9 Surprising Facts about Speeding Tickets

#1 The First Ever Speeding Ticket was Slow

Speeding tickets have been around since May 20, 1899.  That speeding ticket was in the Supreme Court of New York, in downtown Manhattan.

The driver was speeding 12 miles per hour in 8 miles per hour zone.  He was arrested.  He was imprisoned.  He was released a few days later.


#2 The World Speeding Ticket Record is Recent, and Huge!

What appears to be a new world record was set this year by a 25 year old British tourist in the country of Dubai.  He racked up 33 speeding violations in just 4 hours on July 31, 2018.   He was driving a yellow Lamborghini Huracan.  He is facing over $45,000.00 in speeding ticket fines.  He speed ranged from 78 mph to 142 mph, depending upon the ticket.

Dubai has several interesting aspects that allow for this record.

  • First, they typically do not have individual police officers pulling people over for citations.  Rather, they have cameras that document the speed, driver, and vehicle, and then automatically issue the ticket.
  • Second, Dubai is a relatively small area with large resources.  Therefore, there are many speeding cameras.  There is a small amount of space to get caught.  It is possible to get caught on many occasions in a short period of time.
  • Third, Dubai as a country has what is called in rem jurisdiction over speeding tickets.  This means the property (the Lamborghini race car) is primarily found to be at fault rather than the driver himself.  This explains why the Lamborghini remains parked in front of the tourist’s hotel.  Any one claiming it also must claim the tickets.

This world record may stand.  This is an average of getting a speeding ticket every 7 minutes and 27 seconds, without a break, for 4 consecutive hours.  This is a cost of $187.50 per minute for speeding tickets for 4 consecutive hours.  This record may stand.

#3 A Huge Number of Speeding Tickets get Written

42 million speeding tickets are issued in the United States on a yearly basis.  That is 36 percent of drivers, assuming one speeding ticket per driver.  In reality, 20.6 percent of drivers average a speeding ticket per year.  Each day, over 112,328 speeding tickets are cited from municipal police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and highway patrol troopers. There are 196 million licensed drivers in the United States.

#4 Speeding Actually Is Dangerous

Speeding has a direct impact on auto accidents.  Speeding is a cause in nearly 30 percent of all wrongful death auto accident collisions.  Speeding contributes to cause over 9,944 deaths per year.

#5 Speeding is Big Money Lost; Big Money Gained

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration along with its Traffic Security Administration estimates cost at $41,000,000,000.00 (41 billion dollars) per year in auto accident damages in the United States contributed by speeding.  Governments, be they city, county, or state collect $6,232,000,000.00 (6.2 billion dollars) in revenue from speeding tickets each year.

#6      Police officers apparently Do Give tickets to raise money for their town?

The process is called “fundraising.”  It is a term for when local city police officers pull over more people and give out more tickets (rather than warnings) to raise money for their local government.  This is distinguished from giving speeding tickets for safety or for law enforcement.

A study by George Mason University looked to over 60,000 tickets issued since the year 2001.  Dr. Michael Makowsky and Professor Thomas Stratmann looked to this in their similar article “Political Economy at Any Speed:  What Determines Traffic Citations”  It was found that there is a statistical link between city finances and the likelihood that any city police department will issue a ticket.  Money matters.  The study focused on when police officers issued warnings versus issued speeding tickets.  It was found that when city finances are low, traffic ticket issuing goes up.

#7 Speeding Ticket Costs Vary Wildly

The average cost for a speeding ticket, assuming it is a guilty plea and a conviction, is $152.00 per speeding ticket.  Maximum speeding ticket fine potential varies considerably by state.

The most expensive states are as follows:

  1. Virginia – $1,350.00
  2. North Carolina – $1,000.00
  3. Georgia – $1,000.00
  4. Illinois – $1,000.00
  5. New York – $1,000.00
  6. Nevada – $1,000.00

The least expensive state jurisdictions for a speeding ticket are as follows:

  1. Tennessee – $50.00
  2. Kentucky – $100.00
  3. Idaho – $100.00
  4. Colorado – $100.00

#8 Some Police Mistakes Do Not Matter

What kinds of mistakes can a traffic ticket police officer make and yet still have a good ticket against you?  The primary, “non-fatal” speeding ticket mistakes are as follows:

  1. A misspelled name
  2. Inaccurate address
  3. Inaccurate driver’s license number
  4. Inaccurate license’s plate
  5. Wrong vehicle make or wrong vehicle model

#9 Some Police Mistakes Can Get a Ticket Dismissed

Whether a traffic ticket is dismissed at trial is up to the particular judge in the jurisdiction in which you received your ticket.  However, some types of mistakes made by traffic ticket police officers are most likely to result in a dismissal of your traffic ticket.  The most likely mistakes causing a dismissal are as follows:

  1. Police officer fails to write down the speed
  2. Police officer fails to sign the traffic ticket
  3. Police officer fails to write down the name of the person who got the ticket
  4. Inaccurate fine amount written on the speeding ticket

What Should You Do when you get a Speeding Ticket?

From a financial stand point it is always better to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to amend your speeding tickets to non-moving violations.  These will keep these off your criminal record.  You can avoid a notation on your driving record.  You can avoid the assessment of points against your driver’s license.  You can save yourself money off of insurance premium rises.  With few exceptions, it is always better to have a traffic ticket lawyer amend a speeding ticket.

Author:  Matt Hamilton