There is a big difference between daytime speeding and nighttime speeding. During the day officer’s will in many instances give a little more leeway to drivers who are exceeding the speed limit. However, as the sun goes down, drivers need to beware that any speed over the speed limit may be the basis for a motor vehicle stop due to the increased risk of operators driving under the influence of alcohol during the evening and night hours.
The long held basis for a lawful motor vehicle stop in Vermont is when an officer has a reasonable and specific suspicion that an operator is violating a traffic law. During the day, when most motorists are traveling to and from work, Vermont officer’s will often let minor violations slide. However, even a minor issue such as traveling 5mph over the speed limit or having a license plate light out can result in the blue lights being activated at night.
As a result, motorists should be especially mindful of their operation during the nighttime hours. As, even if they are doing nothing else wrong besides the minor traffic violation, this can still lead to a hefty ticket and significant inconvenience as they attempt to navigate the nighttime roads throughout Vermont.
As the seasons change and the snow starts to fall, more driver will be venturing outside into slippery driving conditions. In Vermont, with its sudden elevation changes and narrow roads, the risk of being involved in an accident drastically increases when snow and ice start to hit the roadway. Thus, in these unfortunate events when a car accident does occur, Vermont law enforcement will be looking to see if drivers were operating their vehicle in a safe manner to determine whether a driving citation or traffic ticket needs to be issued.
Some of the evidence officers will look for is as follows:
- The length of any skid marks to give an indication of how fast the vehicle was moving before the accident;
- The condition of the vehicles tires. Bald tires along can result in a traffic ticket if the officer feels the driver was negligent in not installing sufficient tires on their car for the driving conditions;
- The difficulty of the road. Did this accident occur on a windy tight road, or a wide straight road such as Route 7 or Interstate 89 or 91?
- Witness statements. Did anyone else see the accident occur or the manner of operation leading up to the accident? Keep in mind here, that if witness observation is the sole basis of the Vermont traffic ticket, the officer will need to provide the witness at the hearing, which is rare in Vermont Judicial Bureau proceedings.
Keep in mind all of the above when venturing out into the snow this winter. Also keep in mind that in Vermont it assumed that any accident, was a result of driving too fast for the conditions or driving recklessly unless their is proof to refute this assumption and thus, extreme care is needed in order to avoid the tickets or criminal citations that can add insult to an already injurious situation.