Traffic Car Motorcycle Truck Motor Vehicle Speed Limit Laws (Veh. Code, § 22352)

Speed Limit (Veh. Code, § 22352)

The speed limit where the accident occurred was [insert number] miles per hour.

The speed limit is a factor to consider when you decide whether or not [name of plaintiff/name of defendant] was negligent. A driver is not necessarily negligent just because the driver was driving faster than the speed limit. However, a driver may be negligent even if the driver was driving at or below the speed limit.

  • Speed Limits. Vehicle Code section 22352.

  • Speeding as Negligence. Vehicle Code section 40831.

  • A party is entitled to an instruction that the prima facie speed limit is a factor for the jury to consider in making its negligence determination. (Hardin v. San Jose City Lines, Inc. (1953) 41 Cal.2d 432, 439 [260 P.2d 63].)

  • “The mere driving of an automobile in excess of the speed limit does not show negligence as a matter of law. The jury was free to find [defendant] not guilty of negligence even if they found that he was exceeding the speed limit.” (Williams v. Cole (1960) 181 Cal.App.2d 70, 74 [5 Cal.Rptr. 24], internal citations omitted.)

  • The burden of proving negligence in a civil action is on the party charging negligence, and even if such party has established speed in excess of the applicable prima facie limit the party must establish negligence under the circumstances. (Faselli v. Southern Pacific Co. (1957) 150 Cal.App.2d 644, 648 [310 P.2d 698].)

  • “Even though the Texaco truck was traveling at a speed less than the maximum specified in the Vehicle Code, the reasonableness of its speed was a question of fact under all the circumstances, and circumstances may make travel at a speed less than the maximum rate a negligent operation of a motor vehicle.” (Scott v. Texaco, Inc. (1966) 239 Cal.App.2d 431, 436-437 [48 Cal.Rptr. 785], internal citations omitted.)

  • In a personal injury action arising out of a rear end collision of automobiles, the fact that defendant was driving at a speed of between 25 and 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile zone before he applied his brakes did not make the judge’s instruction on imminent peril improper, since the mere driving of an automobile in excess of the speed limit does not show negligence as a matter of law. (Veh. Code, § 40831; formerly § 513.) Williams v. Cole, 181 Cal. App. 2d 70.

  • In an automobile collision case, it was proper to refuse an instruction that the lawful speed limit for a vehicle at the intersection was 25 miles per hour unless “it has been clearly proven that such speed . . . was greater than was reasonable or prudent for a person operating a vehicle . . . at the time and place of the accident, having due regard for the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and the fact that the street . . . was an arterial, or through highway, but in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property,” since such instruction was an incomplete, misleading and grammatically peculiar attempt to state the codified speed laws. (Veh. Code, §§ 510, 511, 513.) Stickel v. San Diego E. R. Co., 32 Cal. 2d 157

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