Speeding Tickets in Wyoming
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Wyoming
Wyoming Points – Fines – Reciprocity and Other Issues
In Wyoming, posted speed limits represent the absolute maximum speed at which an individual may drive. Driving faster than the posted speed limit is a strict liability crime and automatically a violation of the law, whether or not the driver knew the speed limit.
Those limits, unless otherwise posted, are as follows:
- Interstates – 75 MPH
- Urban or residential areas – 30 MPH;
- Other paved roadways – 65 MPH
- Other unpaved roads – 55 MPH
- School zones – 20 MPH
In addition to these maximum speed limits, the State of Wyoming has given authority to local (town/city) officials to post greater or lesser speed limits where they deem appropriate. Also, Wyoming allows for minimum speed limits, which are usually posted. Motorists also must maintain a minimum speed as to not “impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic” except when conditions warrant a slower speed.
Wyoming also has a “presumed speed limit”. A presumed speed limit is one that does not focus on the actual posted speed but relates the speed that the motorist is going to whether or not it is a safe speed based on the road and weather conditions. The presumed speed limit law in Wyoming states, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing” (Wyo. Stat. § 31-5-301). Conditions taken into consideration are bad weather (such as snow, or rain), railroad crossings, hills, curves, narrow or winding roads, traffic and places where pedestrians are present. In the case of such circumstances, the police officer will be given wide latitude to use his/her discretion at what is a reasonable speed.
Exceeding Speed to Pass/Work Zone – Not Allowed
It is not allowed by the law for a driver to temporarily exceed speed to pass a motor vehicle that is traveling below the speed limit or the minimum speed limit. A bill to allow a passing driver to exceed speed limit by up to 10 miles per hour was passed by the Wyoming House of Representatives but defeated in Senate Committee in 2011.
In addition, all motorists must obey the reduced speed limits in work zones. Exceeding the speed limit in a work zone, regardless of excuse, will amount to doubling of fines.
Elements of a Speeding Charge in Wyoming
There are basic elements that the state must prove to find you guilt of speeding. They must prove that you were actually speeding, they stopped or ticketed the vehicle that they observed speeding, and that it was you driving (identity). It is also important to remember that violating a posted speed limit is referred to as a strict liability crime, or as being per se illegal. This means that you have broken the law by exceeding the maximum posted speed, regardless to whether you thought it was reasonable to do so. However, reasonable speed limits (presumed speed limits) are more subjective. Generally, a police officer will observe you speeding by either matching your speed with his vehicle, using a radar or laser detection device, or aerial observation. Another method of ticketing speeders is the speed camera. Each of the methods has their flaws and may be challenged in court. Second, the state must prove that they stopped or ticketed the correct vehicle. In court, this may be done through police witnesses, the traffic camera photos, or potentially by in-dash cameras that are present in many police cruisers. Finally, they must prove the identity of the driver. Speed cameras take pictures of the vehicle, the license plate, and also of the driver as they pass through. If you are stopped by a police officer, they will take and verify your license. This information will go into the record, and that record can also be used to refresh the memory of the police officer to get a positive identity.