Rules of the Road
Philadelphia

Should you worry about going 75-80 mph in the Philadelphia area when everyone else is?

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2015-07-17 17:36:49
2015-07-17 17:36:49

The fact that everyone else is going to same speed will not be a defense if you are stopped and ticketed for speeding. If you are worried about getting a ticket, then yes you should worry about speeding even if everyone else is. Yes, it is unlikely that you will be the one stopped, but someone has to be that person.

Well, at the risk of sounding parental:

Would you jump off a bridge just because everyone else does?

Laws are made an enforced for a reason. They may not always make sense to you, indeed, some make no sense at all, but there is a reason.

It may seem OK to do it because 'everyone else' is doing it. But rest assured people do get caught and ticketed, whether you are there to see it or not.

Wait until you or someone you care about is involved in (or, Heaven forbid, injured or killed in) a speed related wreck. Will you still feel the same way?

I reckon it all depends on how strictly enforced the speed limit is in your area. Notwithstanding the patronizing "would you jump off a bridge if everyone else does" answer someone provided, on interstates and similar highways/bi-ways it is usually in the best interest of the safety of yourself and those around you to move with the flow of traffic, provided it is not moving at a speed greater than your vehicle can safely and reliably travel. Many law enforcement agencies are aware of this, and that is why they will often let traffic travel at a "consensus" pace, even if that pace is well above the speed limit. I know this to be the case in the Chicago area, where one car traveling the speed limit while everyone else is doing 20 to 30 over is liable to cause a bottleneck and get someone hurt. IL state troopers would rather see traffic flow smoothly, even at 25MPH over the limit, than see a handful of people clogging up the flow but technically obeying the law. (They are less forgiving in less populated areas downstate where traffic is too thin for a "consensus" speed to form.) Please note that law enforcement's tendency to allow speeding under certain circumstances is NOT a license to drive as fast as you want. Even if everyone else is speeding, they WILL nail you if you're driving faster than everyone else and/or weaving in and out of traffic.

If you find your local highway enforcement will permit traffic to move at a consensus pace, it is best for you to move at that same pace. If, however, they are inclined to pick people out of the pack to give them tickets, you may want to drive a bit slower than the consensus pace, as the cops are far more likely to pull over someone who is passing you. My brief tenure as a PA resident left me with the impression that the state troopers are the type who would rather pick people out than let them establish a safe consensus pace. At least that was the case in Pittsburgh. Your experience on the other end of the state may be different.

Something that I have noticed with experience. It all depends on the area that you are driving in, as the user above stated. Usually the faster driver is the one that gets picked out of the pack. Typically officers monitor the left lane and focus their radar on this particular point and wait for someone to break their own justified speed limit. They are only there to keep you in line. Usually they will pull someone over just to be as a warning to other drivers, as to let them know that they are monitored. Even if the subject doesn't get a ticket, none of the other drivers know that. As long as they see that someone is pulled over, they will typically slow down in that part of the highway/road.

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