Fighting a speeding ticket can be a frustration endeavor. Imagine, you’re riding on your bike, you’re feeling the thrill of the open road, and you suddenly hear a siren. You look in your mirror and see a police officer riding behind you with lights flashing. Immediately, your stomach turns into a knot and you immediately check your speedometer to see if you were going a little too fast. Sometimes you know you have been caught- but what to you do if you disagree with a motorcycle speeding ticket?
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket
There are a few reasons that might make you consider fighting a speeding ticket. If you were speeding due to an emergency, you might feel you had a right to speed. You might be able to fight the speeding ticket if you were speeding due to an emergent threat to the health and wellbeing of yourself or others. If your wife is on the back of the bike and she is well into labor and will deliver your baby imminently, you may feel justified in speeding. Of course, in this case you might be better just getting an ambulance! Another more concrete example is if you are speeding to outrun a lava or mudflow. In these (rare) cases, you might be justified in speeding.
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You might want to challenge a speeding ticket if you feel that your speed was not determined correctly. If you can determine that your speed was not calculated correctly, you may have a case. You would have to have reason to show that the officer was not using the equipment correctly or had not been trained properly in its use.
Fighting a speeding ticket is important if the officer mistakenly pulled you over instead of someone else. If you were certain you were obeying the speed limit and instead the police officer clocked another bike that passed you, you may want to challenge the ticket. Some officers seem to have some sort of blindness when it comes to bikes, and to them one biker looks the same as any other.
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Another defense you can use is that you were driving a safe speed for the given conditions. If you were driving 45 and everyone around you was traveling between 45 and 50, you may be able to state that your speed was appropriate for the conditions. If the road is straight, does not have houses or businesses near it, and weather conditions are appropriate, you may be able to challenge your ticket. Sometimes speed limits are placed due to pressure put upon the town or jurisdiction by nearby residents. They may fight for lower speed limits to increase safety and decrease road noise. But if you can show that these speed limits are inappropriately low, you may be able to fight your motorcycle speeding ticket.
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To collect appropriate evidence, visit the site where you received your ticket during the same time of day on the same day of the week (or, at least make sure it is a weekday if you received the ticket on a weekday or a weekend day if you received it on a weekend). Take photos of the area as well as videos of the traffic. If you can show there is significant traffic and the average speed is high, you may be able to justify your speed.
Make a diagram of the area of the road in which you were ticketed. If you can show that you received your ticket on a straight, open stretch of highway, for example, you were more likely to get off than if you were speeding in a congested area of the city.
Driving Below the Speed Limit
Believe it or not, police officers will ticket you for driving below the speed limit, especially if they feel your speed created a hazard to others on the road. In some cases, however, motorcyclists are advised to slow their speed, often considerably. If there is debris on the road, for example, it is wise to lower your speed. It also makes sense to ride your motorcycle slowly in rainy conditions or where the road is in a state of disrepair. If you can demonstrate that the road conditions warranted you riding at a slower speed, you can likely defend driving below the speed limit in court.
Contact an Attorney
If you have received a speeding ticket when riding a motorcycle and want to contest it, your best bet is to contact an attorney to help defend you in court. This is especially important for speeding tickets issues for speeds well over the limit, like in the case of reckless driving. If you have received several tickets in the past or just do not want a ticket on your record, hiring an experienced attorney can mean the difference between accepting the fine, points, and higher insurance and walking away with just a warning.
At Kass & Moses, we know that safe motorcycle riding begins with riding the proper speed. Having represented injured motorcycle riders for many years, we have seen the results of crashes that happen at high speeds. Injuries can be severe, even when crashes occur at low speeds. We believe you should enjoy the open road- but do so with caution. If you are involved in a crash, contact an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer at Kass & Moses today for a free consultation.