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Old 08-09-2011, 08:39 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,706 times
Reputation: 11
Question Been caught at 120MPH in N.East USA: What would happen ?

Hi all.

I have been searching through the internet about US traffic laws since I am moving to the US to pursue my graduate studies. As I always do, I plan to drive safely, but I plan to explore those beautiful highways in the Northeast.

What would happen if I am caught at 120MPH, in particular in MA, NH, VT or NY states ? Would I only pay a fine or lose my license right away ? Would I be obliged to go to the court ? Can I be jailed ?

How speeding is morally seen in the NE USA ? If you drive fast, but without disturbing other drivers, would I still be seen as a criminal, imoral foreigner ? I am asking this because in my country it is consider very stupid to drive, even slowly, while talking on the phone or drinking, like the Americans do. On the other hand, driving fast but safely, in an adequate road and with an adequate car is ok, although you can still pay a fine.

Thanks for your attention !
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
1,604 posts, read 1,748,933 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il_Capo View Post
Hi all.

I have been searching through the internet about US traffic laws since I am moving to the US to pursue my graduate studies. As I always do, I plan to drive safely, but I plan to explore those beautiful highways in the Northeast.

What would happen if I am caught at 120MPH, in particular in MA, NH, VT or NY states ? Would I only pay a fine or lose my license right away ? Would I be obliged to go to the court ? Can I be jailed ?

How speeding is morally seen in the NE USA ? If you drive fast, but without disturbing other drivers, would I still be seen as a criminal, imoral foreigner ? I am asking this because in my country it is consider very stupid to drive, even slowly, while talking on the phone or drinking, like the Americans do. On the other hand, driving fast but safely, in an adequate road and with an adequate car is ok, although you can still pay a fine.

Thanks for your attention !
Well if you are on the Mass turnpike, and staying in the left lane, 120 is about the speed you will be doing.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,739 posts, read 35,885,429 times
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The northeast is divided into about ten state jurisdictions, each of which would have its own unique way of dealing with you. First of all, the Northeast is a very congested traffic environment, with insufficient lanes to allow you any opportunity to drive that fast, except maybe at 3:00 AM. Every available traffic lane will be clogged with cars driving at the flow-of-traffic speed. In order to even exceed 100 mph for a moment, you would need to keep swerving in and out of traffic lanes, and your police citation would not be for speeding, but for reckless driving. A driver who is either eating or talking on his cell phone would, after a very short time, inattentively wander into your lane, totalling both your cars, and your speeding ticket would be the least of your concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsfan20 View Post
Well if you are on the Mass turnpike, and staying in the left lane, 120 is about the speed you will be doing.
Or, just follow a car with Quebec plates (if you can keep up with him).

Last edited by jtur88; 08-09-2011 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:12 AM
PDD
 
5,743 posts, read 5,483,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Il_Capo View Post
Hi all.

I have been searching through the internet about US traffic laws since I am moving to the US to pursue my graduate studies. As I always do, I plan to drive safely, but I plan to explore those beautiful highways in the Northeast.

What would happen if I am caught at 120MPH, in particular in MA, NH, VT or NY states ? Would I only pay a fine or lose my license right away ? Would I be obliged to go to the court ? Can I be jailed ?

How speeding is morally seen in the NE USA ? If you drive fast, but without disturbing other drivers, would I still be seen as a criminal, imoral foreigner ? I am asking this because in my country it is consider very stupid to drive, even slowly, while talking on the phone or drinking, like the Americans do. On the other hand, driving fast but safely, in an adequate road and with an adequate car is ok, although you can still pay a fine.

Thanks for your attention !
Thanks for the warning. You do realize the roads in the Northeast are very crowded and driving 120 MPH on any Interstate you will be like a pinball bouncing off cars.
We already have plenty of moron drivers so you will not be alone.

Anybody driving 120 on a regular basis while pursuing a graduate degree might have that diploma traveling back home with them in the same box.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Lost in Space
348 posts, read 445,000 times
Reputation: 753
You would be cited with Driving to Endanger/Reckless Operation which would carry a minimum license suspension of 30 days to a max of about 180 days, a hefty fine, and would result in a criminal record.

You also run the risk of getting big time points on your license. Once you hit a threshold, (and you'd be close to if if you get a reckless op), you can lose your license through an administrative license suspension.

If your need for excessive speed were to cause bodily injury, it would be bumped to a felony Driving to Endanger which could mean prison time.

Actual charges, fines, etc. vary between the New England states. Note that driving to endanger laws are somewhat broad and therefore the officer will have a say into the actual degree of the offense (e.g. reckless v. negligent, which matters in some states).

Point is: don't make it a mission to enjoy the "open" roads in New England at excessive speads. The only thing you'll be doing to adding to the bottom line of a lawyer you'll have to hire to try to avoid the stiffer end of the punishment spectrum.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:43 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 15,649,124 times
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In many states you could be arrested and have your car impounded if you are caught going that fast on a public road.

Basically, deciding to drive 120mph just because is pretty stupid. Stick with the flow of traffic, maybe open it up a bit when conditions permit, but don't be stupid. Also, contrary to what you have heard, most roads in the NE US are not exactly prime driving roads and are full of potholes, expansion joints, ruts, debris, etc. None of that is conducive to driving at 120, at least if you value your life.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:48 AM
 
29,316 posts, read 17,450,760 times
Reputation: 14339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il_Capo View Post
Hi all.

I have been searching through the internet about US traffic laws since I am moving to the US to pursue my graduate studies. As I always do, I plan to drive safely, but I plan to explore those beautiful highways in the Northeast.

What would happen if I am caught at 120MPH, in particular in MA, NH, VT or NY states ? Would I only pay a fine or lose my license right away ? Would I be obliged to go to the court ? Can I be jailed ?

How speeding is morally seen in the NE USA ? If you drive fast, but without disturbing other drivers, would I still be seen as a criminal, imoral foreigner ? I am asking this because in my country it is consider very stupid to drive, even slowly, while talking on the phone or drinking, like the Americans do. On the other hand, driving fast but safely, in an adequate road and with an adequate car is ok, although you can still pay a fine.

Thanks for your attention !
Each state has different rules, if you google around you will find them...maybe even a neat little summary.

At that speed I would FULLY expect you to be jailed, fined etc. and in SOME states would possibly get a FELONY charge brought against you which could screw over your studies in the US.

Unless you have the *right* car and the highways are completely empty you have a death wish.

P.S. Drinking and driving and cell phone use are pretty much universal. Please please tell me you aren't from Italy and making those types of statements lol.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,466 posts, read 4,839,664 times
Reputation: 2709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Drinking and driving and cell phone use are pretty much universal. Please please tell me you aren't from Italy and making those types of statements lol.
They curbed it down a lot in Norway, $500 dollar fines and 2 points on your license tends to do that.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:19 PM
 
861 posts, read 1,087,901 times
Reputation: 898
Not sure what the penalty is in the north west but here in IL. 30 over is considered reckless driving and you can lose your car, license and do time in jail. A good friend of mine was caught doing 80 in a 45 (construction site at 3am) and lost his license, car and paid huge fines.

On the other hand I was pulled over in Nevada two summers ago. Cop said He clocked me at 125 but let me go with a verbal warning to keep it under 100. It was 7pm and I hadn't seen another car in 30 mins even at 125+ mph
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,460 posts, read 13,776,933 times
Reputation: 4402
The only part of the country where you can even physically (though still illegally) drive that fast over long distances is in the West (Nevada in particular, also some of the desert parts of Utah, Arizona, California), driving through the desert on a 2 lane back road in the middle of nowhere. I also know people who have driven almost that fast on I-70 in Utah heading from Denver to Las Vegas. I wouldn't recommend it. Northeast-- forget it.
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