Driving at speeds beyond the posted limit is obviously against the law. There is however, plenty of subjectivity tied to what level of "safety" can be associated with driving below, at, or above the posted limit. To participate as a reasonable member of society, we all recognize that there needs to be some boundaries. If one should overstep, then one must understand and accept the consequences of their choice.
That being said, I think most V owners would agree with me that when we decided to possess one of these high performance machines, we were pretty much expecting to be spending varying amounts of time "over" the "limit". But I also believe that we understand that the capabilities of this vehicle are greater and thus in many respects "safer" than the majority of other transportation modes on the road. The timing and level of respect paid to the V's capabilities, your own level of driving expertise, the conditions at hand, other motorist and yes, "the law" are the difference between a safe V driver with a clean or nearly clean DMV record and one with "issues".
With respect to KTSwanson's inquiry about other measures to take besides a good radar detector (absolute neccessity) and eyes wide open, my best advice follows. It has worked well and is applied with the knowledge that the V is capable of very high speeds, but those should be saved for the track. Even so, those of us that drive one know that we will be exercising a "spirited" pace at times. Here goes my defense plan:
On the expressway, the opportunity to cut time to your destination (or just enjoy the V's charms) is when you can judge with high confidence that certain elements are predictable with regard to outcome. Fundamental Element - Visual Awarness. What you can't see can hurt you. Instant-On will tag you almost every time. So if you want to push it, the first rule is never use your cruise control at a setting over 4 MPH above the posted limit.
Next rule is have some light traffic present. John law will be looking periodically at targets as they become available. If your the only schmuck on the road, your also the only "bait". Better to get a detector chirp from the dude ahead of you then when the beam is bouncing off YOUR mesh grill! Enhancement of this principle is the exploitation of a "rabbit". When someone else wants to go fast, hang behind close enough to maintain visual contact, but far enough to get a warning when he gets "shot". This rule is absolutely essential at night, when your vision is dramatically reduced. In fact, travelling more than 5mph over the limit at night without a rabbit is pretty much asking for it. I think this is where many make the mistake of relying on the detector to much.
Next rule is to coast it down towards the limit when you are approaching potential "targeting" sites or "traps". Cresting a hill or overpass, closing in on a connecting access lane (usually marked with a small sign telling you that only authorized vehicle may use it), a bend in the road that shortens your sight-line, an overpass bridge with a nice concrete supporting structure that will hide a police cruiser, all common and well used examples. Another area to pay attention to is the on-ramp. ALWAYS check your rear veiw mirror as you pass by EVERY on-ramp to assess the threat of any vehicle that will now be following you. Which brings up the next rule...
Make it a HABIT to check your mirror every 15 - 20 seconds, more often as traffic density increases. A LOT of tickets result not from radar but from an officer pacing the violator from behind for SEVERAL MILES. Don't let ANYBODY sneak up on you, always be aware of your surroundings. That means you need to constantly "check your six" - who's back there?
Another rule is to constantly assess the probability of vehicles travelling both in your direction, and in the opposite bound lanes as to weather or not they may be traffic enforcement types. If it looks like a cop car, it probably is. Emergency Light bars or bubbles are obvious, but there are plenty of stealthy plain jane squads on the road to decieve and surprise. Look for typical paint schemes and markings, decals, spotter lamps mounted next ot the OSRV mirror, extra anttena, wider than usuall tires, government issued license plates, hardware in the vehicle interior such as lights or mesh barriers. All are signals to watch for. The tough ones are the special issue high speed pursuit units that are often very nondescript. These guys are after YOU. Hope they don't ever use the V for this duty, It would be a major WTF.
We have all read about, seen on TV or heard details about elaborate speed traps (such as "highway workers" with hand helds). This is a matter of personal suspicion and proximity to a known location that has exercised this tactic in the past. Not the standard method, but it could happen. Better to make sure if your not willing to find out when you see the County's Finest bearing down from behind.
Last note here, some enforcement locals will utilize surveillance aircraft. If you witness a small airplane or helicopter flying parrallel to the roadway, it might just be timing your progress to determine your rate of speed. Get clear before you put the extra effort on the go pedal.
Next Fundemental Element - Interaction with other motorist. Don't underestimate the potential for some PO'd guy to route a call to the nearest authorities 'cause you just blew by him at a speed differential that is more than half the limit. Point here is - do not be excessive. When you suddenly appear out of nowhere, it can and does rattle other drivers. Some people might even loose control of their vehicle in extreme cases. And you never know when someone is going to merge into the passing lane WITHOUT checking their mirror properly. Another chance for an unsuspecting motorist to swerve or have a major lane departure.
The way to do it is to overtake other vehicles at a rate where you can take safe evasive action if neccessary, and also don't tick off the other guy as if you were some speed crazed adolescent. Once you clear you can lower the hammer until the next challenge. This method allows a safer transition when mingling with the traffic. There is no reason to not remain courteous, plenty of reason to remain alert.
While on this topic - careful with the tailgating or sending the "move-out-of-my-way" signals that we all send. Believe me I am the King of Frustration with all the left-hand-lane morons out there. Unfortunately, this is not the German Autobahn we are using, it is the US interstate. Remember, anyone with a cell phone and a tag number could ruin your day. Be patient.
With regard to driving over the posted limit on secondary roads, the above applies, but the variation in where the enforcement is and how they operate increases the risk of being pulled over and cited. There are of course additional risks related to the overall environment that need to be considered and respected. As far as city streets, thats asking for it as well.
These are just a few tips that come to mind. I can't say that I've never been ticketed for speed violations 'cause I have. But its been very rare over a 30 year span of driving, and when I have, it's because I violated one or more of the above. You can drive the V on public roads and enjoy it's high capability without exploring it's limits or risking injury to yourself or others - just respect the conditions of the moment and leave room for error.
BTW, zero tickets in the V, put on 6000 miles from mid April to end of October (car is in storage now until 4/06). I have routinely made 240 mile trip from my drive west of Lansing MI to the other side of Mackinac Bridge in under three hours safely and without incident. The V doesn't attract attention from the law like a few other cars with this performance level, so that helps too.
Interested to hear comments and contributions, none of this is exceptional, just basic common sense. The trick is to make it part of your driving habit, as it results in a more aware and prepared pilot, as well as getting more enjoyment out of your driving experience.