Can You Be Arrested for Speeding?

Most traffic collisions occur when someone is going faster or slower than the other vehicles around them. As a result, speed limits are set to with the safety of motorists in mind. California Vehicle Code 22350 VC defines how people are supposed to legally drive. However, it can be a bit vague, as it does not mention any specific speeds.

California Vehicle Code 22350 VC reads: “No person shall drive a vehicle on the 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 person or property.”

The law itself does not tell you exactly how fast or slow to drive. Instead, it makes it illegal to drive at any speed that may endanger the people around you or is inappropriate for the road and traffic conditions.

If you’ve ever heard that a person can defend themselves from a speeding ticket by saying they were “just going with the flow of traffic,” they are doing to to imply that the conditions of the road made it unsafe to drive slower (because everyone else was driving above the speed limit, too). While this tactic may be successful sometimes, it is still possible to get pulled over for speeding when others are speeding, too.

Generally speaking, a person won’t get arrested for speeding. The penalties for violating 22350 VC depend on a variety of factors, but the cost can be anywhere from a $35 ticket to upwards of a $1,000 fine, points on your license, license suspension, etc.

However, a person who is speeding can (and often are) arrested for crimes they commit while speeding, or because their excessive speed was dangerous to others. Reckless driving, evading arrest, DUIs, etc. are all arrestable offenses that can stem from speeding. Additionally, if a search is conducted during the stop and illegal items or substances are found, the police may arrest the suspect.