Despite crackdown, N.C. troopers not targeting drivers for 1-2 mph over speed limit

Posted at 3:05 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 18:18:05-04

NORTH CAROLINA - “Obey the sign, or pay the fine.” That is the motto of North Carolina State Highway Patrol’s speeding campaign.

Recently, some media outlets reported troopers would be pulling drivers over for going even just one mile over the speed limit.

Related: Speeding crackdown in North Carolina

“That is not accurate,” Sgt. Edwin Forbes told NewsChannel 3. “I do not know where the media got that from. I think maybe it was taken out of context from another source.  We are going to pull people over, as we have been pulling people over, and we are going to use good judgment.”

“The highway patrol, we write for substantial violations of the law. Clear cut, substantial violations,” said Forbes. “Personally I’ve never seen anyone get a speeding ticket for [going] five over, but it is possible you could get stopped and get a warning."

In an effort to see just how busy state troopers would be if they pulled everyone over for going at least one mile per hour over the posted speed limit, we set up on a highway and did our own test.

In just five minutes, almost every car that drove by would have gotten some sort of speeding ticket. However, the majority of vehicles were only traveling about five miles over the posted speed limit sign.

"I mean you don’t have to go the speed limit to get to where you’re going. You could go under the speed limit also,” said Samuel Bolden, a driver filling up at the North Carolina/Virginia Border Gas Station.

Other drivers disagree with the speeding initiative.

Troopers agree their time is best spent targeting more serious offenders.

“You know the highway patrol, we want to treat the people right, treat people correctly,” said Forbes. “I can’t imagine a trooper clocking somebody [for going one mile over the speed limit], and doing an enforcement action on that.”

Troopers would not tell NewsChannel 3 just how fast drivers need to be going before they start pulling people over, but they were clear it won’t be happening at one or two miles over the posted speed limit sign.