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:

  1. Ohio
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Texas
  6. Georgia
  7. Virginia (sorry, lovers)
  8. North Carolina
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Connecticut

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.
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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.

Related links

See more driving citation statistics from Statistic Brain
Check out our infographic on speed limits by state
Find out about some of the most common ways to get pulled over

Safe and smart | Travel hacks

about Heidi

Heidi brings 8 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. As a bona fide lit nerd and sucker for anachronism, she spends her days trying to incorporate Hemingway, Frost, and Shakespeare into car insurance (with varying degrees of success).