As part of Gov. McCrory’s multi-headed plan to make the once-great state of North Carolina suck just a little bit more, this Friday will mark the start of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s new campaign, Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine. Uuuuuggghhh.
So, what is this campaign that sounds like it was named by some middle school’s student council? Essentially, it’s fortnight-long (until April 3) crackdown on the sort of ‘speeding’ most of us would consider within the realm of speedometer error.
One local TV station reported that the emphasis of the campaign was to dispel the myth that there’s any sort of ‘buffer’ – usually accepted to be 9 MPH – when it comes to speeding enforcement. You know how, if you’re on a highway with a 65 MPH speed limit, the general rule is that if you’re doing anywhere up to about 74, you most likely won’t get stopped? Well, this campaign seems to suggest that you’d get pulled for going 66.
Of course, some sources and police departments don’t agree, and have a much more rational approach, but even then it’s admitted that during the campaign, minor speed infractions may be cause for ticketing.
As NC Highway Patrol officer Kelly Rhodes told the Citizen-Times
“Will you get stopped for 1 over? You might get stopped for 1 over and given a warning ticket,” Rhodes said, adding that if the trooper finds other violations such as driving without a license or expired registration, “then we would cite you for being 1 mile over.”
Look, I’m all for driving safe, and not speeding like an idiot on public roads is part of that. But speed variations between 1 and 5 MPH or so, at least, are well within the range of many vehicles speedometer error, and citing someone for such minuscule levels of speeding is a waste of officer time and energy, and needlessly draconian for drivers.
Plus, it’s not like hanging around on the shoulder of a freeway is that safe as it is; is it worth putting NC Highway Patrol officers in dangerous locations for something so trivial?
I’ll be glad when these two weeks are over. It’s gonna suck, though, since I live in NC and I’m getting a fast press car today and plan on taking my wife and kid on a little road trip this weekend.
Thanks, Gov. McCrory. Remember, nobody likes you.