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California DMV rules, Cops, Speed, interstate

I was driving on I-5 yesterday - my speed was easily 85mph - it must have been 65 road. There were cars went faster than me - I was prob 300 ft from car ahead of me - i noticed a single cops car parked on off the road facing the st - didn’t chase me or give tkt.

Once before, I was on CA-152 - there were bunch of police cars - they booked me stating 18mph over the limit! They were there for that purpose. There were other cars too at that time - some got tkt others didn;t.

CA rule allows any speed limit as long as you are going with the flow.

I find it tricky - if you can’t drive fast enough with the car ahead of you, then you fall behind maybe the rule above won’t work.

Lately economy is bad and the COPS are issuing tkts.

Appreciate thoughts and recommendations

I am looking to get a good radar but they are expensive too.

" officer’s discretion " can be employed at any time.

They can ticket no one when all are 20 above the limit AND they can ticket one for just 5 over.

Most radar detectors warn you too late any way. by the time it sees them…they’ve seen you. Mine was wasted money in that respect.

They can ticket only one car at a time from the bunch so it only seems unfair if they catch you but if you’ve ever been fishing you know that you can only catch one at a time of the 87 fish in the pond.
( except for an officer in Missouri that was doing 2 at a time. He bagan passing me so I thought I was in the clear. until he slowed to my pace beside me and stearnly motioned me to the side of the road as he proceded to pull over the car in front as well ! )

"CA rule allows any speed limit as long as you are going with the flow. "

Not true:

Cop must not have been paying attention.

If everyone drives at the same speed regardless of the laws there is not much that law enforcement can do. In other words…if all traffic is moving at 90 mph who is going to get pulled over? I know of several places on I-75 that flows at 10-15 mph over the limit all day long. I rarely see anyone pulled over. I drive with the flow. In inclement weather traffic slows because of the weather.

I see, here in MN they would just pick someone and pull them over and the rationale would be that they had to pull someone over and you were just the unlucky one.

So you are complaining because they didn’t give you a ticket for 20 over?

“If everyone drives at the same speed regardless of the laws there is not much that law enforcement can do. In other words…if all traffic is moving at 90 mph who is going to get pulled over?”

Anyone he cares to. The judge doesn’t care how many other people were going that fast, just how fast the one that was pulled over was going. Don’t try the ‘but everyone else is doing it’ argument. You might get your fine doubled. Did that line ever work on your parents? If you have kids, does it work on you?

Even after you got ticketed for going 18 MPH over the speed limit, you drive 20 MPH over the speed limit. How smart is that? Keep it up. California needs the revenue.

Sometimes those police cars are just decoys. Sometimes, when they have tinted windows and you can’t see inside, they are empty. Sometimes they have a manequin inside that looks like a trooper.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you said, “But Mom, all my friends are doing it.” Did it work with her? Probably not. It won’t work in traffic court either.

The sensors on I-5 give you estimated time to the next split or something. I have paid attentions and when there is no traffic, you really need to go ~90 mph to get there in that time frame. So, yes everybody is going over the limit. With CA economy the way it is, expect to be paying for it though.

You said:
"The sensors on I-5 give you estimated time to the next split or something. I have paid attentions and when there is no traffic, you really need to go ~90 mph to get there in that time frame. So, yes everybody is going over the limit. "

I am sorry - what sensors?
I can’t make sense of what u are saying?

What you are describing is common in areas where there is a lot of commuter traffic. If all the cars are going over the speed limit it is difficult to single out one car for a ticket. If there is a big enough break in the traffic an officer can pick out a speeder, but it can be dangerous to pull out into fast moving traffic dense traffic to catch the speeder and issue the ticket. The “cop” has to judge the situation. The job of a police officer is to protect safety of the motoring public so if catching a speeder is too dangerous they have to make that call.

Yet, speeders are a hazard. Tickets do generate revenue, but tickets are not issued to “make money”. They are issued to slow down speeding motorists and reduce the risk of traveling on our roads. Your choice to join in the hectic commuter flow and drive in the passing lanes, closely spaced behind other cars can avoid tickets but puts you at risk of a serious accident someday. Speeding is unsafe, and the more cars around you while you are speeding makes speeding even less safe.

So, if you speed on a road where there isn’t a lot of traffic to hide with and provide cover you will get a ticket. You don’t have to join the frenetic commuter pace. I drove in heavy commuter traffic areas in Boston, NYC, NJ, and Washington, DC. You can elect to go the speed limit and stay in the right lanes of traffic. Yes, you have to let some people exit and other join the rush but it isn’t that tough to do. With the more relaxed pace you can enjoy NPR Morning news and arrive less stressed at the office.

I wouldn’t jump off of a cliff because everyone else was doing it so my opinion is that 85 in a 65 is a bit much no matter what the rest of the crowd is doing.
They shouldn’t bat an eye over 70 in a 65 so that’s what I’d stick with. Normally they’ll give you 5 MPH.

Out in the LA area one night many decades ago after moving out there from OK and on a fairly empy stretch of Interstate a CA Highway patrolman pulled up beside me and started motioning. (I’d doing 60 in the outside lane and had no idea what he wanted.)
It hit me that he wanted me to pick up the pace so I bumped it to 65. More waving led me to 70 and even more waving got me to 75. At that point he gave me a thumbs up and went on ahead.

I thought because I was in a Corvette with OK plates that I was trouble because I had already been stopped by the CHP for not having a front license plate displayed. OK does not issue those and I was on the side of the road (40 miles east of Barstow in 105 degree heat) for over an hour arguing with them about that one. Finally they got ahold of someone in OK who verified what I was telling them. One would have thought that they would have been aware that not all states issue front plates.

I don’t know of any state that has rule that CAN’T pull you over if you’re traveling the same speed as the rest of the traffic around you. They may choose NOT to…but there isn’t a law saying they can’t.

I see it all the time here in NH and MA. In the morning commute…I-93…if the traffic is moving (which is rarely)…it’s anywhere between 60 and 95…I think over the past 25 years of driving that road I’ve seen maybe ONE cop in the South Bound side. I’ve seen plenty on the North bound.

The main reason they don’t pull you over is because it’s DANGEROUS. Pull out in traffic at those speeds??? I wouldn’t.

I normally drive what the prevailing speed is. Going appreciably faster or slower than the prevailing speed is more dangerous than simply keeping up with traffic. With that said if you happen to be going over the speed limit you can be pulled over and ticketed, like the others have said in that situation it’s just the luck of the draw as to which car the cop will pull over. But if you’re maintaining the prevailing speed you won’t stick out as much as you would if you were going faster or slower than everyone else.

I can guarantee there is no rule stating “any speed limit as long as you are going with the flow.” C’mon, think about that one for a minute.

I will agree the economy has affected the amount of tickets written, at least by the MA State Police on rt. 3 south. I work third shift and maybe once or twice a month prior to the economy going in the tank, I’d see a S.P. car doing radar at the side of the highway along my 30 mile commute. Over the past two years I usually see at least one a night and two or three nights a week there is at least one person pulled over. Quite a change, a change I’m happy with and wish they did it this way all the time. Usually the police, even in this economy, won’t bother you unless you’re driving like a complete fool. Unfortunately, around here that’s all too common.

Skip the radar detector, save your money and possibly your life and slow down.

This is kind-of a new question, but it relates.

When asked about this topic, every law enforcement officer I’ve heard says, “Drive the speed limit, no matter what others are doing, it is safer.” My father, along with lots of the folks who have posted here, think that “going with the flow” is safer. Does anyone have an actual traffic safety study they can cite to support either position?

If the speed limit was 35 and 99.999% of the traffic was going 70 MPH regardless of the speed limit, but 0.001% of the traffic was traveling at the 35 MPH speed limit, it seems pretty clear that the people actually obeying the speed limit are creating a dangerous situation. Granted this is an extreme example, but you don’t need traffic studies to tell you what logic already dictates.

“some got tkt others didn;t.”

Just like the lion stalking a herd of wildebeests, it is not possible for a police officer or a lion to catch everyone that he might want to catch. Yesterday, it was not your turn to be pulled over. Tomorrow it might be your turn, and it could also be your turn on the following day, and the day after that. Which cars get pulled over is–to some extent–a matter of chance. If you want to stay out of trouble, the simple answer is to not exceed the speed limit.

“CA rule allows any speed limit as long as you are going with the flow.”

Logically, that just doesn’t make sense, and as the link posted by nfs480 proved, the above statement is false. I suggest that you stop getting “hearsay” advice on motor vehicle regulations. As your own statement proves, this type of “wisdom” is frequently false.

While I agree that it is probably safer to keep up with the flow of traffic, rather than be a rolling roadblock that could get rear-ended by an inattentive driver, the fact remains that you have to be a big boy and to suck it up if and when it is your turn to be ticketed.

The personal rules that I try to follow are:

  1. Never be the fastest one on the road.
    If you allow others to pass you, they will be more likely targets for law enforcement, even if you were also speeding.

  2. Related to #1: Stay out of the left lane!
    The speeder in the left lane is probably the most visible to officers monitoring the flow of traffic on that road. Don’t be the one who is most visible.

  3. Obey all other traffic regulatons, even if you are driving over the speed limit.
    This includes NOT tailgating, NOT talking or texting on a hand-held cellphone, not weaving in and out of traffic, using your headlights when it is raining–even if there is bright sunlight, staying out of carpool lanes unless appropriate, using your signals when changing lanes, etc. Otherwise, you make yourself a more attractive target for law enforcement.

Do my “personal rules” work? Well, since I have not had a ticket since 1995 and have not had an accident since 1971, I tend to think that they do work.

When I got my last ticket in 1995–on the way to work–my boss was amazed at how calmly and matter-of-factly I stated that I had received a ticket for a “rolling stop” at a stop sign. She stated that most people would be cursing and ranting over the receipt of a ticket. I calmly stated that I had executed a rolling stop (at a stop sign in a deserted downtown shopping district with no perceptible traffic at 7:15 AM), and that the cop was certainly within his rights to issue a ticket to me. And–shame on me for not noticing that he was parked in a semi-concealed location in order to catch guys like me who normally executed rolling stops in this deserted zone.

We’ve had extremely lengthy debates about which is safer, going with the flow of traffic or doing the speed limit. There is no concensus, just two opposing philosophies. There was a newspaper article a while back about someone who tried (for the purpose of writing the article) going the speed limit. They turned a normal highway into a mob scene of enraged drivers and caused countless near-accidents. IMHO NOT going with traffic causes turbulance in the flow and is a dangerous practice.

In my area the cops will typically allow 10 mph IF the conditions permit. They can, if they wish, ticket one out of a stream of cars for a citation, but generally do not unless there are other reasons invloved. We have “aggressive driving” laws here, and they can cite you for doing so.

I’ll respectfully disagree with UncleTurbo. In many areas, western Mass being one, tickets are, in fact, issued to generate revenue. I knew a cop there. They had quotas, unofficial but affecting their career prospects. They were explicitly told that they had to issue a minimum number of citations. And this was back during the good economic times. It’s worse now. Recent newspaper articles have also said that many cash-strapped counties are dramaticlaly increasing the amount of citations issued for the purpose of generating revenue. Cops in southern NH, some of whom are friends of mine, are very reasonable. If you get a ticket in southern NH, you deserve it, either you were truely doing something you should not have been or you wised off to or argued with the cop.

There could be a couple of reasons for this.

#1 - It was just car planted to slow cars down. NY-State has even gone to the trouble of putting a card-board cutout in a car on the highway just to slow down traffic.

#2 - If it was heavy traffic then the officer might not have been able to determine WHO was speeding. Radar works on the Largest Reflecting object. What ever that may be.