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22350 VC Speeding for Conditions

“22350 VC” is the most common city streets speeding ticket. After 22350, a description is often written “speeding for conditions” or “speeding” or something similar. The boxes below that on the ticket should be filled in with the alleged speed and the posted and/or safe speed.  

This is California Vehicle Code section 22350, known as the basic speed law. The exact reading of the law is, and the prosecution must prove that:

No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

Breaking down the law into parts:

  1. A person drove.
    1. This literally means the person driving, as opposed to the owner of the vehicle (like an owner responsibility ticket where driving or physical presence at the time of the violation is not required).
    2. For example, a person in the back seat cannot be directly cited for speeding because they could not have driven the vehicle.
  2. A Vehicle.
    1. A vehicle is a device that can be moved on a highway.
    2. (However, a vehicle is not something moved exclusively by human power, or on tracks or rails.) 
  3. A speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway.
    1. This is where the law requires several more details than a simple definition. It depends if it is a school area, a construction zone, a residential road, or wide street with a posted speed limit.
    2. The posted speed limit must be justified by a survey by an engineer of the highway and the surrounding conditions. The survey must consider what traffic does on average, any safety hazards, cross traffic, pedestrians, and other expected or typical conditions.
    3. There are also certain requirements of the officer’s training if the officer used a laser or radar device.
    4. (This discussion could go on for pages, so we will leave these issues for a specific case, once we know the circumstances.) 
  4. And in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
    1. Speeding tickets for 22350 are often issued when there is a car accident, because many car accidents are caused when someone fails to slow down or stop which is seen as the same thing as going too fast, i.e., speeding, considering the safety of person or property. Property in a car accident would be the car that was hit. The most common scenario is a rear-end accident where the driver that hit the car in front of him/her is cited for 22350 speeding.


In addition to the elements of the violation of CVC 22350 speeding for conditions, there are other legal elements that the prosecution must establish for the court to have jurisdiction and the officer to be able to write the ticket.