Speeding violation questions

Ten mph on a highway is often stated as a pretty safe re not getting a ticket. I usually drive about five over.

  1. Are there any states or locations where that is not good advice since the cops tend to be more strict.

  2. How does that rule of thumb typically apply in 25 mph zones or 35 mph zones or 55 mph zones. Ten over in most of those would seem to be much less safe…how about five?

  3. How about construction zones…FWIW,I usually drive right at the limit in them.

  4. Then there are the “Safety Zones” (maybe that’s not the exact name I’m thinking of)… often the signs state something like “no grace” but it is that a given if they don’t.

I tend to drive 5-10 over the posted limit, and have not been stopped while doing so, even when zooming past parked cops. This applies down to the 25-30 limits I’ve seen on suburban streets.

In parking lots the limit (if posted) is usually 15 MPH, and I’ll often go slower than this there; parking lots are nightmare zones where cars and pedestrians can come out of nowhere and are often not as vigiliant as they ought to be.

In construction zones - especially if workers are present - I’ll generally toe the line.

The last time I was stopped for speeding I was doing 78 in a 65 (got a written warning, no fine). I’ll wager if my speed had been 5 MPH less, I would not have been stopped.

Passing a cop while exceeding the speed limit by any margin is a Bad Idea. Years ago I came across a Minnesota state trooper who was doing 55 in a 55. I passed him at 55.1 MPH. Seriously, it took a couple of minutes to move past him. As soon as my rear bumper cleared his front, he moved in behind me and lit me up. No ticket, but he spent a minute or two foaming at the mouth and spewing something about “zero tolerance” or whatever before letting me go. :rolleyes: See contempt of cop.

Police officers are like snowflakes. Each one is unique. Every officer develops their own techniques. Every officer develops their own pet peeves. When it comes to traffic tickets their opinions may have been formed due to certain accidents they have seen. For instance I know one officer who will never give a break on a seatbelt ticket because of an accident he saw involving an ejected teenager.

As for your #1 I can’t say for sure. I do know that in several cop only pages I frequent they seem to have a stricter attitude about traffic enforcement in the south. From southern officers there is often a "The law is the law!’ attitude which is met by “lighten up dude it’s only a traffic ticket” from northeast officers.

On the whole State Troopers and officers assigned to traffic units within departments tend to be stricter wherever you go. That is understandable because traffic enforcement tends to be about 90% of their job. For a regular patrol officer it’s probably 1/3 of their job.

In answer to #1, you could fill a message board with towns where you damn well be under the posted speed – especially depending on the vehicle. Back in the old days I have known both bikers and Vette owners to get tickets for 28 in a 25 zone in Whitaker PA and I’ve heard the same claim lately about the one small town on Rte 65 heading towards Beaver. It happens.

#3 also depends on the town and/or cop on duty. Staties can allow a little but some locals feel the workers are particularly at risk and enforce it strict. One I saw on Rte 422 a couple years back had an ESP system set up mid-zone with an officer watching and another couple at the end of the zone to write the tickets.

My experience, in both talking to other drivers and talking to LEO’s, is that the State Police (Highway Patrol, Dept. of Public Safety, State Troopers, etc…; depending on which state you are in) usually don’t bother with less than 10 MPH over the speed limit on the highway. One of the LEOs I talked to said, essentially, it was policy not to ticket below 10 MPH over the limit and they were told to use their efforts towards those exceeding the limit by more than 10 MPH.

I’ve had city cops tell me that it really depends. If they are on a thoroughfare with a 45 MPH limit, with few traffic lights, they usually set their detectors at 10 over. On a residential street, perhaps 5 over. In a posted school zone, I’ve been told they use 2 over.

That is, with most State cops, 10 over on the highway is pretty common. With the local constabulary, it depends on the locale and the particular cop.

I’ve never been pulled over for speeding but generally…

About 5mph on the freeway

My town doesn’t have many 25mph and 35mph speed limits that aren’t in residential neighborhoods. I tend not to speed in those situations.

I never speed through construction zones.

What the hell is a safety zone? You mean like a schoool zone? I never speed in that instance unless it’s the evening.

I think he means what we call in New Jersey ‘Safe Corridors.’

As defined by statute:

Rule of thumb? Always make sure you can see somebody going faster than you are. Either ahead of you or behind you. Almost everybody is going at least slightly above the speed limit, so make sure you are not the fastest car in sight. In other words, keep up with the general flow of traffic, not the maniac who is speeding.

Ahh, thanks Loach I think they call it something else in CA. A local highway is designated in a similar fashion. Hwy 12, in case anyone is interested.

I almost always drive between 5 and 10 MPH over the limit on any road or highway posted at 45 mph or more. I stick with less than 5 over on 25 and 35 mph streets. I haven’t had a ticket in over 20 years, and that one was what I’ll call a trap, where the speed limit went down from 45 to 25, and the cops were sitting with radar guns right around the curve where the limit went down.

Those 15 mph school zones drive me nuts. It’s hard as hell to only drive 15 mph on a wide road with great visibility (not talking about congested urban streets).

Hah! In Missouri there’s a few spots called “Drive safe zones”, where fines are doubled. Which means I get to make the joke about half-priced speeding tickets and laugh every time we see the “End of drive safe zone” sign. “I don’t have to drive safely anymore!”

Seriously, somebody should hire an English major to talk about road sign wording.

So those automated signs by the side of the road that post your speed as you approach… are you not supposed to try to get the high score?

At least around here, they switch from blinking if you’re over the limit to simply saying “SLOW DOWN” when you get to 10mph over. Probably for exactly the reason you state: to prevent “high score” competitions.

The exact same thing happened to me too - in Minnesota! Was it in the Duluth area for you? Mine happened some 20 years ago. Trooper wasn’t angry at me. Just sat me in the front of his car and gave me a firm/polite lecture. Funny part is I may or may not have had a small amount of an illegal substance in my pocket at the time. Cripes I was stupid sometimes in my younger years.

I generally drive whatever speed I feel like, in the last few years I’ve been using a radar detector. While the radar detector does work, it would be difficult to gauge the number of speeding tickets I have received. I suspect it’s more than the total number accumulated by the persons who have posted in the thread before me. (Yes, I have had to go to court to keep my license. Trust me, the system works.)

There’s no speed that you can count as safe. I’ve gotten tickets for 2mph over in a 35 and 5mph over in a 65 - in Texas. I was the only thing on the road for miles when I got them, and both stuck like glue. That said, I regularly drop to 11-12 over the limit when I am in traffic and know that I’m not going to get a ticket as long as I’m not a sore thumb. On the other side of the coin, I’ve also blown by a cop sitting on the side of the road with their radar gun active while doing 110, and they didn’t even move. I’ve also slammed on the brakes to drop 20mph instantly in order to avoid passing a cop, and didn’t attract any legal attention. On the extreme end, I’ve heard enough stories about cops in west Texas passing people who are already doing 120, motioning for the non-cop to slow down while they pass - I’ve begun to believe them. Nothing’s safe, but you can get away with quite a bit in many instances.

For your specific questions:

  1. Oklahoma and Tennessee are the worst states for tolerating speeding that I’ve seen, Alabama is a close third. However, this is based on the number of troopers I’ve seen sitting on the road, not on tickets I’ve received from them. Due to their reputations, I don’t drive there like I do in Texas.

To that list, add any municipality that is on a major road, but has a population measured in four digits (or low five digits). Due to the number of them that run speed traps, it’s never safe to speed there.

  1. Again, nothing is safe. If you must speed, 5mph over if the speed limit is under 55 is usually forgiven, but not always.

  2. Construction zones don’t seem to have any more enforcement than other places in Texas. It’s extremely rare for me to get hit by radar/lidar when traveling through them. You’re just as likely to get away with speeding here as anywhere else, but the fines are double in TX.

  3. Texas doesn’t have “safety zones” that I know of. I can’t help you here.

Yeah, they’ve removed all utility whatsoever from those signs.

I-70, roughly east of I-270 to the St. Louis city limits. Strict enforcement. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Speed limit, cruise control, right lane.

I’m not a cops favorite driver, but I’m not the one making them get out of their car on a cold night either.

This sounds about right and consistent with my experiences, especially the last paragraph.

As to #2, the above still applies, but at least with automated camera equipment in my state (MD), they don’t capture your plates until you’re doing about 12 over. So someone, somewhere, decided that ~10 over in these zones was acceptable, though of course, a cop may decide to get you for 1-9+ over.

In essence, risk it if you’re willing to pay the ticket, and obviously observe safety. It can come down to the type of car you drive, or it can just be a day when a cop isn’t in the best mood. Conversely, those can also get you out of it, go figure. For the rest, I usually just obey the signs and use best judgement.

65-75 zone I’ve never been stopped as long as I keep it within 10 mph of the posted limit. I reckon the open road troopers can count on getting someone going 20+ over the limit at least once an hour–I’m not worth the bother.

55 = 55 because that’s often in town with less predictable traffic; speed and vigilance matter more–if you’re driving in such a way that you can see lurking cops, you’re also going to see a potential traffic problem.

Residential I’ve not been stopped when I keep it within 5 of the posted limit. Those cats are looking to generate revenue and/or strike the fear of law into the locals. Best to stay invisible.

If a small town cop wants to take me, they’re going to take me whether I’m near but under the limit or 1 over. I don’t count those interactions as reflective of my driving. Except inasmuch as I’ve somehow demonstrated myself to be a furriner.