Few things are less fun than seeing red and blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror when you're trying to drive somewhere in a hurry.
Maybe you made a mistake and weren't watching your speed; maybe you were brazenly violating the law. Either way, seeing those lights means you're probably getting a ticket and your wallet is about to take a hit.
One in every six Americans gets a speeding ticket every year -- that's about 41 million tickets a year and 100,000 tickets per day [source: Mr. Ticket]. When the police stop drivers who are exceeding the speed limit, they're working to keep our roadways safe, but it's no secret that tickets are a prominent source of revenue for state and local governments.
While the cost of a speeding ticket varies by region and offense, most sources say that the average cost of a speeding ticket is $150, including court fees [source: The Auto Insurance]. In Texas, speeding 15 miles per hour (24.1 kilometers per hour) over the limit can include fees of more than $240, and speeding 30 miles per hour (48.2 kilometers per hour) over the limit can mean having to pay $300 or more [source: Driving University.com].
You may also have to pay additional costs, such as opting for defensive driving school in order to dismiss the ticket, or for some other form of traffic school. Trying to dismiss a ticket is often the best way to go. If you get convicted of a speeding ticket and it goes on your driving record, your insurance premium could increase hundreds of dollars each year.
There's a good reason for this, too -- one study indicates that over a three-year period, drivers who have a speeding ticket on their record have a crash rate 50 percent higher than drivers with a clean record [source: Solomon].
As far as avoiding tickets, a good radar detector can cost $150 to $200 or more, which pays for itself after one or two "avoided" tickets. But it doesn't help you to become a safer driver. So, what's the best way to avoid speeding tickets? Not speeding, of course.
For more information about speeding tickets and other related topics, follow the links below.
- How Car Financing Works
- How Car Rebates and Incentives Work
- How to Calculate Fuel Cost
- How to Figure Out the Cost of Taxes on Your Car
- How much liability car insurance do I need?
- What is the actual cost of a standard car loan?
- What is the actual cost of auto insurance?
- What is the actual cost of roadside assistance?
- What is the average cost of a parking ticket?
- DrivingUniversity.com. "Speeding Ticket Fines." (Aug.19, 2010)http://texas.drivinguniversity.com/speeding-tickets/speeding-ticket-fines/
- Mr. Ticket. "Speeding Ticket Statistics." (Aug.18, 2010)http://www.4mrticket.com/speeding-ticket-statistics.html
- Solomon, Christopher. "It pays to avoid a speeding ticket -- or fight one." MSN Money Central. (Aug.18, 2010)http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourCar/ItPaysToAvoidaSpeedingTicket.aspx
- The Auto Insurance. "How much is that speeding ticket really worth?" (Aug.19, 2010)http://www.theautoinsurance.com/how-much-is-that-speeding-ticket-really-worth_2010-05-18/