We speed. We all speed. As a matter fact, if you are driving in New Jersey and doing 65 miles per hour in a 65 zone, you are causing a potentially hazardous situation.

But the question is and has always been, how fast am I supposed to drive? I remember I received a ticket at the age of 17 after having had my license for exactly two months. I was doing 86 mph in a 55 mph zone. The police officer said to me, “What were you thinking?” And I answered, in all seriousness, “Well I know you can speed but I didn’t know how much.”

The amount we speed comes from a combination of things: Intuition, aversion to risk, experience. But there is a more important factor at play here and that is what is the number least likely to get you into trouble?

I have spoken with police officers over the years about this, many times during an actual traffic stop where I was being pulled over for speeding. I always ask the question: “Come on officer, tell the truth. What’s the trade secret the inside story. What is the magic number?” Here, I am assuming a 65 mph zone.

I remember one state trooper telling me “just keep it under 80 and you’ll be OK ”(assuming the road is 65 mph). Another time a trooper said “nobody’s going to waste his time for anything over 75.”

So the magic number seems to be between 75 and 80. I have opted to gamble for the upper number. I generally set my cruise control to 79, and unless the flow of traffic dictates otherwise, I feel like I am safe from pesky police traffic stops. Others have said the number is closer to 85, especially on the NJ Turnpike, but I don’t wanna risk the wrath of a not so nice trooper in a bad mood.

So 79 it is!

Now, since I’ve never consulted a police officer about other speed limits, I’m going to have to do some math for other speed limits!

Considering that 80 is about 23 percent more than 65, we’re going to apply that formula to find out how fast you can drive in a 50 mph zone. That would work out to about 11 or 12 miles over the limit, so using that strategy, you should keep it about 61 or 62 mph in a 50.

Then you decide if you want to apply this mathematical formula to other speed limits. This is all assuming my math is correct, and that’s a HUUUGE assumption since I suck at math.

Another disclaimer: This is all well and good, until you find a cop who doesn’t subscribe to my theory! And listen, if you get pulled over and ticketed for doing 79, in an 80, I hold myself not responsible.

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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