Erik Bonstrom considers himself a safe driver. So imagine his surprise when he was stopped along Route 50 Tuesday evening in Prince George's County, Md., -- for going too slow.
Did he drive 7 MPH under the limit or 3 MPH over? Either way he "broke" the law. Driving is becoming scarier these days. Do we have to drive precisely at the posted limit in order to avoid getting "legally robbed"? What if we're in between different speed zones?
If he was in a lane other than the right lane he could have been legally cited for impeding traffic. If he was in the right lane then as long as he maintains or exceeds the legal minimum of 40 he is operating his vehicle within the limits allowed by MD State Law.
From the article there is little doubt that he will get off. But I have to agree that slow moving traffic can be a road hazard, on a busy road.
According to the Maryland Transportation Article which governs vehicle Law in Maryland, Section 21-804(a) States:
Slow speed impeding traffic prohibited.-Unless reduced speed is necessary for the safe operation of the vehicle or otherwise is in compliance with law, a person may not willfully drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.
It comes with an $80.00 fine and one point.
58 in a 65 is hard to think of as too slow as to impede traffic. Sure, probably annoying to be behind them regardless of what lane he was in, but he is only 7 miles under the "maximum". I know that some states post minimum speed limits as well as maximum speed limits, but the minimum speed limits are generally 10 or 15 miles under the maximum. I think it is rare to hear of someone pulled over for exceeding the maximum speed limit until they are over by more than 10 MPH.
I would guess someone going under the speed limit is easier to catch than someone going over.
wow... you can't win either way... this sucks
58 in a 65 is enough to turn heavy traffic into a traffic jam. It is a chain reaction that starts. The next guy that comes up behind him has to apply his brakes, which in turn makes the person behind him apply their brakes as a precaution. This reaction keeps going with cars going slower and slower as the reaction moves down the "chain". Instant traffic jam.
As for someone going under being easier to catch than someone going over, I disagree again. More people speed than go to slow. Most people going slow, are right on the speed limit, or a mile or 2 below it which would not trigger a traffic stop. Speeders are much easier to catch. Go out on an interstate like I-270 any time of the day or night where there is no back ups, and you have your choice of cars to stop.
It is really not that hard. Keep your speeds a few miles over the speed limit. Never go under, and keep your over to 14mph over or less and you should be fine in any jurisdiction in Maryland.(for live Police, not cameras) If you see a Police Car in your rear view mirror, don't panic and move over out of his way as soon as you can. Chances are he just wants to pass right by you. If you are on a one lane road, pull over on the shoulder and let him pass, he will be happier, and you will be less stressed out.
Article did not mention which lane he was in. And I'll bet it was a rookie trooper.
That's not as bad as the jerk driving a van that I was behind on the way back from Nags Head, a long time ago. The road (Rt. 158) was mostly 2 lane then. This clown would slow down to 45 mph whenever there was a double solid line and then speed up to 55 mph when the dotted line was on our side. He did this for over 20 miles and I could almost see the steam coming out of the cars between us. This was causing a long line behind him and we were all getting agravated, because it was obviously intentional. This road is a winding rural road with a lot of intersections, so passing zones were scarce.
I finally said "screw it" and passed him at 70 mph (+ 3 other cars in a passing zone) and gave him a one finger salute as I went by. 2 more managed to get by and they did the same.
The people intentionally obstructing traffic like that is what makes people do crazy things. Like pass on the shoulder or safety lane (that's reckless driving in VA). To me, obstructing traffic intentionaly is worse than speeding.
If Mr. Bonstrom was in the right lane, then it's not a problem as far as I'm concerned.
I know, I was one. Seriously, both extremes are dangerous and can cause serious backups or accidents. I was clipped by one of those reckless guys in heavy rush hour traffic, who was weaving in and out and going fast. On the other hand, the slow guys can be the most irritating and tend to cause people to want to pass at the wrong times or places.
typically you can go between 5 and 10 over and not get a ticket. but it depends on the road. Going lower than the speed limit is never a good idea unless its raining, snowing, construction, etc.
When my daughter was just 16 and one of the first times she had my old Corolla out, she was going through the then very small town of Asbury Iowa. The town had a police officer and a Justice of the Peace who were known to operate what we called a "Speed Trap". She was afraid of being caught speeding so she was going around 20 mph in a 25 zone. That's why it was a speed trap. The officer stopped her for going to slow. It happened several male friends were in the car behind her, one of whom was the son of a prominent attorney in town. They all stopped and protested politely and he let her go with a warning for what I don't know. The irony of this is 20 years later the place is still a speed trap and police still are hiding everywhere. At least the Justice of the peace system is gone and a ticket can be fought which was not the case then.
It is really not that hard. Keep your speeds a few miles over the speed limit. Never go under, and keep your over to 14mph over or less and you should be fine in any jurisdiction in Maryland.
After getting a ticket for doing 4mph above the speed limit, I would say these are bad advice quotes. Or maybe it is just a Maryland thing? The judge told me all the police officer had to prove is that I went 1 mile above the posted speed limit to be found guilty. It's just lucky for me the officer didn't show and the case was dropped.
That is interesting. Certainly there is a section under 21-801 that can be issued for 1 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit, but I have never heard of an Officer issuing this ticket under regular circumstances. It is very common if you are going faster than 9 miles over, an Officer will write the ticket for 1 to 9 miles over as a way of giving the speeder a break. That does not actually mean you were only going the 1 to 9 miles over, just that he is writing the ticket for that speed. He would tell you your actual speed however, and that he was giving you a break. The fine and points are much less then if they were to write you for going 10 plus over the limit.
I would like to know the circumstances in the 4 mph over the limit ticket. Are you sure he did not just give you a break on your actual speed, or that you did not piss him off in some other way? Maybe you were going 4 mph over and also committing some other violation and he wrote you the 4 mph over in order to give you a break because the other violation had higher penalties. Did you pass by him as he was driving the speed limit? That tends to aggravate most Officers if someone in the lane next to them passes them on by. I could see you getting a 4 mph over ticket for that.
Anyway, I stand by my statement that if under normal circumstances you stay 14mph over or less you will be fine with 99.9% of Maryland Officers. That is kind of the unofficial standard. On most streets, I give people 19 over and I don't even look at people on the highway unless they are going 85 or better in the 55 zone.
If I am by myself I end to go a little faster. If my wife is in the car I go slower. She hates going fast. On Hwys with 70mph speeds she likes to go around 65mph.
In Florida late at night, if you are going the speed limit or a few miles over, the police in unmarked cars will come right up behind you to get you to speed up and go over the limit. As soon as you hit 50mph in a 45mph zone their lights are on and you get a ticket.
I figure there are two other lanes. Either they go around me or hit me!
My approach to driving in the Peoples Socialistic Republik of Maryland is to follow traffic. And trust me, there is a lot of it.
Never be the fastest or the slowest. You just stick out from the crowd, a target for over-zealous law enforcement donut munchers.
Remember, the nail that sticks up will be hammered down.
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