Is there any legal defenses if you are on the highway and a cop pulls you over and gives you a speeding ticket while going the same speed as surrounding traffic? It seems dangerous to goo too slow so I was thinking maybe Quod est necessarium est licitum?

  • 2
    You can't. Just because everybody else was breaking the law doesn't give you permission to also break the law.
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 28, 2019 at 21:50
  • 3
    Which jurisdiction? Most jurisdictions make speeding an offense in and of itself, but in a few, it is merely prima face evidence of reckless driving or a similar offense (and in those, "I was going at the speed of traffic" might be a defense).
    – Mark
    Mar 29, 2019 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


If you were moving "with the flow of traffic" but over the limit, you were still breaking the law, and the cop can choose which car or cars to stop on any basis or none (except ones forbidden, such as racial in the US). This is almost surely not a valid defense, not in any jurisdiction that I know of at least.

If you can show that to slow to the speed limit would have actually been unsafe, you might have a defense, but that is going to be hard to get a court to accept.

  • 1
    Is state of residence an allowed basis? E.g. the habit of pulling over out-of-state drivers.
    – user6726
    Mar 29, 2019 at 18:09
  • @user6726 That is an interesting question. State of residence is not a protected category under federal anti-discrimination law, or most state anti-discrimination laws. But an equal protection argument, or an argument that this would amount to improper regulation of interstate commerce might prevail. I am not sure. Mar 29, 2019 at 18:14

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