Speeding: The Fast Track to Higher Premiums
We all know that we should obey the speed limit but there are some drivers that take it as a suggestion. Maryland drivers are taking it seriously in 2012, at least where work zones are considered. AAA Mid-Atlantic recently reviewed state data and found Maryland had given out just over 365,000 work zone speeding tickets at the end of November. While that may seem like a high number, it is modest when compared with the number of tickets handed out in 2011, totaling almost half a million. AAA attributes the decline to several factors.
Maryland recently installed speed cameras on their roads and work zones. They are meant to catch someone speeding and can take a photograph of the front and back of a speeding car’s its license plate. The camera sends this image via satellite to law enforcement, enabling police in the area to make the catch. Unlike red light cameras, speed cameras can easily be moved. Many drivers may think they have a camera figured out only to get a ticket in a new place. Because of this unexpected surprise, many drivers may be exercising more precaution, even if it is to avoid a ticket. The motivation of safety practices doesn’t matter as much as practicing them. The fact that Maryland drivers have reduced the amount of tickets received by nearly 50% is good proof
Another contributing factor to consider is the amount of road work. While there aren’t as many large scale projects happening in 2012, the statistics still show great improvement. Since using speed cameras, Maryland reports lower numbers of crashes, fatalities, and injuries. This is a great thing for Maryland. Not only are they avoiding tragic accidents and keeping their roads safe but there are many Maryland drivers with nothing to catch on camera but a smile. By avoiding speeding tickets your driving history is kept clean which your insurance company rewards with lower premiums. But get caught and be prepared to not only pay your ticket but your insurance company as well.
Cost of a Speeding Ticket
On average, the main reason that someone speeds isn’t for the adrenaline rush but because they are running late but the resolve to get to the office can get you in more trouble with the law than your boss. You will still probably be in trouble with your boss after all is said and done. So to save money, don’t speed. Tickets can be costly, with the average violation ringing in at around $150. That may not seem like a huge fee, compared to a costly accident but it is a fine you were not planning for.
Costs of speeding tickets can vary state to state and even where you are located in that particular state. This makes sense as most cities and towns have very different areas to them and the potential consequences of speeding in one can be greater than speeding in another. Because of this, speeding violations are often broken down into three categories: speeding a business/rural area, speeding in a residential area and speeding in a school zone. The fees for each zone differ.
If you are caught going over the speed limit in what is considered a business/rural area, your ticket may be a flat fee depending on how fast you were traveling over the speed limit. This can be expensive though, especially if you are significantly speeding. In some places, despite location, traveling 20+ miles over the speed limit can warrant a reckless driving ticket. If you are pulled in a residential area, your ticket fine could be based on a per-mph charge. The fees can vary but don’t expect it to be cheap. And the worst thing you can do is speed in a school zone.
All towns will normally have a time limit placed on this speed limit because it is meant to protect children mostly when they are entering and exiting schools. Signs are well posted but be an aware driver and if it seems like you are the fastest person on the road, there may well be good reason for it. If you get caught, you will be shelling out a hefty fee, often over $200 without any regard for how much over the speed limit you were going. Moral of the story: Don’t speed around little kids.
And ask any Maryland driver about how work zone tickets can be one of the more costly speeding tickets. Speed limits are lessened in work zones to help protect people at work and just because you can’t see anyone working doesn’t mean that the rules don’t still apply. They may be working offsite or even under a road and there could also be a speed camera waiting to catch your plates.
Speeding and Car Insurance
One of the determining factors for your premiums is your driving history and just because you started out with a clean slate doesn’t mean your premiums won’t change. Your insurance company will periodically review your driving record. If they find multiple violations, your rates are going to increase because you are considered a risky driver. Any discounts you were entitled to may also be taken away, which can raise your premiums additionally.
While the monthly costs may only be raised by a few percentile, if you add that up over several years, you are looking at money that could have stayed in your pocket. There are some ways to get your record back in good standing. When you go to court, ask if they provide a safe driving course. This can help reduce the number of driving points you are docked and will prove to your insurance company that you are serious about staying safe. The ticket will eventually get removed from your insurance records but in the meantime, you will be paying.
How can you avoid any of this? Obey the speed limits. They aren’t suggestions and were put there for a reason.