The True Cost of a Speeding Ticket


There is more cost of speeding ticket than just the fine imposed by the court. Before you just pay your ticet you need to evaluate the total cost of a speeding ticket. Firat call your auto insurance agent to see how much this ticket will cost you over the next three years. Then check to see if your state imposes a surcharge on speeding tickets. The court will not tell you about this extra charge. To date New York, New Jersey and Texas impose these fines each year for three years even on out of state drivers.

Have you noticed more autos on the side of the road with anofficer issuing the driver a speeding ticket? Have you seenmore trucks surrounded by DOT transport police? I surehave. There are several reasons for this increased activity.

One is that after 9/11 many departments have increasedpatrols. The additional police presence is to assure thepublic that efforts are being taken to prevent terroristattacks like the recent sniper killings. The other reason isthat cities and states are faced with budget deficits inthese tough economic times. Since traffic tickets are apolitically correct form of taxation, many jurisdictions areincreasing fines as a means of balancing the books.

A traffic officer will cost his department the average of$75,000 per year while he can be expected to issue between$150,000 to $200,000 in speeding ticket citations. There arefew businesses that can equal that rate of return. Sometowns like New Rome, Ohio and Waldo, Florida take in over70% of their entire town budget through speeding tickets.

What does this mean to you, the safe driver who has notreceived a traffic citation in years? It means that you arenow more likely than ever to see those dreaded blue lightsflashing in your rear view. If that does happen you need toknow that the true cost of a speeding ticket has changeddrastically in the last few years.

Consider Mary, a successful sales representative who enjoysthe perk of a company car. She travels extensively and hasreceived four speeding tickets in the last three years. Sheconsiders herself a safe driver and in each instance wastraveling with the flow of traffic on the interstate. Shehas 9 out of the 12 points on her driver’s license. Imagineher surprise when her company’s insurance carrier refused toallow Mary to drive a company car. The company obtainedsupplemental insurance but Mary had to pay the extra $1600.

Then there is Jeffrey, a CDL truck driver from Ohio who isan independent operator and owns his own truck. He drives150,000 miles per year and has five tickets on his record,none a serious violation. He is unable to obtain insurancethat he can afford. He is in the process of losing his truckto the finance company and does not know how he will supporthis family.

Families with teenagers may face an economic disaster if theteen driver receives a citation. One traffic ticket forrolling through a stop sign could cost as much as $3000 inincreased premiums over the three years it remains on theirrecord. The insurance industry considers young adults asteenagers until the age of 23.

The purpose of relating Mary and Jeffrey’s stories is notfor you to feel sorry for them. It is to impress upon youthe severe consequences that may result from a trafficticket. They did not realize the true cost of a speeding ticket until it was too late. It is important to obey all traffic laws, not justfor your physical protection but also for the health of yourpocketbook. I have found that many people are more concernedabout their pocketbook than their personal safety.

What should you do if you receive a citation? Never justpay a speeding ticket. Check with the clerk of court to seeif you are eligible for traffic school or deferment program. Many jurisdictions now accept online trafficschool. Check to see if this is available in your state at


If it is an out of state ticket you need to be aware that in most case the citation will be transferred to your home state and treated as if you received it in your state. Do not believe it when the officer encourages you to just pay the ticket with the assurance that it will not appear on your record.

If traffic school is not available then you or your attorneyneed to appear in court to contest the speeding ticket.Hiring an attorney may be your cheapest option when youconsider the additional cost of you insurance. Check withyour insurance agent to find out the consequences of theoriginal charge being entered on your driving record. Remember that insurance points are different from driver's license points.

One minor ticket may not increase your rates but two or more speeding tickets or one serious ticket and YOUR RATES WILL GO THRU THE ROOF. Fight back by applying for a new policy right after receiving a ticket, but well before the ticket has been decided in court. The easiest way is to apply for multiple quotes ONLINE.

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Fight Your Speeding Ticket Books

There are a lot of books online and in print that promise you can beat your ticket if you will just purchase their program, speeding ticket case dismissed, speeding ticket excuses or whatever. Most of these are a complete waste of money and only guaranteed to give the judge and officer a good laugh. I have reviewed almost all of these and can only recommend two. They are Fight Your Ticket and Win in California and Beat Your Ticket: Go To Court & Win by David Brown.

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