A Denver driving gained the attention of the Federal Highway Administration after receiving a traffic ticket and then complaining about how the construction zone signs were not visible or posted correctly. It appears that some of these portable signs were kept up beyond federal guideline standards, but drivers were continually being ticketed in any case.
A Denver police officer pulled the driver over and ticketed him for supposedly driving 46 mile per hour in a 30 mile per hour speed zone. Fines for traffic violations can be doubled for individuals pulled over in construction speed zones. The driver said he never saw any speed limit sign, and he did not realize that he was even in a construction zone.
Sometimes individual circumstances need to be taken into account when a traffic violation citation is issued. In the above example, the driver claimed to have been behind a larger vehicle that made the viewing of any construction zone sign impossible to see.
The rules for portable signs are also different than rules for permanent signs. Where the permanent sign needs to be erected 7 feet above the ground, portable signs only need to be a foot off of the ground.
Attorneys that represent individuals for these types of traffic violations will help clients point out to the court the individual circumstances as to what occurred. Even if the citation cannot be dismissed, it’s possible that any penalties or fines can be reduced.
Challenging such tickets may have benefits beyond just getting a traffic citation dismissed. It may force officials to properly post signs that will influence drivers to slow down rather than be used as a tool to pull more drivers over for traffic violations.
Source: CBS Denver, “Speed Limit Signs In Construction Zones Not Always Visible,” September 25, 2012