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How to Avoid a Speeding Ticket


Learn the three types of speed limits ' absolute, presumed and basic. An absolute speed limit means what it says: If you drive a mile over the posted limit, you are speeding. Under presumed speed limit law, you can legally exceed the posted limit as long as you drive safely. The basic speed limit allows you to drive only as fast as conditions allow, no matter what limit is posted.


Note that all states have a basic speed limit and, using this law, usually give out tickets following an accident (even if driving under the posted limit).


Study your state's laws. For example, speed limits in California, Arizona, Colorado and Connecticut are absolute on highways and presumed almost everywhere else; in states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas, all are absolute; and in Texas and Rhode Island, almost all are presumed.


Drive "safely and prudently" in states and on streets with presumed speed limits.


Drive at or below the posted limit on interstates and state highways to avoid a speeding ticket in most states and when you don't know the law.

Tips and Warnings

  • Books such as Nolo Press' "Beat Your Ticket: Go to Court and Win!" by attorney David Brown list the types of speed-limit laws each state has and discuss speeding citations in detail and the methods traffic officers use to determine how fast a vehicle is going.

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