If you are like many drivers, you are always looking in your rear view mirror to protect against getting another speeding ticket.   Not that everyone gets speeding tickets, but there are a number of drivers that are always driving too fast and get at least one speeding ticket a year.  If you drive truck and log 100,000 miles a year, your odds of getting a speeding ticket are 10 times greater than most drivers.  Commercial drivers are allowed a few extra points because ot the number of miles they drive.  The used to go to driving school and keep some of them off their record, however driving school is no longer an option for commercial drivers.

   When I was driving truck, one of my dead drivers told me to drive 7 MPH over the speed limit and I will never get a ticket.  However if you are 8 MPH over the speed limit, you will get a ticket.  It makes sense to me.  If the Highway Patrol was pulling everyone over for driving 1 mile over the speed limit, they would be wasting a lot of time and not concentrating on bigger tickets.  Therefore they are given guidelines by their superiors on what to pull over and who to give just warnings to.

   The guidelines say that between 1 and 7 miles over the speed limit, just give a warning.  For drivers driving 8 or more miles over the speed limit, write them a speeding citation.  Therefore if you are on a highway with the speed limit of 70 MPH, you can safely drive 7 MPH.  In California trucks are limited to 55 MPH and the safely drive 82 MPH and don't even slow down if they see a Highway Patrol Officer.

   Now I know I am going to hear a log of people tell me they got a citation for 5 miles over the speed limit.  My answer to that is you either had a bad attitude towards the police officer, or you were lucky and he clocked you going faster and wrote you for less miles.  Usually in a case like this there is more to the situation and it might not be obvious to you.

   Even though all law enforcement offices go by the same guidelines, there are differences between City Police, Sheriffs, and Highway Patrol.  City Police, also called City Kitty's are here to "Protect and Serve".  The Sheriffs, also called County Mounties, are good guys and tackle some of the serious crime.  Then there are the Highway Patrol, also called Smokey The Bear.  Their main purpose is to generate revenue and they are real bastards.  I have heard a City Police Commander claim the Highway Patrol will even write a speeding ticket to their mother in laws.  Their whole purpose is to generate money for the Government.  It is like sin taxes on liquor and cigarettes, it is OK to cite speeders.  Unfortunately, actions like this cause disrespect and even contempt towards the Highway Patrol.  So if you want to eliminate speeding tickets and still drive fast, don't exceed 7 MPH over the speed limit.

   A good tool to use when going on vacation, or just driving the Interstate Highway System, is the Bear Trap Guide written for commercial truck drivers,  You will learn where you will probably find Smokey The Bear.  It seems that there is usually a reason for Smokey to patrol a certain area.  It might be the local city dictates there will be a Bear on the highway approaching and leaving the city.  Or there may be a hill that is notorious for speeders, or accidents.  Then you will notice that Highway Patrol usually turn around at county lines.  That is for the simple reason that all their preprinted citations are for a particular court within the county and it is extra work to write citations in a neighboring county.  When driving, pay attention to county lines and remember; "Bears are Creatures of Habit".

    If you learned something from this article watch for my story on Red Light Cameras.

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