Speeding Tickets in West Virginia
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in West Virginia
West Virginia Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
West Virginia’s speed limit law is governed by both the “absolute” speed limits and the “presumed” speed limit. The absolute speed limit is the speed limit that is posted on the sign on the road. This is the speed limit which a driver must follow and when someone drives even one mile per hour over this speed they are considered in violation of the law. In West Virginia, the maximum absolute speed limit will depend upon the location in which a motorist is driving.
The speed limits in West Virginia include:
- 55 miles per hour on any open country highway
- 25 miles per hour in any business or residential district
- 15 miles per hour in any school zone
Motorists in the state are also required to follow the presume speed law, which takes effect when a special hazard exits on the road. The presumed speed limit law is established to prevent people from driving at an unsafe speed based upon the conditions on the road and/or in the surrounding environment. The presumed speed law in West Virginia reads that, “no person may drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater that is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions and actual and potential hazards.”
Minimum Speed Limits in West Virginia
Additionally, a motorist may not drive “at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced seed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.” As such, local authorities and commissioners may designate minimum speed limits when appropriate. For instance, the minimum speed limits on all controlled access highways and interstates shall not be less than 55 miles per hour.
It is not allowed for a driver to temporarily exceed the speed limit to pass a motor vehicle that is traveling below the minimum speed limit or one that is impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic
Commercial Vehicle Speed Limits
There are no separate speed limits for owners or drivers of commercial vehicles. The speed limits set by the state include all types of motor vehicles, whether private motorists or operators of vehicles over 8,000 pounds.
Special Speed Limitations in West Virginia
There are special speed limitations with regard to the following:
- For vehicles not able to carry passengers and equipped with pneumatic tires, the speed limits will be 45 miles per hour in open country highways and 25 miles per hour in business and residential districts
- For vehicles equipped with tires that are not pneumatic tires, the speed limit shall not be greater than a maximum of 10 miles per hour.
Elements of a Speeding Charge in West Virginia
Elements of a speeding charged are the requirements that must be proved in order to find someone guilty of the offense. In order to satisfy a speeding charge, the prosecution must prove identity, operation, vehicle, and that driver was driving at the specific speed indicated by law enforcement. Identity means that the defendant being charged with speeding must have been in fact the driver who was operating the motor vehicle at the time of the speeding offense. In addition, the vehicle that was pulled over must have been the motor vehicle that was witnessed as speeding. Finally, the speed recorded by law enforcement must be accurate information and the speed alleged must have been over the speed limit or otherwise in violation of the law.
The prosecution has the burden of proving all of the elements of a speeding charge and they must prove all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails in proving a single element beyond a reasonable doubt, then the speeding case is dismissed and the defendant cannot be convicted of speeding.