The following is a written testimony which I recently used to get a speeding ticket dismissed. I was hit with a laser gun going 9 miles per hour over the speed limit and had, admittedly, a very lenient judge.
I was driving North on Pi’ikoi Street between Kapiolani Boulevard and King Street with my girlfriend in the passenger seat at about a quarter to one in the morning on February 10th of 2017. I would like to note there were no visible speed limit signs in that stretch, something I will get to later. I was driving in the far right lane preparing to turn right on to King Street when I noticed the police officer – Officer Kamikawa – and his vehicle parked just before Elm Street on the right hand side. I was pulled over and was told I was speeding – 34 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone.
I would like to present a map of the area in question. Highlighted in pink is the stretch of road I estimate Officer Kamikawa to have used his laser gun to track my speed. Highlighted in yellow are what I would consider to be “trunk roads” nearby — which pass by schools — with speed limits greater than 25 miles per hour. Kapiolani Blvd., the street I originated from, has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour.
I’d like to present next a brightened photo of the posted speed limit sign which is referenced on the citation. I circled around in my vehicle to find it and finally found it behind a 1-800-Got-Junk? truck. This sign is affixed to a pole just before the telephone pole and is actually bending away from drivers meaning it would be difficult to see even if the truck weren’t parked right in front of it.
And finally, I would like to present a copy of the citation. Please direct your attention to the “occupants” section where my girlfriend – with pretty typical female features – was marked as a male. This I’d argue is truly illustrative of how poorly this area is lit. The officer informed me that there were many accidents in this area recently and these are no doubt related to the extremely poor lighting in the area. And lastly, I’d like to make the point that if a very capable officer of the law is unable to, at point blank range, discern the difference between a male and a female, then perhaps the lighting for drivers to discern, perhaps even see, speed limit signs isn’t adequate – especially when poles are bent at strange angles, the signs are blocked by other signs, or are not properly illuminated by street lights.
A combination of lack of signage, lack of adequate light, and plain bad luck with the parked truck precluded me from reasonably knowing what the speed limit was. With surrounding streets’ speed limits that I had driven on being higher, I had incorrectly assumed a speed at which I thought was prudent. I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol that night, I was wide awake as I had just drank coffee, and I was fully aware of my surroundings. Under these circumstances, however, I don’t believe any driver can be reasonably expected to operate their vehicle at a speed limit which I’d argue was near impossible for someone to know.