California Motor Vehicle Code 22350
Basic Speed Law
The California Vehicle Code section 22350 states 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.
This applies to all roadways, even those with posted speed limits. In other words, the maximum speed may be considerably lower than the posted speed limit, depending on condition of the roadway.
The fine for violating CVC 22350 is dependent on county and the number of MPH you were traveling over the posted speed limit, or over safe speeds. Fines will usually range between $150 - $400.
Several other vehicle codes dealing with speed limits refer to the basic speed law. For example, if you exceed the prima facie speeds set for school zones, railroad crossings, and alleys you will get a ticket, unless you can show that your speed did not violate the basic speed law. (For more on this law, see CVC 22352, under Rules of the Road)
When a local police or CHP officer, or a Sheriff's Deputy, states in his or her report that you were violating the basic speed law, the officer will be allowed to testify against you if you should go to trial. Since the officer has specialized training to know how to drive in all road conditions -- good and bad -- his or her testimony will probably be all the judge needs to find you guilty.
At BISNAR | CHASE we want everyone to be safe using the roads.