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How Much Over the Speed Limit Can You Go?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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Some states allow leeway for speeding; others don’t. So, how much over the speed limit can you actually go? We break down the details here.

So you’re cruising down the highway in your car, enjoying the scenery and the music blasting from your speakers. You keep an eye on the speed limit and start to push it just slightly above the limit… and before you know it, you’ve been pulled over for speeding!

You could always argue that going slightly above the speed limit is barely a cause for a ticket. It’s not like you were endangering anyone! Whether or not that argument works depends on a number of factors – including the discretion of the officer who pulled you over and the state you are driving in.

How much over the speed limit can you go?

Technically speaking, there is a speed ‘limit’ for a reason – so that you don’t go above it! According to the law in most states, going even 1 mph above the speed limit is enough to get you a speeding ticket.¬†

However, things do work differently in the real world. Police officers often practice discretion when it comes to speeding tickets. Besides the fact that it’s hard for them to chase down every vehicle going a bit above the limit, the speedometer tolerance could also vary by a few mph.

To be safe, always stick to a few mph below the speed limit. You won’t always have great luck when pulled over for a speeding ticket.

How much over the speed limit can you go

Is the 10% speeding rule true?

A common myth is that speed trap cameras will often ignore vehicles going roughly 5-10 mph above the posted speed limit. Another ‘unwritten rule’ bandied about is the ‘10% rule’ or the ‘10% plus 2’ rule, which claims that if the posted speed limit is 30 mph, you won’t be fined as long as you stay under 35 mph.

We hate to break it to you, but such ‘rules’ have no basis in regular law. In fact, they’re more like guidelines imparted to police officers so that they can gauge which vehicles are worth pulling over!¬†

In cities like Chicago, there are strict fines imposed depending on how much you were speeding over the limit. Going more than 6 mph over the limit can get you a $35 fine while going more than 10 mph over can get you a $100 fine.

What speed will trigger a speed camera?

Speed cameras are calibrated to have a tolerance of roughly 2-3 mph over the posted speed limit, but often only trigger if you travel 10-12 mph above the limit. So if you’re traveling at 40 mph or more in a 30 mph zone, it will trigger the speed camera.

The average speed limits in most states of the US are:

  • Residential zones: 25 mph
  • Rural highways: 65 mph
  • Rural interstate highways: 70 mph

However, these often vary by 5-10 mph, give or take, based on the state.

Also read: Do speeding tickets affect insurance?

How far do speed cameras detect?

Some speed cameras can detect speeding cars from up to 1/4th of a mile away, while others will be triggered even if they are 1/10th of a mile away.

Is speeding legal when passing other cars?

Every driver knows how frustrating it is to get caught behind a slow car – or, god forbid, even a semi-truck cruising along lethargically! Your first instinct would be to speed up and pass the slow car. But what if you’re already at the speed limit?

Some states allow you to cross the speed limit by 10-15 mph while passing other slower cars. However, this isn’t an instituted rule across all states, and you may have to explain the situation if pulled over by the law. Remember, speeding is never endorsed by any state law, regardless of the situation.

Does speeding matter to car insurance companies?

Yes! The number of speeding tickets you rack up significantly affects the auto insurance premium you need to pay. Safe drivers are less likely to file claims and offer less risk to insurance providers.  On the other hand, car insurance is more expensive for drivers with a history of speeding.

How much over the speed limit can you go


You might get more reasonable car insurance rates if you have a spotless driving record. Additionally, insurance firms offer discounts to cautious and safe drivers. If you meet the requirements for defensive driving and safe driver discounts, you can save at least 20% on your auto insurance premiums.

Also read: How long do speeding tickets stay on your insurance record?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you go 10 over the speed limit in Florida?

  • If you’re going up to 5 mph over the speed limit in Florida, you may be let off with a warning (unless it’s a school zone or construction zone)
  • Going 10 over the limit can result in a fine of between $200-230.
  • Going 15 over the limit can get you a fine of $250-$370.
  • Driving 30 mph over the speed limit is classified as a felony and is a criminal offense.

Can you go 10 over the speed limit in Georgia?

  • Driving 5 mph over the speed limit in Georgia can result in a $25 fine
  • Driving 10-14 mph over the limit in Georgia can get you a $100 fine
  • Speeding 14-19 mph over the limit can result in a $125 fine
  • Speeding 19-24 mph over the limit can result in $150 fine
  • Driving more than 25 mph over the limit will get you $500 or more in fines

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