Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine
The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched a boosted speed enforcement effort on March 22, 2016. Known as “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine,” the campaign is an effort to curb traffic fatalities.
According to the program, high speed contributed to the deaths of 322 people in North Carolina in 2015, or 23 percent of the state’s fatal crashes.
Most fatal accidents nationwide – 86 percent – happen on local roads with posted speed limits that were 55 miles per hour or under, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During the campaign, some motorists will undoubtedly get stopped for being just a few miles over the speed limit, said North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Kelly Rhodes, and that could be as little as 1 mph over.
“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.”
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, March 22, Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry echoed that sentiment, saying officers will continue to exercise reasonable discretion.
“The North Carolina State Highway Patrol does not intend to change its tactics when it comes to enforcing the speed limit,” he said in the statement. “Our troopers still have reasonable discretion when it comes to enforcing our traffic laws. Earlier reports that we would begin ticketing drivers going one or two miles over the speed limit were based on a misinterpretation of the initiative. Troopers and local law enforcement officers will continue to enforce the speed limit.”