‘Tis The Season To Get A Speeding Ticket! Are You Next?
Yes, speeding tickets suck. And yes, they’re also a necessary deterrent; they come not just with fines and points on your license, but insurance rate hikes. This is also the time of year when more speeding tickets are issued, and you may be more likely to get one based on a few factors.
So, why is this time of year open season on drivers? And how could you be more likely to get a ticket? Well, there are several factors, which some police officer friends of mine recently let me in on. The most obvious is that it’s party season, with the Holidays and New Year's. And parties mean drinking, which means bad driving. There are more cops on the roads, and more cops means more chances of getting a ticket. Simple math. But what about your own situation? What are the circumstances that put you in a higher-risk category of getting a speeding ticket? Here are some questions that will help.
Where do you live?
This is not just party season; it’s also budget season. People in businesses everywhere are having huddled conversations with accountants and tax attorneys. And unfortunately, every state in America is also trying to balance the budget (or these days, get somewhere close to breaking even). If you happen to live in a state that’s got way more money problems than it should have (sorry Californians) then you’re going to be on the receiving end of some budget-boosting strategies. Enter the police force. They have the ability to create revenue for the state in the form of traffic violations. For example, the average traffic cop will cost a city about $75,000 per year in salary, bonuses, and benefits. This same police officer will make the city an average of $200,000 per year in traffic ticket fines. That’s $125,000 in pure profit!
Make no mistake, this is lucrative. Here are just a few stats I found on the kind of money this can bring in (and this is JUST for speeding tickets — this doesn’t include any other type of traffic violation):
- Over 100,000 people a day receive a speeding ticket in this country. That equates to over 41 million speeding tickets per year.
- One in every six drivers will get a speeding ticket this year.
- The average speeding ticket costs $150.00.
- 41,000,000 x 150.00 = $6,150,000,000! That’s right…over $6 BILLION.
- The average raise in insurance costs for one speeding ticket over the course of 3 years is $900.00.
- 41,000,000 x 900 = $36,900,000,000 in extra insurance money in 3 years.
- Over 95% of people who receive a speeding ticket never contest it and just pay the fine. That includes me by the way.
- The 5% who fight the ticket usually have their case dismissed and/or receive reduced charges that don’t get reported on their driving record. (Oh, and at least 50% of the time, the officer who gave you the ticket doesn’t show up.)
What do you drive?
AOL.com recently released a list of the top 10 makes and models of cars that have increased chances of getting a speeding ticket. If you’re on it (and if you drive a Scion, you probably are) then you increase your chances of getting the ticket. Scion drivers tend to be younger, preferring the cheaper, highly-customizable car. And the Hummer — well, it’s hard to miss one of these suckers.
- #9 (tied) Toyota Matrix: 2.64 times higher-than-average
- #9 (tied) Audi A4: 2.64 times higher-than-average
- #8 Subaru Outback: 2.66 times higher-than-average
- #7 Scion xA: 2.75 times higher-than-average
- #6 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG: 2.76 times higher-than-average
- #5 Toyota Camry Solara: 3.06 times higher-than-average
- #4 Mercedes-Benz CLK: 3.97 times higher-than-average
- #3 Scion xB: 4.03 times higher-than-average
- #2 Scion tC: 4.60 times higher-than-average
- #1 Hummer H2 / H3: 4.63 times higher-than-average
How old are you?
Hold your breath for this staggering stat. The age groups between 17 and 24 years of age receive the most speeding tickets. I know, I was shocked, too. I figured it would be retired nuns. But seriously, at this age the lack of road experience, the determination to disregard rules, and the attitude of thinking they will live forever, keeps this age group at the top of the speeding ticket pile.
What sex are you?
This one is all against men. First, men seem more willing to speed. Next, men have a harder time getting out of a ticket than women. I’m not saying why, but just ask around and see how many men compared to women have ever been let off with just a warning. And finally, more women than men are smart enough to fight the tickets. So, if you’re a guy, you’ve got it all working against you.
And finally…are you a doctor?
Doctors receive the most speeding tickets than any other profession. Maybe this has something to do with emergency calls. Maybe it just goes hand-in-hand with psyche of someone who wants to be a doctor. But, whatever the reason, if you answered yes to that question, your chances of getting a ticket just went up.
So, if you’re a 23 year old male doctor, living in California, driving a shiny Hummer H2, I’d say you may just be better of taking the bus for the next few weeks.
Have a safe holiday season everyone.