My buddy had just bought a new SS camaro and let me drive it. Anyway…. There was some guy up ahead who was on his cell of somehtingt and kept swerving so we went around him. I really thought it would be better to get around him fast so we dropped back a little and I punched it. The bad luck is that there was a cop on the side of the road right where the other car was about the time we passed him so I didn’t see. Then the cop stopped us and basiclly gave us a bunch of shit for being “rich kids” and was a total tool. I told him that we were just trying to get around the guy and that HE is the one who was driving bad. He walked back to his car and came back with a ticket for me. Isn’t that a defense that we were having to go around the other driver?
Florida Statutes address this issue:316.083 Overtaking and passing a vehicle.—The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal as provided for in s. 316.156, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any consideration for extra speed while passing someone, not that I could find, anyway.
Short answer – Probably not a defense. There are defenses of necessity that apply to traffic infractions, but they usually require a medical component. Essentially, more harm would have occurred by following the rule. If that case can be made here, it might be a defense. Otherwise, it may be seen as mitigation in sentencing.
Sorry for the unfortunate turn of events. I’ve seen the scenario many times in traffic court and unfortunately, driving around a hazardous vehicle is not a legal defense to speeding. In fact the judge has mentioned many many times to slow down-and let the other driver get far ahead of you rather than make the move and potentially cause a 2 car accident. While it is true the other driver probably commit in a traffic offense there is nothing I can be done if an officer never stopped him.
As for the speed, one of the best defenses is to challenge the officers training, log books, and radar certification as this is the most likely method of prevailing on a speeding ticket or negotiating a better deal in court.