California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

707. Speed Limit (Veh. Code, § 22352)

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707.Speed Limit (Veh. Code, § 22352)
The speed limit where the accident occurred was [insert number] miles
per hour.
The speed limit is a factor to consider when you decide whether or not
[name of plaintiff/name of defendant] was negligent. A driver is not
necessarily negligent just because he or she was driving faster than the
speed limit. However, a driver may be negligent even if he or she was
driving at or below the speed limit.
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
• Speed Limits. Vehicle Code section 22352.
• Speeding as Negligence. Vehicle Code section 40831.
• A party is entitled to an instruction that the prima facie speed limit is a factor
for the jury to consider in making its negligence determination. (Hardin v. San
Jose City Lines, Inc. (1953) 41 Cal.2d 432, 439 [260 P.2d 63].)
• “The mere driving of an automobile in excess of the speed limit does not show
negligence as a matter of law. The jury was free to find [defendant] not guilty
of negligence even if they found that he was exceeding the speed limit.”
(Williams v. Cole (1960) 181 Cal.App.2d 70, 74 [5 Cal.Rptr. 24], internal
citations omitted.)
• The burden of proving negligence in a civil action is on the party charging
negligence, and even if such party has established speed in excess of the
applicable prima facie limit the party must establish negligence under the
circumstances. (Faselli v. Southern Pacific Co. (1957) 150 Cal.App.2d 644, 648
[310 P.2d 698].)
• “Even though the Texaco truck was traveling at a speed less than the maximum
specified in the Vehicle Code, the reasonableness of its speed was a question of
fact under all the circumstances, and circumstances may make travel at a speed
less than the maximum rate a negligent operation of a motor vehicle.” (Scott v.
Texaco, Inc. (1966) 239 Cal.App.2d 431, 436–437 [48 Cal.Rptr. 785], internal
citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 878
California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) § 4.18
2 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 20, Motor Vehicles, § 20.63[2][c], [4] (Matthew
Bender)
8 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 82, Automobiles: Causes of
Action, § 82.10 (Matthew Bender)
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