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  • Basic Speed Laws

    Speed Limit 25The “Basic Speed Law” for the State of California states that you must never drive faster than is safe for the conditions at the present time.  Regardless of the posted speed limit indicated on a sign, the actual speed limit is affected by the number and speed of other vehicles, the surface of the road, the distance you can see ahead of your vehicle, bicyclists or pedestrians on the edge of the road and even weather. This means that there is a time when driving the maximum posted speed limit is not safe.

    Obey the Posted Speed Limits
    The purpose of posted speed limits is to notify drivers of the maximum speed limit on a roadway when ideal driving conditions are met.

    Driving Too Fast
    You should not drive beyond the posted speed limit even if you think it is safe because the posted speed limit also provides an enforceable tool for Police Officers who are trying to reach compliance for safety of all vehicles and pedestrians. The only time that you can exceed the posted speed limit (other than a “maximum” speed limit) is when you can demonstrate that your speed did not violate the Basic Speed Law at the time, place and conditions existing then.

    Driving Too Slow
    You must not drive so slowly that you are a danger on the road, or interfere with the normal or reasonable flow of traffic. You may be cited for driving too slow just as you can be cited for driving too fast.

    There are occasionally drivers attempting to obey the posted speed limit who may actually decrease safety by causing other drivers to make additional lane changes in order to get around slow traffic and/ or tailgate to try to speed up the traffic head. In these cases, the driver moving too slowly may cause harm to other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists because traffic flowing at uniform speeds results in increased safety and fewer accidents.

    State lawmakers are aware of problems associated with driving too slowly and subsequently established a law to decrease collisions that can occur when people drive too slowly. That law states that “no person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with the law.”

    What to Do If You Need to Drive Slower than Traffic Flow
    If you need to drive slower than the normal flow of traffic you should drive in the right lane of the roadway or as far to the right as is safe. You may even want to just pull over temporarily, allow the traffic behind you to pass and re-enter the travel lane when it is safe.

    You must not block another driver who is attempting to pass you. Even though you believe you are driving the maximum safe legal speed for conditions, it is a good idea to let faster drivers pass you.

    Establishment of Posted Speed Limits
    The City of Pasadena establishes speed limits for City streets by criteria established by the State of California Department of Transportation and published in the California Vehicle Code. Speed surveys are conducted for streets where the prima facie speed limit would not be applicable. In these cases, the speed limits vary by characteristics of the roadway, adjacent land features, traffic collision history, and the prevailing speed of vehicles traveling on the roadway.

    Prima Facie Speed Limits
    Certain speeds are automatically set by the State and included in the California Vehicle Code. These include prima facie limits that do not require the posting of speed limit signs. Some of the prima facie limits are listed below:

    25 MPH - Residential Districts
    25 MPH - Business Districts Obey the Posted Speed Limits 25 MPH - School Districts (when school children are present)
    15 MPH - Alleys
    15 MPH - Entering Intersections where no traffic control devices are used
    15 MPH - Railroad Crossings where visibility is limited, no gates, flagmen or signal warnings control the crossingTypes of Speed Limit Signs

    Speed limit signs that are printed with black letters on a white background are regulatory signs and show the maximum speed for the roadway under ideal conditions.

    Signs that have a yellow background and black letters are warning signs that usually advise motorists of safe speeds around curves.  

    Speed limits printed on signs with black letters and an orange background indicate the speed in a construction zone.  You should also be aware that traffic fines in construction zones throughout the State of California are doubled when the violation occurs in a construction zone.

  • Reporting Speeding Problems in Your Neighborhood

    Speed Limit Radar Trailer

    There are times when people don’t realize that they are driving too fast and just need to be reminded of their vehicle speed habits. The Pasadena Police Department may place the radar trailer on streets where residents and business owners call to report possible speeding issues. The trailer displays the posted speed limit then measures your speed and gives you the information by displaying it under the area indicated by “Your Speed.” The trailer provides valuable information to the driver and stores data regarding speed and time of day that can be used later by the Police Department for enforcement and safety issues and the Transportation Department for planning and safety purposes.

    Pasadena Police Department
    If you would like to report a speeding problem in your neighborhood, please call (626) 744-4590.

    Speed Humps Request  
    In the 1980s, the City installed speed humps on a number of residential streets. This process became part of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program in the early 1990s. By incorporating the installation of speed humps into a comprehensive program for addressing neighborhood traffic issues, the City gained the ability to improve traffic conditions in an entire area rather than on just one street.
     

  • Report Issues to the City OnLine

    You may report needed repairs and other issues online through the Pasadena Citizen Service Center.   Get information about or submit a service request for:

    citizen_service 
    • Animal Control Issues
    • Code Compliance
    • Garbage & Graffiti
    • Park & Tree Maintenance
     
    • Public Transportation Issues
    • Street & Sidewalk Issues
    • Food Safety & Parking
    • General Comments  & more ...
     

    To use the service, go to the Citizen Service Center and click on "Submit a Request."   Once you have submitted the request you will be contacted by the appropriate department. 

    Looking for general information?  Search our list of FAQs.