Suppose there is a law which most people routinely ignore, and the government rarely if ever enforces it. Does the principle of dina demalchusa dina still require you to obey this law?


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I heard quoted from several poskim, one of whom was R' Moshe Heinemann (I don't remember who the other was) that even according to the opinions that Dina D'Malchusa applies beyond property and monetary law, it is permissible to go 8 miles over the speed limit (obviously this number would be case sensitive) because the police do not care when you are within that range of the speed limit (seemingly these poskim are assuming that is either safe or within shomer p'saim Hashem, that something which may be dangerous but is common practice is not a violation of your responsibility to take care of yourself).

This seems to be saying that a law which is not enforced is not required to be obeyed.

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    If the police "do not care", then they (the police) are assuming that it is not dangerous. If conditions get dangerous (such as slippery roads) then they are allowed to ticket even below the speed limit and they do react. The interstates (for example) have been engineered for speeds of about 70 miles an hour and the 55 mph speed limits were a political decision. That is why the limits were raised on some roads back to 65. May 19, 2014 at 22:09
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    @sabbahillel The question is usually whether it is financially worth their time to give you a $40 ticket or keep driving and find someone that they can give a $200 ticket. I don't think it is a psak on how dangerous it is. In the neighboring county of where I grew up, they did give tickets for one mile over, I don't think they had a machlokes metzius about how dangerous it is. May 20, 2014 at 2:15

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