NORTH CAROLINA (WAVY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says it will launch a new campaign on Friday: Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.
State and local law enforcement say they will be pulling more people over, even if they are only a few MPH over the posted speed limit.
Trooper Doug Coley, who serves as the traffic safety information officer for northeastern North Carolina, said the initiative is strategically beginning on a holiday weekend: Easter. Troopers also expect more drivers to be on the roads for students’ spring break.
In a news release, NCDOT said, “Many Americans believe they won’t be ticketed if they drive within a ‘buffer zone’ above the posted speed limit. But now, law enforcement will be targeting and ticketing speeding drivers.”
At the Border Station off Highway 168, WAVY.com found several out-of-state drivers heading to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend. Mike King, from New Jersey, was on his way to the Outer Banks to open up his rental property for the season.
“I was keeping my eyes peeled, because they’re out in full force,” he explained.
Coley explained to WAVY.com, it is a myth that driver’s are safe to go 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and think they won’t get pulled over. Coley said, drivers need to travel at the posted speed limit, and not over.
Drivers at the Border Station had mixed reactions to the campaign. Most saying, they think drivers should be able to travel five to 10 miles about the speed limit, or with the flow of traffic, and not have a problem.
“It’s a highway,” said Chad White, who lives on Knotts Island. “Everybody goes at least five over.”
However, others say, there is only benefit to slowing down.
“I think that it’s fine to do,” said Sandy Martin, who lives on the outer banks. “I think we need to watch our speed limits anyway.”
As they always do, Coley said troopers are looking for clear-cut and substantial violations, with the goal of reducing accidents and making the roads safer.
Coley added, he doesn’t think drivers will get pulled over for going one mile per hour over the speed limit. But, with every available trooper working on the campaign over the next week, there will be plenty of reasons to slow down.
The campaign will go from March 24 until April 3.