Speeding Ticket Law


The law regarding speeding is found primarily in Chapter 545 of the Texas Transportation Code.



(a)  An operator may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing.
(b)  An operator:
(1)  may not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for actual and potential hazards then existing.



(a)  A speed in excess of the limits established by Subsection (b) or under another provision of this subchapter is prima facie evidence that the speed is not reasonable and prudent and that the speed is unlawful.

Attorney Notes: Speed in excess of the posted speed limit is prima facie evidence (a Latin term meaning “on it’s face” or “first appearance”) that the actual speed was not reasonable or prudent and that the speed was unlawful.  When the prosecutor presents sufficient evidence that the Defendant has exceeded the posted speed limit, the presumption is that the defendant has violated the speed limit.  The defendant can present evidence to rebut the presumption. This is done by submitting evidence that the actual speed was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances and that the driver exercised regard for actual or potential hazards.

Some speed limits are not posted and are set by State law in the absence of a posted speed limit sign.  The most common of these are urban districts.  The speed limit in an urban district is 30 mph.  Almost every place you go in Houston is an urban district if there is no posted speed limit sign. 

(b)  Unless a special hazard exists that requires a slower speed for compliance with Section 545.351(b), the following speeds are lawful:
(1)  30 miles per hour in an urban district on a street other than an alley and 15 miles per hour in an alley;

(2)  “Urban district” means the territory adjacent to and including a highway, if the territory is improved with structures that are used for business, industry, or dwelling houses and are located at intervals of less than 100 feet for a distance of at least one-quarter mile on either side of the highway.

Attorney Notes: Speeding is a moving violation and as such a Defendant may take Defensive Driving if he or she qualifies.  To take defensive driving, your speed cannot have been more than 25 mph or more over the speed limit.  You must have a valid Texas drivers license and liability insurance in your name.  You must not have taken defensive driving to dismiss a ticket within a year of the date you received the ticket you wish to take defensive driving for.

CDL drivers can no longer take defensive driving for the purpose of dismissing a ticket.

Since speeding is a moving violation, a conviction will be reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety and included in your driving record.  Under the new Texas Driver Responsibility Program (the Texas Points System), a conviction will result in two points being added to your driving record.  A conviction may also result in an increase in your insurance rates.


Houston Ticket Lawyer Attorney