Hampton Roads has an interesting analysis in the Pilot Online about the number of speeding tickets issued for travelling at rates 10mph over the limit or less.
It is widely believed that police are unlikely to pull you over for speeding if you are only going 10mph over the limit, and their analysis appears to bear that out. According to their research, only three tenths of 1 percent of tickets issues where for less than that speeding threshold.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. You are probably most likely to get tagged with low grade speeding in school zones with lots of kids around, which makes sense.
Virginia is known for some of the toughest speeding laws in the nation, with criminal charges for driving 20mph over the limit, or over 80mph, known as “reckless by speed“. Reckless driving in Virginia is the same seriousness as a drunk driving charge – a Class 1 Misdemeanor offense.
But it is comforting to know that you are very unlikely to get a speeding citation for under 10mph over the limit. The practical reason for this isn’t so much that the police are just willing to give you a pass. It’s more likely if they want to pull over speeders, it frankly isn’t hard to find people travelling faster than that, so they don’t waste their time with the very minor infractions in most cases.
And it’s certainly true that speedier drivers, especially chronic ones, are a bigger threat to public safely, and more worth the time and effort for an officer to stop them and issue a traffic ticket.
But Virginia is probably the last place that you want to push the limit much beyond that, given the significant legal problems you face when you up the ante.