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Colorado driver says missing sign led to unfair traffic ticket

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2011 | Traffic Violations |

When driving, either in or outside of the city, do you always know the speed limit? Think about a time when you’ve seen a police officer on the side of the road. Did you slow down because you were certain you were speeding? Did you slow down just in case because you didn’t know and frantically look for a posted limit on the side of the road to ease your anxiety?

TheDenverChannel.com reports on a Colorado man who was pulled over. He admits he wasn’t sure of the posted speed limit, but he argues that not knowing was not entirely his fault. According to sources, the stretch of road where the driver was pulled over is missing a speed limit sign.

In this case, the driver was reportedly driving 37 MPH in what he assumed was a 35 MPH zone. He only found out that it was actually a 25 MPH zone by being referred to a relatively unknown state law. The law says that in a zone out of the city where no sign is posted, the speed limit is 25 MPH.

However, according to a Colorado Department of Transportation document, the confirmed missing sign that’s supposed to be in the zone where the man was pulled over is meant to be a 35 MPH sign. While he might have been driving two miles over the limit, officers often overlook such a minimal speed difference. The driver presented his argument in traffic court but did so unsuccessfully. He was ordered to pay the $190 fine for the traffic violation.

If this case does anything, says the driver, he hopes that missing signs will be posted where they are needed. Apparently the missing sign that got him into trouble is one of four signs missing in the Longmont, Colorado area. He suspects that the signs are knowingly missing by law enforcement in an effort to collect fines from unsuspecting drivers. Officials reject that idea.


TheDenverChannel.com: “Driver Discovers 25 MPH Zone is 35 MPH On Paper,” 18 Feb. 2011