Until self-driving cars completely take over for humans, something that could still be decades away, police will probably continue to hand out speeding tickets, which are an important source of funding for many departments struggling with shrinking budgets. But surprisingly, the cost of receiving a speeding ticket can vary significantly from state to state.
According to a report from WalletHub that was shared with Bloomberg, Delaware and Colorado are the most expensive states to be caught speeding or driving recklessly. And Arizona, New Mexico and California weren't far behind. But when it comes to the highest costs that drivers face, Oregon issues the heaviest fines for reckless driving, topping out at $6,250, the report found. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio issue the lowest tickets for moving violations at $100. The average maximum ticket costs a driver $845, up 14% from 2015, WalletHub found.
That's helpful to know, because as the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently pointed out, traffic tickets and other fines aren't incorporated into CPI figures.
Unsurprisingly, Texas was the most permissive state when it comes to fining drivers for speeding.
While traffic tickets can represent significant financial burdens for millions of Americans - many of whom have less than $400 on hand to absorb unanticipated expense - the increased insurance costs that result from accruing points against your drivers license are often higher over time. Drivers in Alaska face the highest additional costs after one speeding ticket, with insurance rates climbing by 65%.
Across the US, charges of reckless driving often land drivers in jail for at least a day for their first offense and three days for their second. However, only half of US states have a specific speed threshold for reckless driving, allowing the accused to argue that their speed was, in fact, reasonable.