2007 September 13 Thursday
States With $1000 Speeding Tickets

Governments look for ways to raise revenue without increasing taxes across the board. Speeding tickets have become a major tax revenue source in some states.

Depending on where you live, speeding fines can range from the puny to the punitive.

In July, Virginia began charging most speeders an additional $1,050 fine on top of its usual $300, with drunken drivers there now facing an additional fine of up to $2,250. Other heavy hitting states include Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina, where maximum fines can hit $1,000, as well as New York, Texas and New Jersey.

I am shocked by the size of these fines. Utah's max is $750.

At least they are fining the drunk speeders a lot more.

Virginia's new law imposes a mandatory $1,050 fee on anyone convicted of speeding at more than 20 mph over the limit, or anyone traveling 15 mph over the limit in a 65 mph zone. When added to a drunken driving offense, a ticket's total can reach $3,550.

Cruise control typically improves gas mileage. But cruise control can also help you avoid a very hefty speeding tax.

The Virginia legislators who wrote the law for the high speeding fines are expecting big revenues as a result.

Albo and Del. Thomas D. Rust (R-Fairfax), who co-sponsored the fee legislation, project that $65 million to $120 million will be raised annually to cover costs of snow removal, pothole repair and grass-mowing. Money for Northern Virginia's congested roads had to come from somewhere, they reasoned, and new taxes were not going to fly in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates.

So get this: Governments basically want you to speed because they want the tax revenue.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 September 13 07:38 PM  Economics Transportation

John Savage said at September 14, 2007 10:32 PM:

Well, I bet we could get the high speeding fines invalidated on the ground that they are "racist", disproportionately affecting minorities who tend to drive faster. If getting rid of the high fines was your main goal.

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