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Enforcing CVC 22350

CVC 22350, the Basic Speed Law, states the following:

22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a 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 persons or property.

In other words, the maximum speed may be considerably lower than the posted speed limit, depending on condition of the roadway.

California law enforcement generally ignores CVC 22350, even when a 15 year-old girl is struck and killed in a crosswalk:

Cordova and her cousin were headed north across the T-intersection at West College Avenue and Link Lane and had crossed both eastbound lanes and a middle turn lane when Cordova was struck in the first westbound lane, Police Sgt. Doug Schlief said. The impact sent her about 30 feet past the crosswalk, where paramedics found her, police said. She was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she died, Schlief said.

She said a woman identified by the cousin as Cordova’s mother arrived at the scene and traveled with her daughter by ambulance to the hospital. β€œIt was pretty awful,” Manning said. β€œI didn’t have a good feeling when I saw her, and I just, all night long, saw her in my head and just thought of her.”

Police said neither speed nor alcohol appeared to have been factors in the accident, which remained under investigation.

If a driver is going too fast to notice two pedestrians in the crosswalk, then by definition speed is a factor. And unless drivers suffer real consequences for dangerous behavior, then more tragedies like this are inevitable.

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