A story has been in the news the last few days about a California woman who was pulled over three times in one hour on the same California roadway.
She was pulled over at 8:10 p.m. for driving her Hyundai SUV 103 miles per hour and then a second time by 8:30 p.m. for driving 105 miles per hour. Forty minutes later she was pulled over for going 76 miles per hour. On the third stop, she was arrested and charged with Reckless Driving.
She told officers she was in a hurry because she was on her way to care for a sick relative.
My take on the story isn’t so much about what the penalty should be or how many times someone can/should be stopped on the same roadway in the same county for the same offense. What stood out to me is the fact that too many people think they are justified for speeding and that their actions somehow should be excused by officers, prosecutors and judges.
As I tell clients all the time, there is no justification for speeding. The excuse in this case (an emergency that needed attention) doesn’t work. The law won’t allow a driver’s efforts to help one person to put every other driver on the road in danger by giving an untrained driver in an unmarked car without emergency lights or sirens the OK to drive at incredibly high rates of speed.
I have spoken with many doctors who were rushing to the hospital for surgery or to see a patient or something similar and it’s the same thing in those cases–no legal justification for speeding.
I agree with the legal reasoning. It’s why we have 911 and other emergency responders. If someone at another location is in trouble, the law wants professional emergency services providers to respond. They can do it quickly and efficiently without endangering anyone else.
If you have been charged with speeding and feel you had a good reason to speed, be careful when it comes time to appear in court. In some cases, a legitimate explanation could bring leniency in the form of a more favorable plea bargain. In other cases, you could be hurting your case by outright admitting you were speeding (“I did it but…”).
In New York especially, understand the differences between the typical local court and the TVB before ever appearing and expecting a favorable outcome after an open and honest confession to the court.