Marin County – Speed Trap: The Golden Gate Bridge

On December 18, 2009, Marin County traffic ticket attorney John Stanko successfully argued that the use of radar and laser on the Golden Gate Bridge is illegal and constitutes a speed trap. Earlier this fall CHP officers were parked on the bridge monitoring Northbound traffic when their attention was drawn to a vehicle that they believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed. The officers activated their radar gun and clocked the vehicle at 60 mph. They then initiated a traffic stop and cited the driver for Vehicle Code section 22350.

The case went to Court Trial on December 18, 2009 and the Marin County Traffic Court agreed with Attorney John Stanko when he argued that no justification existed for setting the speed limit on the bridge 9 mph under the 85th percentile and that the use of Radar in this case was an illegal speed trap.

California Vehicle Code section 22350 is the Basic Speed Law and states that no person shall drive on a highway at a speed that is greater than reasonable or prudent. Speed traps are defined in Vehicle Codes section 40802. Section 40802 prohibits the enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device unless the speed limit has been justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation. Further, once an engineering survey has been conducted the speed limit must be set at or within 5 miles per hour under the 85th percentile unless a further reduction is can be justified.

The speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge is 45 mph, the 85th percentile speed of drivers in the most recent engineering and traffic survey was 56 mph and the majority of drivers in the survey exceeded 45 mph. Thus, the 45 mph speed limit was not set at or within 5 mph under the 85th percentile of drivers and the use of radar or lidar/laser to enforce the speed limit amounts to an illegal speed trap.

If you receive a speeding ticket on the Golden Gate Bridge or on a surface street in San Rafael, Fairfax, or Sausalito, call an experienced aggressive traffic ticket attorney for help.

For more information about traffic and speeding ticket defense in Marin County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, or for a free consultation, call Marin County traffic attorney John Stanko at 415-755-8899, or toll free at 1-877-204-8900.