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Author: XMFClick Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 207  
Subject: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 11:52 AM
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I'm hoping this is the right board ... I'm a Brit who was recently on vacation in the States. We rented a car and were staying in northern New Hampshire. One morning we left our B&B (somewhat out in the country, near Franconia) and tootled in to town. I saw blue flashing lights in the rear-view mirror, way in the distance, so I pulled over, assuming the police car was on an emergency. Imagine my surprise when it stopped behind me. The policeman said I'd been doing 50-something in a 40 zone, and he gave me a ticket.

Thing is, there was no speed limit sign between our lodgings and where we were stopped (a distance of about 2 miles). Also, I was following another car, which also stopped for the police car but then drove off. All in all, I feel very hard done by.

Questions:
(1) Do I have any grounds for challenging the ticket, given that there was no speed limit sign, and
(2) what happens if I ignore the ticket? (I'm back in the UK now.)
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Author: ErinKG Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 1:30 PM
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(1) Do I have any grounds for challenging the ticket, given that there was no speed limit sign,

You can always plead not guilty and go to trial. The thing is, you would have to come back to the states to do so in most cases (maybe all cases).

How much was the ticket? If it's not too much, I'd just pay it to save yourself some grief.

(2) what happens if I ignore the ticket? (I'm back in the UK now.)

I'm not sure - you'd have to check to see what the law says in New Hampshire.

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Author: XMFClick Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 175 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 2:07 PM
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Thanks. Hmmm. Yes, of course I could go to court, but the ticket was $72, not exactly worth the air fare. On the other hand, it's enough to be annoying, especially as it was potentially unjustified.

I was actually wondering if any Fools out there know whether NH law allows the court to charge the fine to the car hire company, who would then charge it on to my credit card. I know that can happen with parking tickets, but I wondered whether it would also apply to speeding tickets.

I'm still p*ssed with your American policemen (-man, actually) -- I think he'd been watching too many John Wayne films, from the way he behaved. Also, probably had a speeding ticket quota to fill. B*st*rd.


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Author: UrinalMints Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 176 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 4:42 PM
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This may cause an international crisis,Interpol will be knocking on your door :-)

If you plan on coming back to the states, it may be a problem but ONLY if you get pulled over again.Unless the rental company is keeping tabs on tickets, I wouldn't worry about it.You could just let someone else do the driving if you come back to the states. I don't think they'll send out a bench warrant for someone that's not a citizen of the U.S. One would think that they wouldn't keep in on file long if they don't have any way to collect it or make an arrest.

J.P.



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Author: NoGoodReason Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 177 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 6:49 PM
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Thing is, there was no speed limit sign between our lodgings and where we were stopped (a distance of about 2 miles).

But you must have passed a speed limit sign informing you of the max speed for that section of road on the way TO the B&B, no?

-NGR

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Author: UrinalMints Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 178 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/3/2005 7:15 PM
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But you must have passed a speed limit sign informing you of the max speed for that section of road on the way TO the B&B, no?

-NGR


Probably, but what if the poster was coming from the bar the night before??? <g>

J.P.


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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 179 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 1:10 AM
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Rolf:

Pay the ticket. Then everything is expunged and you don't have any worries the next time you visit. It may rankle but it's not worth the time and effort to contest it.

My only speeding ticket was in 1966 and it still, almost 40 years later, rankles. Let me rephrase that: it still burns my ass. No, that really doesn't cover it: the rotten @^%$^@ speed trap at the bottom of a hill was a @&*$^%#&^$.

Let me regain my composure. Okay, I now feel better after a deep breath.

No I don't. The $^%*$)(@ cop put up his ^%&*$(# hand and gave me a ticket for doing – get this – 35 mph in a 30 mph zone. The %&^($%)^+$. Cost me $24.

I paid it. But the burn goes on.

MichaelR




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Author: Primm69 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 180 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 2:36 AM
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Let me regain my composure. Okay, I now feel better after a deep breath.

No I don't. The $^%*$)(@ cop put up his ^%&*$(# hand and gave me a ticket for doing – get this – 35 mph in a 30 mph zone. The %&^($%)^+$. Cost me $24.

I paid it. But the burn goes on.


Really??

Primm


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Author: XMFClick Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 181 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 4:22 AM
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But you must have passed a speed limit sign informing you of the max speed for that section of road on the way TO the B&B, no?

The strange thing is that, depending on which route you took, the limit heading *towards* the B&B was either 40 or 30 (I investigated over the next couple of days). However, the section of road in question was straight, not in a built-up area, and with good visibility, so in my mind there was no particular reason to think the limit should have been as low as 40. Not an excuse in law, I know. Maybe they did it that way so the b*st*rd cops could ticket people, get some more funds rolling in. Who knows?

In the UK they (we) are very consistent about speed limit signs (i.e. they always make sure that such ambiguities can't happen), and there's a default speed limit for the situation where there aren't any signs. Maybe there is in NH too, but it wasn't stated on any of the documentation I got from the rental company. Also, speed limit signs in the UK are much more visible than those in the US, usually much bigger and with a wide red reflective border (this is just a niggle, and to point out that not everything in the States is bigger and better <g>).

So, the long and the short of it is that nobody knows whether they will pass the fine on to the rental company ... *Surely* some US Fools must work for Enterprise?

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Author: Colovion Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 182 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 8:48 AM
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Do I have any grounds for challenging the ticket, given that there was no speed limit sign

You can challenge the ticket, but you'll probably lose. I don't know about NH laws, but in Michigan if there is no speed limit posted on a rural highway the speed limit is 55mph, so if there was no sign posted and you were going, say, 65mph, you could still be ticketed. I'm guessing that NH has such a law for the type of road you were on if no signs were posted, and apparently the speed limit there is 40mph. Ignorance of the law is not a defense that will stand up in court.

what happens if I ignore the ticket?

Worst case scenario is that a judge enters a bench warrant for your arrest based on failure to pay the ticket. In fact this is likely to happen. The department I work for has hundreds of warrants on file, including at least one bench warrant for failing to pay a skateboarding ticket (a civil infraction in our jurisdiction) from nearly a decade ago! So if this poor sap gets pulled over within the range of the warrant (probably 25 miles) he could be arrested for failing to pay a $50 ticket ten years ago.

They certainly wouldn't extradite you for something like this, and odds are that the range of the warrant wouldn't be very far, so ignoring it won't really be all that dangerous (unless you're going back to that town in the future, of course). I had a teacher in high school who had a bench warrant out of Pennsylvania, she just never went to Pennsylvania if she could help it. Eventually the court will expunge the warrant, just to get it out of their files, but that could take well over a decade.

Of course the easiest thing is just to pay the ticket and to not have to be looking over your shoulder if you happen to end up in that town again. Just be happy it didn't happen in our jurisdiction, we would have been forced to take your license to ensure you paid the ticket or showed up in court (we have to do so for anyone we pull over who doesn't have a Michigan license, doesn't post bond immediately or doesn't have an assurance to appear, such as having a AAA card.) I know one thing, Enterprise doesn't like having to get their cars out of impound for things like this!

Mike

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Author: CatBarber Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 9:29 AM
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Just pay the ticket. Is $74 worth all the aggravation and work? And you were speeding, after all.

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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 184 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 10:54 AM
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(1) Do I have any grounds for challenging the ticket, given that there was no speed limit sign

Part of passing a driver's test in the US is that you have to know the "rules" for speeds in certain types of situations, and that if you do not see a speed limit sign, should assume that the speed is no more than X. Of course, sometimes it's hard to tell.

And this also makes me crazy, but in another way.

There is a pretty major road that is one of the main roads I use to get to and from my home. The speed limit on this road is 50.

There's ONE speed limit sign, immediately as you get off the larger highway, partially obscured by a bush, that says it's a 50. There's a decent amount of traffic on this road, and also very, very large house of worship about three and a half miles up from the exit from the large highway.

Basically, anyone attending this particular house of worship seems to be incapable of exceeding 32 mph. And the road is one lane in each direction with a double-yellow... no passing.

So, on this major road, which is actually called HIGHWAY 202/206, I am continually waddling along at 30-35 mph, because no one can read the darn sign.

Even people who live there, who do 50-52 mph along the stretch, are sometimes amazed to find out that they are NOT speeding (because they're used to following along the turtles who cannot seem to find their gas pedal).

I have actually called the township to see if they can put up another sign to jolt people into realizing they are doing 15-20 mph BELOW the posted speed, but because it's a state highway, they don't have the authority.

You can actually go for almost four miles without seeing a speed limit sign, and then the new sign is there only to indicate that the road has dropped down to a 45mph.

To make a short story longer than it had to be:

It's not that uncommon for there not to be a sign.

*sigh*

GSF

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Author: TeraGram Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 185 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 11:50 AM
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Given the conditions of the road you describe, I am amazed that the speed limit is set at 50 mph. It sounds like a 35 mph road to me.

Furthermore, "speed limit" does not mean "this is the speed you must travel at". I've read the "rules of the road" for a few different states and each one has had words similar to the following:

The posted speed limit is the maximum speed for a given road. The actual speed limit may be less given the weather, amount of traffic on the road or other environmental conditions.

It is quite possible to get a speeding ticket on a road marked 55 mph while you were only travelling 40 mph.



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Author: NoGoodReason Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 186 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 3:03 PM
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Furthermore, "speed limit" does not mean "this is the speed you must travel at".

But it's the considerate thing to do.

-NGR

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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 187 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 5:31 PM
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Given the conditions of the road you describe, I am amazed that the speed limit is set at 50 mph. It sounds like a 35 mph road to me.

No, it's a 50mph, and since this IS the "road rage" board, allow me to say:

If you have NO IDEA WHERE THE HECK YOU'RE GOING, and you have a QUARTER MILE OF CARS backed up behind you on a road where WE CANNOT PASS YOU, pull the heck over, take your head out of your rear end, and figure out your directions BEFORE getting in the car!!!

Furthermore, if you are terrified of driving after dark, anywhere there might be a deer, generally in the United States or specifically in New Jersey, may I suggest that driving at 20 mph BELOW the speed limit will not make friends nor influence people.

It WILL PISS ME OFF.

The temple is 3.2 miles up on the left, 100 yds past the third traffic light. It's got a GIANT FREAKIN' SIGN that says "TEMPLE - 1000 feet" 1,000 feet BEFORE it and a GIANT FREAKIN' SIGN that says "TEMPLE ----->" at the turn. It's REFLECTIVE, for heaven's sake.

LOOK FOR IT, people. Is it possible that all THOUSAND of you who congregate EACH AND EVERY WEEK are a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT thousand people than last week??? Or is it JUST POSSIBLE that you've been here before and that you might be able to drive, oh, say, somewhere approaching the speed limit????

Gas is on the right, folks, please use it!!!

That is all. Thank you.

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Author: XMFClick Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 188 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/4/2005 6:01 PM
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Thanks for the helpful reply, Colovion. I guess I was also asking whether the ticket could be sent to the rental company, and it sounds like that wouldn't happen. Anyhoo, I think I'll pay the ticket, even though I probably won't go back to NH any time in the next decade (there's a lot more of the States to see, don't really need to go to the same part twice).

Side comment: In Blair's Britain they are removing all kinds of civil liberties and introducing new restrictions all the time, and it wouldn't surprise me if, in a couple of years, they agreed to exchange data with all kinds of law enforcement bodies all over the world. Could wake up in the middle of the night to find PC Plod with an arrest warrant, banging on the door!

Side rant: Watch out America -- members of the newly-created European Police Force have immunity from prosecution FOR LIFE for ANY crime or misdemeanour committed whilst a member of the Force. How long before GWB decides it would be a good idea to extend the same courtesy to the Feds, CIA etc.

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Author: UrinalMints Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 189 of 207
Subject: Re: Speeding ticket Date: 11/5/2005 1:09 PM
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Furthermore, if you are terrified of driving after dark, anywhere there might be a deer, generally in the United States or specifically in New Jersey, may I suggest that driving at 20 mph BELOW the speed limit will not make friends nor influence people.

GSF,

No one outside NJ would understand what we go through.Had a poster a while back wondering why anyone would stay in the passing lane...

J.P.




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