Do you feel that the average speeding ticket cost is a bit steep after you received one recently? Or maybe you’re just nervous about getting a speeding ticket, and you’d like to know how much to expect to pay. We will cover not only the average speeding ticket cost, but also the overall cost of a speeding ticket when you receive one.
The Average Cost of a Speeding Ticket
No matter how you look at it, a speeding ticket is going to cost you money. You will not only have to pay your fine to the Department of Motor Vehicles, but the ticket could also negatively impact your budget.
The Cost of a Speeding Ticket: The Trickle Effect
The costs of a speeding ticket trickle down throughout your life every time you receive one. People don’t realize how much even one traffic violation can change the cost of other things that seem unrelated to driving. Adding in a second speeding ticket within a few years can result in some additional costs, and they aren’t all financial. Among them are:
- Insurance rates for vehicles have increased
- Life insurance coverage increased
- Points added to your license
- If the violation is criminal speeding, there will be lawyer fees
- Attending court took time away from work
In the immediate aftermath of receiving a ticket, paying the fine is the most significant expense. As a result of a speeding ticket, your insurance premiums could increase by up to $2,000 to $4,000 per year. Teenagers may find it impossible to afford driving a car if they receive speeding tickets.
The Cost of the Fine
The first thing you’ll see when you receive that summons is the line that reveals the fine. The majority of people assume there is a mistake. The reason for this is that most states continue to increase fines for traffic violations every few years.
Additionally, fines increase exponentially based on the severity of the violation. The following are some examples from the State of Maine in 2009.
- Speeding between 1 and 9 mph over the speed limit: $119
- Overspeeding by 10 to 14 mph: $137.00
- $185.00 for speeding 15 to 19 mph over the limit
- $215.00 for speeding 20 to 24 mph over the limit
- Overspeeding by 25 to 29 mph: $263.00
If you add a school or construction zone to the mix, the fines become significantly higher. If you speed 15 to 19 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, you’ll pay $360. Traveling more than 29 mph over the speed limit is usually considered “criminal speeding,” and you could be fined over $500 and jailed.
Other states generally follow the same pricing structure – although some have lower fines and others have higher ones. Your fines will increase dramatically as your speed increases.
Increased Insurance Premiums
If you have an excellent driving record and a single ticket, you may not see an increase in your insurance premium with most insurance companies. In order to attract customers, more insurance companies offer a “ticket forgiveness” program to reward good drivers. The best rates are still available if you only have one record in the system in a few years.
However, if you receive a second or third ticket or are stopped and arrested for criminal speeding, all bets are off. It is possible to see an increase in your car insurance of a few hundred dollars a year if you have received multiple tickets. Speeding tickets that result in serious penalties, like criminal speeding, will result in your car insurance premiums increasing so much (into the thousands) that your initial fine will be a fraction of the overall cost.
Points Added to Your License
Speeding tickets are not only financially costly, but they also affect livelihood. To get to work, to visit family, and to enjoy a certain degree of freedom, you must drive. If you didn’t have a driving license, could you imagine what your life would be like? People who have been arrested for drunk driving live with that reality every day.
Getting caught speeding multiple times in a row could rack up so many points on your license (if your state uses a point system) that you could eventually have your license suspended. You also face the same penalties if you are arrested for criminal speeding. You can, however, improve your point level by taking a driving course.
Lawyer Fees and Lost Work Time
Few people have the time to spend an entire morning at the courthouse, whether they work a salary job or an hourly job. You may never have to go to court if you plead guilty and pay your fine for most minor speeding violations. You will have to find a way to get to court if you wish to plead not guilty.
You must attend court in person if you are facing more serious charges, such as criminal speeding. It’s obvious that entering the legal system and defending yourself are additional costs of a speeding ticket.
It’s obvious that receiving a speeding ticket has an astronomical financial impact when all costs are taken into account, whether they are financial or otherwise. Keeping your foot off the gas and adhering to the posted speed limit is the best way to avoid these costs. There is no point in speeding.