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How fast do you drive when there’s no speed limit sign for guidance?, reader asks
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I received a speeding ticket on Highway 17. I was definitely going over the speed limit, but I thought just 5 mph over. I thought the speed limit was 65 in the area where I was pulled over -- in Los Gatos, northbound before the Highway 85 interchange. But the CHP officer said it was 55 mph. I realize that I should not have been speeding at all but I never would have been going that fast if I thought the speed limit was only 55. I've driven Highway 17 since and have looked for posted speed limit signs in that area and can't find any. Do you know how I can get that information? If I am right, what do I do? I assume the fine for speeding is far less for a person going 5 mph over than 15. Thanks for any help you can provide. Patricia Canepa via email A: The rule of thumb is: If you're driving on a road or highway and realize you haven't seen a speed limit sign in awhile, you're supposed to stick to the last speed limit sign you passed, if conditions allow you to. If it begins raining, traffic thickens or something else happens that requires you to adjust your speed, do it. If you think you were erroneously cited, fight the ticket by following the directions on the back. Worse case scenario, the judge makes you pay the fine. If you win, you win. You still may have to pay court cost of fighting the ticket, though. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.