Doing The Speed Limit .. Or Not?

Topic 4918 | Page 1

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6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I'll kick this off with saying that I believe the speed limit should be followed, and any time it's not followed, the driver has to be willing to accept the consequences. A driver has no right to be upset for getting a ticket for speeding. For whatever reason, lots of drivers (including experienced drivers) believe they have a buffer allowed by cops to speed. Before I started my commercial driving career, I heard it said that officers will basically forgive about 5 mph above. Recently some experienced drivers told me that you could really push up to 64 mph in a 55 mph zone. Basically close to 10 mph over. I've also witnessed some of these same drivers slow down to within 5 mph of a posted zone's limit when a cop is nearby - these drivers seem to always be playing a cat and mouse game.

I'm throwing this out there to all you drivers with experience, be that years, be that under a year. Honestly, how many of you maintain the speed limit? Do you speed, and if so, do you think you won't get caught? Do you think that cops do allow an 'unwritten' buffer zone for minimal speeding? Is it worth the risks to speed? What are your reasons for speeding?

I understand that some companies offer fuel bonuses which will necessitate keeping a lower speed. I understand some trucks are governed so you might not be able to speed anyhow. So, set these aspects aside, and answer as if you could speed, even if you're not able to. I'm also referring to speeding when conditions are not adverse. Not many drivers will be brave (or brazen) enough to speed in snow or ice.

Personally, I don't think that you gain much from speeding. In my mind, it's not worth the risk. Yes, I might float a few miles above - but I'm not sure if I'd want to go 5 over to the max. In a construction zone, I'd be extra cautious. Speed should definitely be adjusted to the driving conditions and the traffic. Nothing says you HAVE to go the limit. If I can't maintain a safe following distance or keep myself away from the herd, you'll bet that I'll go under the posted limit if I need to. Speeding also affects others around you. It's not just about keeping your CDL clean, it's about doing your job in the most safe way possible and being respectful of the four wheelers that share the same roads.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
For whatever reason, lots of drivers (including experienced drivers) believe they have a buffer allowed by cops to speed.

Bill, you and I have talked about this before, and we've both heard people say this stuff about being allowed a buffer by the cops. The fact is that there are posted speed limits for a reason. We may not always like it but we should abide by those posted limits or else face the consequences. There are places in Connecticut that have a regular posted speed limit of 45 on the interstate. It seems insane to me, but every time I'm through that area I realize again why it is posted that low - there is so much traffic entering and exiting and trying to move along in those areas that you could hardly speed if you wanted to. I for one don't count on the Highway Patrolman to give me any type of buffer.

I try my best to obey the speed limits, but I would only be lying if I said I had never gone over. It is always best to obey the traffic laws. Safety is the one over ruling umbrella that we need to operate under. It supersedes schedules, timelines, and delivery appointments. But every truck driver faces pressure in his job to beat the clock at times, he has to learn to deal with it by trip planning and execution without compromising his own or the motoring public's safety.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mr M's Comment
member avatar

If the speed is detected by vascar it is the law that you have to be doing over 10mph in 50mph or below zones to be ticketed and I believe 5mph above that.

If detected by radar then many will ticket you if doing more than 4mph.

If in a cmv I personally would not gamble with any cops personal limit on if he may pull you over one day doing 11 over and another day doing 6 over.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

A few points:

1) The ony way you're guaranteed anything is to stay below the posted limit

2) Every cop has good days and bad days, likes and dislikes. That will always have an affect on whether or not a ticket will be given for something

3) Experienced drivers often know the reputation of local law enforcement and it can be surprisingly consistent over time. For instance, from the time I started driving in '93 there were certain states that were extremely strict with speed limits, especially Ohio and California. You would have to be begging for trouble or completely clueless to attempt more than 5 mph over the limit in those states. And yet for a while I think it was Montana that actually eliminated posted speed limits and said you had to travel at a "prudent speed" or something like that.

And of course it gets finer than that. There's one cop in a very tiny town about 12 miles from me that is famous for hating everyone and writing as many tickets as he can. I think he's a sociopath that somehow gets away with it. But he's been doing this for years and years. He especially hates firemen (which I am not). They won't even go through there anymore because as soon as he sees their blue lights on their personal vehicle they're pulled over.

I always went 5 mph over the limit by default but would stay at or below the limit if circumstances warranted it. I can't recall ever getting a speeding ticket in any vehicle but I might have at some point. I've always driven pretty slow. If I want to go crazy I'll get a race car and go racing for real with the other crazies (which I have done).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Rico's Comment
member avatar

My trainer and I had some issues over this speeding thing. We got into California, and I kept the truck at 55. He tried his best to get me to speed, but I wouldn't do it. I had to repeatedly tell him that it's my license, my record, and I wasn't going to risk getting a ticket. Finally, after two days of him trying to guilt and goad me into going faster, he told me he respected my decision to stick to the speed limit.

What annoys me are the drivers who think it's OK to go 60 in a construction zone that has a 45 mph posted limit. Drivers who do that are asking for trouble. Twice now, I've had guys behind me get on the cb to get on my case about sticking to the speed limit in construction zones, and twice I've responded with "I obey what the signs say."

I'm very much a stick to the speed limit kind of person. That's how I drive my four wheeler, and see no reason to drive any differently in the big truck. There have been times that I've let the truck go faster, like when I'm going downhill and there's an uphill ahead, but I never set my cruise to deliberately go faster than the posted limit.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

For me the conditions of where and what time I'm driving dictate a lot. Open highway with one around I'll hang around 5 mph over. But construction zones or back country roads I'll either do the limit or below. It's just me though.

Cammie J.'s Comment
member avatar

It is very nicely described that while driving , proper speed limit to be followed. It is your safety as well as that of other person coming from front side.

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, my trainer chided me for doing the speed limit in CA too. He said we weren't making any time and were going to miss our appointment. He was regularly do 62-63 in CA. I eventually upped it up to 58 in CA, but did not feel comfortable going any faster than that.

To me it is not worth the risk to speed. My truck tops out at 63, so in most states I can't speed anyway. In the 55 mph states, I usually set the cruise to 58. I don't like to go more than 3 over.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

I am a bit older than some, but not all of the posters here. I work with a 26 year old. He is always going 10+ over the posted speeds, doesn't slow down in construction zones, tailgates, honks his air horn a lot at other drivers, flashes his headlights and etc. I do none of that and I usually go a bit below the posted speed since it seems easier to maintain my proper following distance that way. He brags about how fast his truck can stop and such. I don't care, I wont do it. We get paid by the hour so there is no need to rush or be unsafe.

I could see pushing it a bit under the right circumstances but basically you're just asking for it when speeding. A ticket is the least of your worries...rear ending someone and/or disabling killing someone and having to pay for their care for the rest of your life is the big one. He will drive the truck with violations such as turn signals out, no license plate, bald tires, expired tags, he rarely checks his oil or does a proper pre trip. That's fine for him but its not me or who I am, I refuse to break the laws. Its my license and my living, my reputation and my record, and its spotless commercially.

When I was his age I got DUI's, speeding tickets, failure to appears, and all that so I cannot claim that I was perfect then, but I strive to be now. Just the other day I had a headlight out so I took a different truck. My boss was all ****y and I just had to stand my ground when he told me to just drive with the high beams on. Nope, I told him he or the other driver can do that but I am not going to, not going to break the law, not going to be a jerk with his high beams on, not going to jeopardize my safety, other drivers safety, or his company by doing things illegally. Next day my truck had a new headlight.

You really have to stand your ground in a lot of smaller and construction type companies, if you let them they will walk all over you to save 10 bucks, its ridiculous but its what it is. No job is worth your CDL , or another persons or even your own life. Lastly when we both drive somewhere like to a job an hour out of town, the younger guy goes his way and I go mine, and I am never more than a minute or 2 behind him getting to the job and I do it safely.

So for me its simply not worth it to break laws when driving a CMV , none of them. Don't be bullied into breaking laws. They don't care about you or your CDL, your future or your conscience. All they care about is to keep the money rolling into their greedy bottomless pockets. Drivers are expendable.

Phil

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

I also try to follow the speed limit pretty good. There are times when I'm loaded and going downhill I'll be over before the brakes catch me but I'm always less than 5 over the limit. In construction zones I personally go 5 under the limit and yeah I'm sure it irritates people but it's cheaper for me to go the speed limit than it is to speed and get a ticket. I mean if you think about it going 5 miles over the limit for 3 hours only puts you 15 miles ahead and there's just too much risk of getting caught and paying a fine and getting points on your license.

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