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03 Dec2021

Can I argue a speeding ticket due to flow of traffic laws?

Flow of traffic law

Everyone has gone above the speed limit, but what happens when you get caught? Find out if a flow of traffic law can help reduce or dismiss your ticket. 


What is the Flow of Traffic Law?

Flow of traffic laws aren’t actually laws. They’re more anecdotal than fact.

There is a perception that drivers should drive at the speed that traffic is going at any given time, even if that speed exceeds the posted legal limit.  We often hear people who have been issued speeding tickets protest that they “were just going with the flow of traffic”.

In many situations, driving with the flow of traffic will feel like the safest option.  For example, it is better to drive below the speed limit when all of the other cars on the road are going at a similarly slow pace. Driving up to the speed limit, in this case, could cause serious accidents.  Same is true in situations where the flow is generally above the posted speed limit and driving at or near the speed limit might feel less safe.

Unfortunately, in cases where vehicles are driving well above the posted speed limit, the “flow of traffic” argument is unlikely to help in court.  The speed limit is what it is and driving above it is inherently a violation regardless of what the speed of the general flow of traffic is on the particular roadway.   


What is the speed limit?

A speed limit is a minimum or maximum speed that is legally permitted in an area. It is determined based on traffic engineers’ determination of average driver speed in the area and safe speeds based on road conditions. 

Temporary speed limits can be put in place in work zones. These are as legally binding as normal speed limits.

In many cases, drivers believe that speed limits are suggestions rather than rules. They disregard them in favor of getting home from work faster.


Can I argue the ticket?

Many drivers get speeding tickets, but argue that they weren’t the fastest car on the road. They use the flow of traffic argument as a way to undermine the validity of their speeding ticket. While it is within every American’s right to argue a ticket in court, the flow of traffic law argument is not likely to work.  

Stating that you were driving at the speed of other cars on the road does not change the fact that you were violating the legal speed limit.  It makes the judge aware that other vehicles were also speeding, but the speed of other vehicles isn’t at issue in your case.  An officer would simply counter the argument by stating that he can only pull over one vehicle at a time and you were the (un)lucky motorist. 

The judge will take your statement as an admission that you were indeed speeding.


Work with TicketHelp

At Feifer & Greenberg, our New York traffic ticket attorneys are dedicated to helping clients with their speeding tickets. We have worked on thousands of traffic matters, successfully dismissing tickets that would have cost our clients hundreds or even thousands in fines, surcharges and insurance increases.

If you want to fight your speeding ticket, make sure you know what is at stake . Speak with our experienced New York traffic lawyers to ensure that you are taking the proper steps to keep your record clean.