You certainly know that you can get a speeding ticket if the police catch you going well over the speed limit. If you go by a police officer at 90 miles per hour on the interstate, you probably start thinking about how you’re about to get pulled over right away.
But what if you are just barely breaking the speed limit? For instance, many people drive 60 miles per hour all the time. If they’re doing this on roads with a 55 MPH speed limit, they are speeding every time they drive. But they may not even look at it this way because they never get pulled over for just going a few miles an hour over the limit. Is it possible for something like that to happen?
You could technically be stopped
If you want to be perfectly technical about it, the law simply defines a limit. Exceeding that limit by any amount is illegal. If the limit is 55 mph, you have broken the law if you have driven 56 mph. A police officer who clocked you at 56 would be able to conduct a traffic stop.
So why doesn’t every driver going 60 get pulled over? Officers have a lot of discretion. They are looking for speeding drivers, but they fully understand that they don’t have the time or the manpower to pull over everyone who breaks the speed limit. As a result, they’re usually looking for people who are going at least 5 mph over that limit.
Additionally, remember that tickets change depending on how far over the limit someone is going. If a police officer pulls someone over for going 5 miles an hour over the limit, that is not nearly as valuable of a stop for the authorities as if they find someone who is going 20 mph over the limit. The small tickets could just be seen as a waste of time, so the police try to focus on those who are driving a bit more recklessly. They usually don’t just pull over every single car that breaks the limit by any amount.
Even so, it is important to know that you can get a ticket at almost any speed. You also need to know what legal options you have if this does happen.