Civil Law and Convention when it comes to Speed Limits


Here is a question I’ve been wondering about for some time and was hoping for some light to be shed on it. For the record I strive to be a very safe driver and not exceed the speed limit. However, as we all know, police won’t ticket you for going a few mph over, and my question here is that while I know we have an obligation to obey just laws, my concern is that when it comes to laws like speed limits, should we be interpreting them in a legalistic sense or in a conventional sense? If it’s an unspoken part of the practice of the law, a convention, for law enforcement to not care about 33 mph in a 30 zone, does this mean we can be a bit liberal when following the law?

The intention of the law is to promote safety, but at times I feel I might be making others unsafe if, while I’m trying to obey the posted limit to a T, others around me are going a bit faster and encountering a slower driver such as myself might lead to accidents resulting from a log jam of traffic. Thoughts on this?


I drive the posted speed limit for I’d like to hope that it is considered the safe speed for that area of driving. It was considered a “norm” to drive 5 over the posted speed limit in my City for awhile until the police did a speed trap and ticked everyone five over to make a point. 95 dollar tickets speak to the pocket book and the notion the police did not want a anymore there is a “window” on the speed limit.

When going to court one over is one over.



I drive the posted speed limit unless it would be unsafe to do so. That is, if the weather is bad I drive more slowly, if traffic is heavy & fast, I keep up with the traffic.

In freeway driving during decent weather, the cruise control is an excellent tool to make sure I don’t go over (or under) the speed limit.


Going with the flow of traffic has been argued unsuccessfully in our courts. "Sorry, the speed limit was 100 and regardless of the fact that everyone else was going 115, you had the duty to NOT follow the crowd. Your fine is … "


I think obeying the speed limit is best. I know that others are usually going faster and it is tempting. But they are set at the limit they are for a reason. And it has been my experience that tickets are given for as little as 3-5 miles over the limit. It just kills me that there seems to be so much inconsistency in the enforcement of these limits.

My father and sister have both driven in California, where they have actually been signaled by police to speed up with traffic, despite driving at the posted limit. Go figure!

Legally, you are more likely to be “smacked a good one” if you are driving way below or above the limit. And if there is a sticky legal issue that posted limit is the one the courts will go with. So, I stick with the posted speed, and if others want to pass because they have a lead foot, well I usually plan on meeting them at the next stop light.


Depends on circumstances. I have heard of people getting ticketed for going the speed limit and holding up traffic. Possibly because people will try tol pass unsafely. Our main highway does not usually have a lot of traffic. I always go 60 (except in heavy snow or rain)- the posted limit. Most of the time no one passes me, but sometimes I’m passed by quite a few cars. Those few who pass me are no reason for me to speed up - I would surely get a ticket if I did. It’s a bit different on heavily traveled highways.


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