Saturday, August 01, 2015

State must present evidence of construction zone speed limit to support conviction

Linus A. Thuston won in State v. Sigg, No. 112,577 (Kan. App. July 10, 2015)(unpublished), obtaining reversal of a Allen County speeding in a construction zone conviction. In particular, Mr. Sigg argued that K.S.A. 8-1559(c)--the Kansas statute at issue--requires that "the speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected."   The COA reviewed the entire record and held it was insufficient on this point:
in the present case, there is no evidence in the record of a sign notifying drivers of a lower speed limit at the location where Sigg was stopped. Although Officer Smith testified that the location of the stop was in “a placard construction area zone,” he never identified the location of any signs indicating a lower speed limit. Although the State characterizes the evidence as conflicting, the issue presented in this appeal is not whether the construction zone was unmarked. Rather, the issue is whether there is any evidence of a speed limit sign that notified drivers—such as Sigg—of a lower speed limit. Perhaps there were such signs but there is simply nothing in the record to tell us so.
As a result, the COA reversed.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on August 13, 2015.]

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