A whopping 41 million people receive speeding tickets annually, according to a site called Statistic Brain, which lists the Highway Patrol as their source. What’s more, $6 billion is paid out in speeding tickets each year. That’s a lot of scratch, America.
But these numbers are not divided equally between states. Some states are more ticket-happy than others, and the average cost of a speeding ticket can range from $50 to $2,500. It seems that where you drive really can influence your chances of getting a ticket.
Top 10 ticket-happy states
Here are the top 10 states where you’re most likely to see flashing lights in your rearview mirror:
- New York
- Virginia (sorry, lovers)
- North Carolina
Average cost of speeding tickets by state
The total cost of the average speeding ticket is $150, but maximum fines for speeding vary by more than $2,400 between states. Interestingly, some of the states where you’re most likely to receive a ticket also have the highest fines.
Most expensive states for speeding tickets
Virginia and Illinois have the most expensive speeding fines, with the maximum set at $2,500. Following that are Georgia and Nevada, with maximum fines at $2,000. Ouch.
Least expensive states for speeding tickets
Tennessee, in contrast, is the cheapest state in which to get a ticket, with a maximum fine of $50. Idaho, Kentucky, and Colorado are the next cheapest with their $100 maximum fines.
Speeding ticket stories
And now … for your internet-surfing pleasure, here are a few noteworthy tidbits of speeding ticket trivia:
- Who’s afraid of Virginia patrols?
In March 2010, Virginia proved itself worthy of being the number 7 spot on the ticket-happy list by issuing 7,016 traffic tickets in a single weekend. Of those, 3,536 were for speeding.
- Getting less ticket-happy in Massachusetts
As the ninth most likely state to hand out tickets, Massachusetts reported a 35 percent decrease in tickets in recent years. According to Boston.com, 60,000 fewer speeding tickets were issued in 2011 than in 2008.
- Speed checked by radar? You betcha.
During August and September of 2012, Wisconsin State Patrol planes circling the Madison sky resulted in 2,197 traffic stops and 1,662 total citations — 1,324 of these tickets were issued for speeding.
- The most tickets in one day
In 2009, Elvis Alonzo Barrett scored himself 50 traffic tickets in a single day. Among the traffic crimes he committed were not wearing a seat belt, hitting parked cars, and yes, speeding.
- Fastest speeding ticket in the world
The fastest speeding ticket ever was issued to the driver of a Koenigsegg CCX (a fancy Swedish sports car) for driving 242 mph in a 75 mph zone. Of course, it happened in Texas. Of course.
How to avoid tickets
Whether you live in a highly ticketed state or not, there’s one simple thing you can do to avoid the major bummer that comes with getting a speeding ticket: don’t speed. It’s pretty much as simple as that.