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.


  • bob

    I used to speed routinely, but I’ve adopted a strict “speed limit policy”. The benefits are huge, and there is no real downside. I save hundreds of dollars annually on gas. (By actual calculation.) I spend no more than a couple of extra minutes on the road every day, so there was never really any benefit to speeding in the first place. Less wear and tear on the vehicles and tires. No speeding tickets to pay. Low insurance rates. And my blood pressure is lower.

    RELAX. Save some money. Listen to music.

  • Bob

    Unless the raise the fines to 300 dollars per 1 mph over they will be wasting their time as they will never “pay” for their effort.

    • DK

      I guess you have never been on I-15 or I-215 in Utah because everyone is going well over 10 MPH the limit.

      • Joe public

        I try to go the speed limit almost always . However sometimes i find myself getting more into the music and just concentrating on my driving that when i look down i am going 3-5 over…everyone who is posting here that they always go the speed limit is fooling themselves. The real picture here is Once again our good old boys (dictators)who throw laws together. Are finding yet another way for you the taxpayers to pay for there padded salaries and budget deficits. The fact is , that going 1 mile an hour over a posted speed limit has always been breaking the law. So the dictators doing what there doing is only to make it known so that there isnt much feedback from the public when they get a ticket. What people probably dont know. Is that when you get a speeding ticket here in NC or any other violation . Not only will your insurance company raise your rate. But The dictators in charge of this state also put a fine up to 500.00 /year for three years against you. This is just another way that NC gouges everyone. (This charge is not in other states) . In the article it says ..its for cutting down on fatalities, that maybe true to some extent but the number of tickets that bring in money for the state far out number the fatalities for going 46 in a 45 zone, 56in a 55 zone, 61 in a 60 zone. That they so conveniently gave some numbers in there article. Wake up people of NC get these dictators out of there elected seat . There are so many laws that have been implimented in just the last 3 years here from the same group just for the state to make more money from the taxpayers..its hard to even breathe . Are you feeling it yet? Just wait. Or better yet lets Not! Heres a few more things you might want to look up… Fines for your car breaking down in the emergency lane. They say its for the truckers (i say nay nay) heres one i think got squashed but who knows…. Lets charge every individual with a drivers license in NC a flat gas tax of 300.00 then we dont have to charge the state gas tax on a gallon of gas. the state gas tax is the lowest of the taxes on gas so it wouldnt help anyone except those who drive substantial amount each year in NC only..

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