I have received a speeding ticket on a downhill section of highway with a grade of 6%. There was no indication that a downhill was coming like that, and I'm wondering do any places require this? Perhaps this can be used as an argument.

I am not asking for specific legal advice, I'm simply asking if there are rules/regulations in place for the use of downhill grades on highways and giving some context.

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    Please try to make sure that the question is general enough to help others, and is not a request foe specific legal advice (RSLA). Also, laws vary a good deal, you might get better answers if you specific a specific jurisdiction or geographic area. Jun 28, 2022 at 17:46
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    Just to be clear, your argument would be that you were speeding because you were driving downhill and you didn't realize it? Jun 28, 2022 at 17:47
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    The national DOT regs say that a 6% downslope requires a sign if it's more than 2000 ft in length. Was it that long?
    – mkennedy
    Jun 28, 2022 at 19:10
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    Most places have a "basic speed law" that it is prohibited to drive faster than is safe for the conditions at that particular time and place, independent of any explicit limits or signage. The absence of a sign won't help your case in that regard; the downgrade was obviously there and was a condition that you should have responded to. Jun 28, 2022 at 19:41
  • @mkennedy this is exactly what I'm looking for. It was 6% for 1 mile (so over 5,000 ft). You can post this as an answer, but it seems like that is just a guideline not a rule?
    – teradyl
    Jun 28, 2022 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


In the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation, by regulation sets uniform design and signage standards for federally funded highways, which most U.S. state and local governments incorporate, either by restating them or incorporating them by reference for non-federally funded roads.

I imagine that most other countries have similar regulations.

Nonetheless, this is extremely unlikely to prevail as a defense to the traffic violation of speeding which is usually a strict liability offense to which almost no affirmative defenses, excuses, or justifications may be considered.

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