I Got a Ticket, But I Wasn’t Speeding!
In the state of Washington, basic speeding tickets are not an uncommon occurrence, but many drivers have been surprised when finding out that they’ve been issued a lesser-known variety of infraction called a “Speeding Too Fast for Conditions” ticket. This type of ticket is common among drivers who got into an accident and were cited for driving too fast for roadway conditions.
While there are times when the posted speed limit can be considered unsafe, like in the event of inclement weather impacting roadways, the confusing twist with this type of infraction is that drivers can be ticketed even if they were not speeding and were traveling at the legally posted speed limit.
According to the state of Washington, Law RCW 46.61.400 says:
“No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.”
In other words, the law declares that drivers should slow down and always use their due diligence when driving under risky conditions, even if the posted speed limit says otherwise. While “Speeding Too Fast for Conditions” tickets are typically issued to drivers who were involved in an auto accident, law enforcement officers don’t have an objective method to determine a safe speed under conditions which make these tickets extraordinarily subjective and often times mistakes are made.
If you have been issued a “Speeding Too Fast for Conditions” ticket and are wondering how to proceed, we encourage drivers to fight this ticket, as the penalties for this type of infraction can be long-lasting. Many drivers believe that the fine associated with the ticket is the worst penalty, but in truth, the most severe consequence will be the increase that your insurance rates will take. Not only will your auto accident itself raise your insurance rate, but your ticket is also considered a moving violation, which will also impact your premium.
Our team at Garguile DUI & Traffic Lawyers routinely deals with “Speeding Too Fast for Conditions” tickets, and we’re here to help by answering some of your most frequently asked questions:
How many points are a Speeding Too Fast for Conditions ticket?
Washington State does not operate on a point system.
Is a Speeding Too Fast for Conditions ticket in Washington State a moving violation?
Yes, it is considered a moving violation.
How does a cop prove you were speeding too fast for conditions if they didn’t see it?
Legally they do not have to. Under RCW 46.63.030, a police officer can give an individual a ticket if they witness the infraction OR if, at the scene of an accident, they have reasonable cause to believe the driver involved in the accident committed a traffic infraction.
What is the fine on a Speeding Too Fast for Conditions ticket in Washington State?
The fine costs $190 if you were involved in an accident and $139 if there was no accident.
What does Speeding Too Fast for Conditions Mean?
Unsafe conditions can include snow, rain, ice, or even heavy traffic on the roadway.
These conditions dictate that a driver should slow down, even if the posted speed limit says otherwise.
Can I contest (fight) a speeding too fast for conditions ticket?
Yes, we encourage drivers to fight this type of ticket because your insurance rates can be negatively impacted by both the auto accident and the moving violation infraction on your driving record.