The Dangers of Speeding and Regulation by Speeding Laws

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Speeding tickets provide little to none deterrence of violators and recidivism is likely to reoccur no matter what occurs and mandatory driving classes should be given once every five years and before a license is received. The vehicle code law covers speeding is Vehicle Code 22350 VC [FN 5], thus this makes it illegal to go faster than the speed limit in the given circumstances. Many will say they are the best drivers on the road and everyone else’s driving is purely incidental and they probably paid for their licenses, moreover speeding tickets they shouldn’t apply to you.

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There is a lot to look at and visit, and for us to see what the actual speeding laws prevent and how crime is that exception to these speeding laws and how they may actually cause more harm than good. Let us also take a look at some alternative solutions we can create and does the fines fit the crime or infraction. We will examine the basis of the laws through vehicle codes and court cases along with Proposition 213 and how it may affect many.

According to the article “Does punishment prevent speeding?” by the Association for Psychological Science when a group of drivers who were asked the research found these results; “The majority of these “penalized” drivers said that getting caught encouraged them to change their behavior. However, over 40% of participants said that punishment had no impact on whether they continued to speed. [FN1]” With over close to half of the drivers stating otherwise the effectiveness of deterrence of speeding you would think it would be a higher percentage of drivers stating their position of not wanting to speed again. There are also the factors of the economy with inflation and the ever-high pricing increases in California itself that you think would discourage such driving. In 1996 Proposition 213 [FN2] was introduced and it doesn’t allow the recovery of general damages when in an accident and the driver was uninsured. With this being a factor one not being able to recover because say someone doesn’t have insurance you would imagine would be a deterrent. However, this proves otherwise and is a result of everyday road driving.

In the case of Gambrel v. Duensing (1932) 127 Cal. App. 593 [FN 3] the plaintiff was awarded damages for the negligence of the defendant, even though the plaintiff had a testimony that showed that her driving was possibly out of control due to a probability of speeding. This proves that with speeding injury is almost with certainty imminent. With damages going toward the amount of $15,000, and at this particular time it would be a big amount to obtain at such a time.

One can argue that the road conditions were not right it was wet or it was foggy or whatever may be their choice to their defense for speeding. As argued in Bingham v. Greenamyer (1938) 25 Cal. App. 2d 467. [FN 4] where the defendant was not adequately prepared and thought he made the best decision given the circumstances where speed was a necessity. This may be the case and can define a true implacable defense where speeding was probably the choice to avoid a collision.

Another case that supports the findings that speeding is actually deterred by fines and points is the case of People v. Farleigh (2017) 221Cal. Rptr. 3d 253 [FN 6]. Where we the defendant was openly on her phone using the application of maps for gps to determine the direction to go. The absurdity of the defense when she was driving was that the law didn’t apply because it never mentioned about the applications the devices and thus even though her hands were not readily on the wheel there isn’t a case.

I do hope the morbidity of this consistent issue is starting to take its’ form and show what speeding is actually doing and how with all these cases there is still no real deterrence. Let us look at the case of Scott v. Harris, 550 US 372 - Supreme Court 2007 [FN7], where the plaintiff was in the commission of a crime by fleeing the police for whatever his reasons he so chooses. The plaintiff, Mr. Scott argued that his fourth amendment right was violated and thus it was an unreasonable seizure with the excessive force by the officer. Even with video footage shown to the jury, this wasn’t enough to give the qualified immunity Officer Harris thought he was entitled too. The courts ruled in the plaintiffs favor and based on technicality, which afforded the result, which he wanted.

On the other hand, I can see that this could be bought up as the cops are too aggressive and some times they profile some drivers. This can be based on the car that’s being driven, their race, religion or many other factors that can attribute to such. Also, some drivers aren’t speeding at all maybe there is an attitude towards police because of the media and images shown and some may be leery of the tactics that are used. Traffic school and driving school cost are too high and lets face it California is ranked the 2nd most expensive states to live in. [FN8] What alternatives does one have? Maybe Californians can petition for a new law that requires a mandatory driving school class before actually doing the written test and the actual driving portion. The very last case to bring to the reader's attention is the case of People v. Lett (1947) 77 Cal. App. 2d 917. [FN9] Where consuming intoxicating beverages and driving led to the untimely death of an individual. Although the defendant was intoxicated it also goes to show how speeding is a contributory factor and should not be taken in such vain.

With all these factors taken into consideration, what does speeding laws really do? Is there a solution that can ultimately deter that 40% that says they don’t think the laws affect them or is this the latter of shinier cars and more power to match them. What really drives people is what we should be asking. I personally don’t think speeding will stop and I believe it will get worse with the rapid advancements of technology. Only time can tell and I do believe there should be more realistic and feasible solutions rather than a monetary cost that ultimately only affect the lower class working citizens.

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