WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A spokesman with the North Carolina Department of Transportation told WECT a speed enforcement campaign starting Thursday morning was misconstrued in a story written by a Raleigh-market television station.
The campaign is operating under the tagline "Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine."
In a press release sent Thursday morning, spokesman Jonathan Bandy wrote that the campaign, "zeros in on drivers traveling over the posted speed limit. Many Americans believe they won't be ticketed if they drive within a 'buffer zone' above the posted speed limit."
Bandy said he pulled that language verbatim from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration's website, and the purpose of this campaign is to target speeders like they have with every speed enforcement campaign every year.
"The intention of this campaign was to never have a story that ABC 11 ran that people will get pulled for going one to nine miles over the speed limit," Bandy said. "But the speed limit is the law, and people should abide by it."
According to Bandy, the campaign is the same one they've always used, it's just operating under a new name. The former name, "No Need to Speed," became trademarked.
"The entire point of this is to keep people safe," Bandy explained. "We are using high-visibility enforcement so drivers will obey the signs and reduce their speed."
First Sergeant Troy Pope of the State Highway Patrol said his troopers are aware of the program and they stick to the idea of troopers issuing citations for "clear-cut and substantial violations."
Pope said troopers must assess each circumstance and decide for themselves if issuing a citation is justified.
Bandy also said that even though the intention of the campaign was wrongly-interpreted, he's glad it received mass attention.
"The point of a marketing campaign is to get the hype and notice," Bandy said. "The good thing is people will be thinking about speeding today."
When asked about clarifying the campaign to the public, Bandy said the NCDOT Twitter will "probably tweet today."