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Think you won't get a ticket for driving 1 MPH over speed limit?

Most of us have been in the situation wherein we are driving, see a police officer near us and then we quickly check how fast we are going. Even if we see that we were driving over the posted speed limit, if we were just driving 33 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, we might be relieved. An officer wouldn't pull someone over for that, right?

But according to a recent Baltimore Sun report, Maryland drivers do get speeding tickets for driving just a bit over the posted speed limit. Some drivers have a supposed myth in mind that they will only get pulled over if driving 10 MPH over, but that is reportedly untrue in about one-quarter of Maryland speeding cases.

The following numbers represent the percentage of speeding tickets issued to drivers going a certain speed over the limit in 2011:

  • 25.8 percent of speeding tickets were issued to drivers going 1 to 9 MPH over the limit.
  • 43.7 percent of speeding tickets were issued to drivers going 10 to 19 MPH over the limit.
  • 26.5 percent of speeding tickets were issued to drivers going 20 to 29 MPH over the limit.

These categories represent the bulk of 2011 speeding tickets, while the rest were reserved for drivers going even faster (more than 40 MPH over in some cases.) Generally, the more a driver is going over the limit, the higher he will be fined in Maryland. So, yes, one should be more worried if they see an officer and realize that he was driving more than 9 MPH over. But it looks like a person driving 36 MPH in a 35 MPH zone might have reason to sweat, too.

A traffic ticket can seem innocent and routine enough that some drivers will just give in and pay the fine. But there are situations when a driver can and should challenge a citation. Money is money, and the value of integrity and standing up for what one believes is right are also valid reasons to challenge a traffic ticket.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Maryland speeding ticket statistics complicate myth of 10 mph cushion," Scott Calvert, July 20, 2012

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