, winds, loose gravel, or potholes increase stopping time, drivers must slow down.

What counts as driving too slowly?

This is a judgment call that a court may have to rule on.

A police officer can stop and ticket anyone going under the speed limit when he or she determines that the slow driver is creating an obstacle and/or endangering other people. If the citation is disputed, a judge considers the officer's testimony and evidence from radar in order to determine whether an offense occurred. Working with a Columbus, Ohio, speeding ticket lawyer while contesting a slow driving citation can be a good idea because the case depends so heavily on witness accounts.

Do I always need to slow down on bridges, in school zones, and through construction zones?

No. What you must do is obey any advisories about speed limit changes. Especially around schools, signs and flashing lights will inform you of the maximum safe speed when it is lower than in other places along the road. Police almost never give leeway for "just five over" when drivers are warned to slow down for bridges, schools, and roadwork.

Can I get ticketed for speeding in areas where there are no speed limit signs?

Absolutely. Each type of road and highway in Ohio has a statutory safe speed. Local lawmakers can raise or lower those limits after consulting with engineers and other experts. If no adjustments get made and no signs are posted, police will enforce the base speed limits.

Here is a brief list of the speed limits drivers are expected to know and follow in the absence of other instructions:

  • 20 mph in school zones
  • 25 mph on city streets
  • 55 mph on major roads with state route numbers
  • 65 mph on interstates close to cities
  • 70 mph on rural highways and interstates

The lesson to learn is that you cannot get out of a speeding ticket just by claiming you did not see a sign.

What penalties can I get for speeding?

Unless you rack up three speed-related offenses in a single year, you can pay a fine or get points against your driver's license. The financial penalty increases with each mile per hour you exceed the speed limit. Going more than 26 mph over the limit earns a 4-point penalty, while speeding less recklessly earns 2 points. Fines are doubled in construction zones, and a misdemeanor charge is brought for a third speeding offense within a 12-month period.

A slow speed ticket usually comes with a small fine and a 2-point penalty, while street racing gets prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor with a mandatory license suspension.

Can I contest a speeding ticket?

Yes. Even if you did speed, Campbell Law may be able to negotiate your ticket to a reduced charge, avoid points, or escape a conviction. Plus, there are numerous grounds for challenging a speeding citation, including the following:

  • Lack of evidence from radar or other device
  • Faulty radar
  • Incomplete ticket
  • Disputable assessment of road and traffic conditions

Should I contest a speeding ticket?

If you wish to contest your ticket, you should. Doing so can make sense if you want to see if your attorney can negotiate your case. Fighting the ticket absolutely makes sense if you believe the officer who charged you made a mistake.

Contact Campbell Law to talk to a Columbus, Ohio. speeding ticket attorney to request a no-cost case consultation about your ticket.