Traffic and Speeding Laws in California

motorcycle police officer giving traffic ticket

Summertime means more road trips and traveling for vacation, but more time on the road can put you in some trailing situations. Do your best to be safe this summer by following local traffic laws. Review this article to make sure you understand the traffic and speeding laws in California. 

If you or your loved one does end up being arrested for breaking a traffic law in California, get released from jail quickly and easily by calling Frank Calabretta‘s Bail House at (530) 823-8340.

Understanding California’s Speeding Laws

You may think there is only one speed limit, but California actually has various types of specific speeding laws. 

Basic Speeding Law

The basic speeding law is the speed limit you see posted on roadway signs. These signs clearly state that drivers may not travel faster than the marked speed, as it is not safe to do so in the area. This basic speeding law takes into account all kinds of circumstances such as visibility, weather, road work, and condition of the road.


Watch the Conditions

While you might think you can’t get pulled over for traveling the posted speed limit, that’s not actually the case. If the speed limit says 65 but a driver is traveling that speed on icy, foggy roads, they may be pulled over. 

Sometimes drivers in this situation are only given a warning. Other times, particularly if their speed was considered reckless given the circumstances (typically 15mph+ over the limit), they may get a ticket or even be arrested for reckless driving. 


Absolute Speed Limit

This basic speed limit that is posted on the roadway is also referred to as what’s called the absolute speed limit. It is the maximum speed that is allowed on a particular road. California has several different absolute speed limits including:

  • 30 mph in most residential districts
  • 65 mph on divided roadways and 
  • 70 miles an hour on some large freeways or interstates

For the most part drivers will not be pulled over if they are traveling the absolute speed limit unless, as mentioned before, conditions do not allow for that travel safely.


Presumed Speed Limit

The presumed speed limit is not always posted, so oftentimes it’s difficult to understand. In general, it refers to unmarked speed limits in certain areas such as:

  • 25 mph in school zones
  • 15 mph at highway intersections 
  • 15 mph in alleys
  • 15 mph were visibility is poor 

While California residents may know the presumed speed limits simply from life experience, it is often more difficult for non-residents to follow these unposted limits because they are unaware of them in the first place. 

It’s always a good idea to keep up with the flow of traffic around you and to slow down if you think you may be entering a presumed speed limit area. Don’t travel so slow as to impede traffic though, as that is also a citable offense. 


Reckless Driving

Reckless driving in California is considered driving that pays no regard for other people and their property. California law generally states that anything exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph or more is considered reckless driving. 


Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular homicide is an even more tragic and serious charge as it results in someone’s death. A driver can be criminally charged for either negligent or gross vehicular manslaughter. If alcohol is involved the charges increase exponentially.


Your Driving Record

Each infraction typically earns you a “point” on your driving record and these points are used to calculate your risk as a driver. Oftentimes, insurance companies will increase their prices dramatically and can eventually refuse to insure you if they feel your driving poses too much of a risk. Additionally, if you receive four points on your record within a 12 month period, your license will be suspended for a year.


Costs of a Speeding Ticket

Depending on your speed, the circumstances, and if anyone was injured, you might receive a speeding ticket. The cost can be anywhere from $35 to over $500 for a base fine. 

Add court fees, convictions, along with state and county penalties and the cost of a ticket can easily jump to between $700 and $1000. You’re already paying for gas, or electricity, to fuel your car- do everything you can to avoid unsafe situations and traffic tickets! 


If You Need to Post Bail – We Can Help

Obviously, it’s best to avoid breaking traffic laws, but if you do find yourself in an unfortunate situation, don’t just search for “bail bonds near me,” online and call the first one without checking their credibility

Not all bail bond companies treat their clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, but at Frank Calabretta‘s Bail House we offer affordable bail bonds with the friendly and knowledgeable service you expect during your time of need. 

We have been in business for over 40 years and make it our mission to treat all of our clients as unique individuals. It is our mission to provide fast and convenient bail bonds when you need it the most. Call Bail House today at (530) 823-8340. 

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