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95 in a 55? Hah.
Approximately 3.5 months ago (8/31/05) I was pulled over going north on route 3. I was driving the kids to Grandma's house, and was in the borrowed Diesel VW Beetle.

On this trip, I made a few mistakes:
* Thought speed limit was 65, rather than the actual 55. It's 65 on 93 north, the road I had been taking more commonly.
* Was being regularly passed on the right at 75mph, and eventually set the cruise to a reasonable 80 mph. (Again, I thought the speed limit was 65.)

A police car came up behind me. At first I didn't recognize it as such: I simply saw a car accelerating towards me at great speed, which then pulled up right on my tail. At that point, I realized it was a police car.

I moved to switch lanes to let him go by, at which point he flipped on his lights.

He told me I was going "95+". Now, this is a VW Beetle. A diesel one. It might be able to hit that top speed, if I had the pedal to the floor. And a wind behind me. And was going down hill.

He made both of the girls cry by telling me I should be put in jail, and that I had risked killing them.

I contested the ticket: even if I didn't win, with a $400 ticket, I didn't really have much to lose, and I knew full well that I wasn't going that fast. (These days, I'd be able to use GPS tracklogs to prove it, if it ever got to court. Although I have no idea if that would be acceptable as evidence. Would be interesting to see, although I'm not willing to get pulled over to try it.)

The hearing was today. I entered the magistrate's hearing room, the officer read the charge, and informed the magistrate that the officer had not delivered the citation.

I got off scot free, not having to answer any questions other than my name. Although I was told if I was ever in front of that magistrate again, I would not dodge the bullet he had been about to send to a very uncomfortable part of my body.

I got very lucky. Very lucky indeed.

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Isn't it a valid defence to show that your car is not capable of the claimed speed? And that if the policeman measuring speed had got it so obviously wrong, how could you trust his judgement/measuring equipment at all? Of course, not having to even go into detail is even better.


Yeah, possibly, but I'm not sure that the bug actually *couldn't* go that fast, only that it would be really hard to. I think this is just yet another case of fate working out in the way it should: I've always had extremely good fortune, and this is just yet another case.

(I will say that although I'm sure this is immodest, I feel I have *earned* that fortune: I spent a lot of years, and still do, put other people before myself. What goes around comes around.)

My luck has worked out the same way. I slave away to make sure that everyone gets taken care of before I do, and fate seems to take care of me as part of the bargain.

I've heard that this is fairly common: officers will often not show up for court dates or file the necessary paperwork, because it's too much of a pain with essentially zero in it for them. Thus, you often win by default. My friend's father contested 4 speeding tickets and won every single one of them. I also had a classmate in high school who contested and won.

85 MPH?! Holy shit!

Man, we rarely do that much around here. Yeah, I'd be pissed like the officer if I saw someone going 85MPH, seeing as our zones don't go above 110KPH and that's still 20KPH less than you were going. We don't do that unless we are certain that the cops won't be out. Are there actually places in the States where going that fast is legal?

Did you mean 95? that's how fast he said I was going. (And how fast I have gone in the past, during rush hour.)

Speeds in the east coast are typically 65MPH. Since the average traffic travels about 15MPH over the speed limit, I regularly travel between 75 and 80MPH.

Montana speed limits go up to 75MPH, and areas of Wyoming don't have limits: they have indications of "Go as fast as is Reasonable". Since there's no cars in Wyoming, this works fine.

When I drove through montana, on an empty straight 4 lane highway at 4am, I hit 110 going down a hill, at which point the engine automatically turned off the accelerator.

An empty 4 lane? That's understandable. Most of the highway I travel is 2 lane - people are a lot more forgiving on the 4 lane. I don't know, road culture here is very different than in most places.

There were places on 85 when I lived in NC that were 70 mph, which made me a very happy panda. I no longer felt quite as guilty about going 90 when I hit those bits.

out here, everyone obeys the speed limit. it's very strange.

There's no one IN Sasketchwan, why are you all going so slow? I was dealing with weaving in and out of traffic in a tunnel at 80 MPH in Boston and I was getting passed left and right.

That doesn't change anything. Highway life is way of life here. I know that sounds weird, but it is. Also, keep in mind that when I wrote that comment, I was automatically thinking 2 lane, not twinned. That speed would have been fine on a twinned highway. Highway deaths here are like inner-city shootings in Chicago.

It was a twinned highway, yeah. "Highway" in the American sense is nearly always a twinned road, with a barrier in between the lanes. Like, say, the 401 across Ontario.

I wouldn't go over, say, 65 at most, on a highway that didn't have some sort of barrier and one-direction traffic. And this would be 65 in the middle of the night on a deserted road. I agree in that sense his speed would have been imprudent, but on a regular twinned highway, I don't think of it as a problem at all.

O_o That's... you're are lucky.

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