Debunking the 10 mph speed buffer: Why one state could lead to more tickets nationwide

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RALEIGH, N.C. — How fast can you go on the highway without attracting the attention of police? Anything under 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is okay, right?

Drive anywhere from 1 to 9 miles per hour over the limit and you’ll avoid the flashing lights, the theory goes.

Many people believe that such a ‘buffer law’ exists, or is an unwritten rule among police.

Not true.

States like Maryland have laws requiring automated speed cameras to have such a buffer, but officers on the road have no such limitations.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is about to crack down on this myth, according to WTVD, and other states could soon follow.

The governor’s highway safety program is ramping up what’s being called “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine” speeding enforcement crackdown.

Law enforcement says they’ll target and ticket anyone driving above the posted speed limit – even one mile over – beginning Thursday.

North Carolina is the latest state to take the lead in debunking the myth.

If the campaign is successful, it’s likely other states could announce similar safety campaigns.

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6 comments

  • jon

    NC has every right to enforce the law, however I also have every right to spend my vacation dollars elsewhere. Good luck with tourism income.

  • Linda V.

    GOOD!!! I am sick of arbitrary law enforcement!!! I hope that every state does this, I hope they do it for every single law, and I hope they do it for every politician who breaks a law starting at the very, very top!

  • Keet

    Speeding is not as much a safety issue as rolling stops (which has become an epidemic), driving in the passing lane on the highway, and pulling right out in front of someone from a standing stop (failure to yield). I wish they would put a lot more enforcement on these other driving violations which are much more of a safety issue than speeding.