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    Speeding tickets are never cheap, but getting caught going over the limit in certain places could hurt your wallet even more than usual (Richard Faulder, Flickr).

    by: Craig Howie , AOL Autos
     

    How much were you fined the last time you were stopped for speeding? Depending on where you live, the penalty could range from under a hundred bucks to a couple of thousand dollars or more, even for a first offender. All across America, local legislators seemingly have one eye on road safety and the other on cash-strapped coffers. But is it as simple as that? We take a look. And if you haven't been stopped yet, well, lucky you.

    States with highest speeding-ticket fines

    Drivers caught speeding in the states of Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire all are liable to be fined up to $1000, at a judge's discretion, for a first-time speeding offense, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The severity of the financial penalty also may depend upon the number of miles above the speed limit when clocked and the number of points on a driver's license, or if the offense occurred near a school or road works. A driver's license may also be suspended, their car impounded, or they may face jail time.

    Some states including Michigan, Texas and New Jersey, operate under so-called "driver responsibility" laws, which, in some cases, can result in a further fine of up to $1000 leveled a year after the conviction. Virginia, which until 2008 had some of the strictest penalties for speeders, repealed its driver-responsibility laws last year after a public outcry. Georgia, meanwhile, has just voted to add $200 to the fine of what it terms "superspeeders," who travel more than 10 mph over the speed limit. Other states with fines of up to $500 -- which in many cases is then compounded with additional court fees -- include Maryland, Missouri and Oregon.

    Fighting speeding-ticket legislation in Michigan

    Under the driver-responsibility fee system, speeders in Michigan face a double charge for their offense, the first issued by a municipality and the second by the state; taking into account various additional fees, both can top $1000. Similar penalty systems are in place for reckless driving and DUIs. The state also annually charges drivers who maintain seven or more points on their license. The 2004 law has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars for state and local coffers, and faces criticism that it entraps low-income drivers in a circle of debt once they've been convicted of speeding. Some also question collection procedures.

    State Sen. John Gleason, who is leading the fight in the state legislature to repeal the laws, tells AOL Autos: "We've heard from so many people its horrendous effect on families. They lose their jobs and it impacts their family. Poor people can't get out from under the obligation, $1000 is a tremendous amount of money.

    "People make mistakes. Every single one of us has been on a highway, and several have made decisions we wish we could redo. We should not be penalized on our ability to pay."

    Calling the issue a "bipartisan one," he says recent efforts to repeal the act have stumbled in the legislature, but he's still hopeful passing a bill that "doesn't include such an awful amount of money." He suggests taking a look at other penalty systems that could be based on drug courts or alcohol-treatment centers.

    Additional penalties in Georgia

    Georgia in May this year passed the so-called "superspeeders" act, which adds $200 to the fine of a driver, caught driving more than 75 mph on two-lane roads and 85 mph or more on freeways. In some counties, speeders are already leveled municipal fines that can add more than $1000 to any ticket. The enhanced state fines are justified, says Bob Dallas of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, as a deterrent against speeding. He also points out that funds from the statewide speeding program, which begins Jan. 1, 2010, will be put toward trauma care centers across the state. Currently he is organizing a public-awareness campaign around the fines using TV, web and radio ads, electronic roadway signs, and fliers at truck stops and filling stations.

    "Every driver who is going to excessively speed on our freeways will be fined $200 extra. If you don't pay, your license will be suspended. We want to make sure the public listens to the message.

    "To the average person out there we are one of the regions where people look to make up time [on long road-trips]. It's not a reputation we enjoy, because of the consequences. But there are folks out there who believe that other people are just driving too slowly.

    "The goal here is to improve safety. And in addition to saving lives, the proceeds are going to expand trauma care. But if not a single ticket is written, because they can't find anyone speeding, that is the best scenario. We're trying to change the culture of speeding."

    Controversy in Virginia

    Virginia gained a reputation several years ago for having the most severe speeding laws in the U.S., when it began charging most speeders an additional $1,050 fine on top of its usual $300 fine. Limits for reckless driving were also lowered, with drivers caught at 10 mph above the legal limit liable to be cited for reckless driving, a possibly felony offense where the penalties are more severe. State lawmakers in Virginia expected to raise $60 to $120 million a year through the system, in a bill championed by state legislator Dave Albo. After a strong public reaction, the act was repealed last year.

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    Albo, a partner in a law firm specializing in traffic offenses, blames misinformation for the law's overturning. He tells AOL: "The problem was the internet got a hold of it, saying that if a driver didn't use the turn signal they'd have to pay $3,000. Most of the stuff posted wasn't accurate. And thousands were writing to their delegates saying, 'I can't believe this.'

    "But the bill didn't apply to traffic misdemeanors, it was only if you killed somebody, or a DUI or reckless driving. There was so much misinformation out there. Drunk drivers kill one person a day in Virginia, and speeding is the second cause of injury and death.

    "Alongside legislation we need more police; my constituents are always telling me we need more police on the roads."

    Richard Diamond, the editor of www.thenewspaper.com, which campaigns on driving issues, says: "Virginia's reckless driving statute says 80 mph is automatic reckless. If you get written up at that speed, you face a charge that is just one step away from a felony. But the state also raised the speed limit on I-85 near the North Carolina border to 70 mph without altering the reckless statute to match. This creates an easy-to-write and very expensive ticket. It's a favorite because the plea bargains make it so the charge is never really challenged in court.

    "This was at the heart of the abuser fee debate in Virginia. People were being hit with the $1,050 "reckless" abuser fee for what most people would consider an ordinary infraction. The problem with the reckless statute is [it's] still there."

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    1 - 20 of 628 Comments
    RepealTheBan Mar 27, 2011 9:03 PM
    As you may know, Virginia is the only state that bans the use and sale of radar detectors. There is no evidence that the radar detector ban increases highway safety. Our nations fatality rates have fallen consistently for almost two decades. Virginias fatality rate has also fallen, but not any more dramatically than it has nationwide. Research has even shown that radar detector owners have a lower accident rate than motorists who do not own a detector. Maintaining the ban is not in the best interest of Virginians or visitors to the state. I know and know of people that will not drive in Virginia due to this ban. Unjust enforcement practices are not unheard of, and radar detectors can keep safe motorists from being exploited by abusive speed traps. Likewise, the ban has a negative impact on Virginias business community. Electronic distributors lose business to neighboring states and Virginia misses out on valuable sales tax revenue. Radar detector bans do not work. Research and experience show that radar detector bans do not result in lower accident rates, improved speed-limit compliance or reduce auto insurance expenditures. The Virginia radar detector ban is difficult and expensive to enforce. The Virginia ban diverts precious law enforcement resources from more important duties and this ban may be ILLEGAL. Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the nation, in all 49 other states. In fact, the first state to test a radar detector ban, Connecticut, repealed the law it ruled the law was ineffective and unfair. It is time for our Virginia to join the rest of the nation. It has never been shown that radar detectors cause accidents or even encourage motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise. The Yankelovich Clancy Shulman Radar Detector Study conducted in 1987, showed that radar detector users drove an average of 34% further between accidents (233,933 miles versus 174,554 miles) than non radar detector users. The study also showed that they have much higher seat belt use compliance. If drivers with radar detectors have fewer accidents, it follows that they have reduced insurance costs it is counterproductive to ban radar detectors. In a similar study performed in Great Britain by MORI in 2001 the summary reports that "Users (of radar detectors) appear to travel 50% further between accidents than non-users. In this survey the users interviewed traveling on average 217,353 miles between accidents compared to 143,401 miles between accidents of those non-users randomly drawn from the general public." The MORI study also reported "Three quarters agree, perhaps unsurprisingly, that since purchasing a radar detector they have become more conscious about keeping to the speed limit..." and "Three in five detector users claim to have become a safer driver since purchasing a detector." Modern radar detectors play a significant role in preventing accidents and laying the technology foundation for the Safety Warning System (SWS). Radar detectors with SWS alert motorists to oncoming emergency vehicles, potential road hazards, and unusual traffic conditions. There are more than 10 million radar detectors with SWS in use nationwide. The federal government has earmarked $2.1 million for further study of the SWS over a three-year period of time. The U.S. Department of Transportation is administering grants to state and local governments to purchase the SWS system and study its effectiveness (for example, in the form of SWS transmitters for school buses and emergency vehicles). The drivers of Virginia deserve the right to the important safety benefits that SWS delivers. Please sign this petition and help to repeal this ban and give drivers in Virginia the freedom to know if they are under surveillance and to use their property legally: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban Tell Friends and Family about this.
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    HallsBud Mar 21, 2011 10:50 PM
    "I AM COMRADE SMOKEY OF THE PEOPLES ARMY OF VIRGINIA." STAND AT ATTENTION WHILE I PUNISH YOU. i HAVE NO LOVE FOR YOU BUT I LOVE MY JOB AND I MUST IMPRESS MY SUPERIORS, SO SHUT THE %&$# WHILE I'M TALKING TO YOU AND I DON'T CARE IF YOU WERE SPEEDING OR NOT, IF I SAY YOU WERE SPEEDING YOU CAN'T PROVE OTHERWISE. I AM COMRADE SMOKEY OF THE PEOPLE'S ARMY OF VIRGINIA
    Report This
    HannaV270 Mar 06, 2011 12:28 AM
    these fines are outrageous and designed for money for the state and local gov only. i have always had respect for our police but the unchecked authority they have is getting out of hand. we do not bother people who kill, cripple, maim or dismember so we resort to arresting speeders in order to justify the employment of many police. with the computerized system we have it is hard to prove your innocence anyway and you really have little say in a court. most of all they have the ability to destroy you with these tickets because of how they affect your insurance. oh yes i did get stopped for going over the limit a couple of years ago and the traffice was having to go around me because they were driving much faster and the cop said it was a good thing i did not show him attitude because his wife worked for an insurance company and he knew exactly what kind of tickets world hurt my age group badly. i took the ticket myself to the prosecutor in that area and worked out an agreement which would help me and i paid the fine and my insurance would not be affected. i also agreed to watch my speed and i did not go to court and face the hostility and bias of that officer. in the meantime i left it to the county prosecutor to talk to that officer and hopefully he won't t threaten or intimidate someone else for awhile. there are times when driving long distances that speeding up is necessary and people should not be punished because an officer is bored or has not made the quota he is supposed to bring in. having quotas supports the fact that tickets are issued not for the fact someone is committing a crime but rather for the purpose of bringing in a weekly or monthly amount of money for the local or state gov. it surely supports the fact that laws are not necessarily moral.
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    JDHEGNES Mar 05, 2011 11:48 PM
    Good God, Russellid, just where in Iowa is your father's farm? When I try to picture you, I see a lot of boy scout merit badges, the president of your high school audio/visual club, pocket pencil cases, and an unopened copy of "Practical Thinking for Dummies". Someday, if you get over your almost terminal case of naivete, you might just make a useful contribution to society. Go take a couple of bonehead law courses and a criminology course, and rethink the practical implementation issues of what you have said, paying particular attention to "latent dysfunctions of the law". Right now, if you were anybody, you'd be kind of scary.
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    Hhrbsr Mar 05, 2011 10:05 PM
    Who is making the cops pay when they speed. I was going down the road at 55 mph and a state trooper went by me really fast. I road in back of him and clocked him and he was going 75 mph in a 50 zone.No lights flashing no siren and I followed him and he went to the Headquarters. I ask him what do I have to do to arrest him for speeding and he said go to the front of the building and see the trooper on duty and tell him so I did. I told the trooper I followed the other trooper and he was going 75 mph and he told me he could arrest me for speeding and I told him I was going to the Main Headquarters and report him if he didn' t slow down. No I am not crazy I am just tired of being passed by the police like that with them breaking the law but we have to pay a fine. I think people should get cameras and shoot them our way and send that to our senators..
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    MOOSE Mar 05, 2011 5:55 PM
    i really fail to see what ya\'ll are bitching about.... avoiding speeding tickets is incredibly simple. DON\'T SPEED end of problem. i live in michigan, and i feel that speeding fines should begin at $1000.00 only way to slow you idiots down is to make your wallet hurt, and hurt bad.
    Report This
    Parris2189 Mar 04, 2011 2:17 PM
    Drivers, it is not save to go 90 and a hundred miles per hour, yet many do. Now any officer that stops you has to have a blue light on top of the car, not one on the dash. You are to have cause to be stopped. A broken tail light want get you a ticket, but no tag light might. Always before the ticket is wrote and handed to you, find out what you did wrong, if speeding get a copy then.If he says he can not give you your radar copy, don't take the ticket, Let them know why. Have the one over them come out, get help. If any time an officer don't seem right, you feel you are not being treated right, get help.
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    Parris2189 Mar 04, 2011 2:02 PM
    The way I see things now, your never to trust strangers, and The ticket givers can not be trusted, if you are stopped get their name and badge number and ever the car plate number. He/She may be an officer in Cobb County Ga. But not all in Cobb Ga is evil. I ran out of gas on 75 north, I pulled over the best I could, and two officers pulled behind me, The two push my car over, out of danger of being hit, and even took me to get some gas. My husband over 70 years and a bad heart, could never done what these two officers did. I wish I had some money to give them as a gift, and I can't even remember their names. But, before I die I hope to reward these two kind officers in Marrettia Ga.
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    Parris2189 Mar 04, 2011 1:47 PM
    My husband was driving, and we was almost in Cobb County Ga. We could see a Blue light some was up, and my husband was tring to get in the inside lane, going south on 75. We was not speeding My husband and I both know it, he has to wait until some cars went by before moving to the inside lane. He officers car was pulled over beside a white wall, where speed was 55. The officer was in frount of his car waving his hands back and forth over his head. My husband said something has to be wrong, he may need help, So my husband stops in case he could be of some help.That officer gave my husband a ticket for go ing almost an hundred miles per hour. I would love to face that officer, and some day I will. My husband paid the ticket, saying the officers word would stand up and his word would not. Over $400.00. Now if that was me driving, that officer would have to prove the speed. He did not have a raidor in his hand, he was waving his hand over his head, many cars just passed him, if there is ever a next time, I will force my husband not to stop. That officer is a lier, and I can pass a test to prove it, and so can my husband. That officer is not fit to sever the public. I know this officer has cheated many people like he did us. I face I my go and confrount him before I did, and that judge too. Now if you should get stopped with a officer with the Radar Gun, then not later, get your copy. He has to give it to you. We was not stopped with a radar that day. The officer said we was, and that was another lie. I know many passing had to see this officer waving his hands over his head, and I want some one that see this to contact me, I will be looking Ok?
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    Parris2189 Mar 04, 2011 1:20 PM
    I got my first ticket in Ga. There was a new super WalMart opening, Traffic was backed up in the out side lane, I was in the inside lane, and thought I want to go in Walmart. So I see this officer 2 ot 3 cars back, but I give a trun single and this nice lady lets me in line. So after a few and getting near the Walmart enter a blue light comes on. He pulled us both over. He gave me a ticket, and told her to move on or she would also get a ticket. She went, I never got her name, on Bullsburges Dr. In Newnan Ga. some years back. I would love to met again this nice person too. My ticket was improper lane change. So I go to court there in Newnan Ga. I was not to say a word to defend myself, and was fined. I reapeled I was not going to pay that Southern Hospitality Ticket. The secound time in that court room on that ticket, I spoke, but that officer was not there, So I aranged for a 3ed hearing and I was going to be heard. 3ed court we all was there, all the the person the served me with Southern Hospitaltu. I gave my view in my words, traffice bumper to bumper, I was not speeding, I gave my turn light was on, no accident, no near schools, and the woman let me in line. The judge then turned and ask the officer if this was the way it was. Yes sir he replyed. He told him I want to speak with you after court. I was dismissed, fine and all, nothen on my driven recorders. I will fight for my rights and good Ole Southern Hospitality. Mary
    Report This
    wildstyl1 Nov 30, 2010 8:09 PM
    After several bad encounters with law enforcement and some trumped up numbers on a speeding ticket and getting treated the way I did by not being able to present evidence that may have cleared me, I decided to play thier game. Fortunatly I'm in a business that deals with cops every now and then. Now when I do business with a cop, a cop's family but no judges yet I do my job real well too. And I do my best to clean out thier wallet. So far I've done real well. Made some real nice commission where I normaly wouldn't have. See officer, I can be a jerk too, and get away with it.
    Report This
    repealtheban Nov 19, 2010 12:14 AM
    REPEAL THE VIRGINIA RADAR DETECTOR BAN!!! www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban
    Report This
    dfigg1 Oct 15, 2010 11:45 AM
    Let's Face It ...... Speed Limits on US Highways, are meant to collect money. They hope that you WILL speed, so that they can collect MORE money. Why do you think that they hide Behind something to NOT be seen. They hope you will speed ..... again, to collect more money. If they would keep out in plain site, and be seen, then the traffic would slow down, and things would be good. I used to have lots of respect for our police officers, until they started this TRAP machine. I have now lost respect for them. It's to bad that it had to come this way.
    Report This
    snickers23185 Sep 19, 2010 2:23 PM
    REPEAL THE VIRGINIA RADAR DETECTOR BAN!!! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban
    Report This
    prrybr Sep 05, 2010 9:16 PM
    is RUSSELLID trying to sell a book............i fell asleep after reading 5 sentences......bottom line...dont speed.........
    Report This
    snickers23185 Sep 03, 2010 6:04 PM
    Virginia Tax & Toll Collectors (State Police) are doing another CRACK-DOWN this weekend...Wasting more money!!! Do they have nothing better to do? http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban
    Report This
    steamer10 Sep 02, 2010 1:08 PM
    i find it odd that the guy pushing for the laws in virginia is a traffic defense attorney. seems like conflict of intrest to me. he pushes a bill that applies to everyone on the road. people get tickets and subsequently are fined. the only way to lesson your fine is to hire, guess who, a traffic defense attorney to represent you in court.
    Report This
    hollatesting Sep 02, 2010 6:10 AM
    testing
    Report This
    snickers23185 Sep 01, 2010 4:39 PM
    REPEAL THE VIRGINIA RADAR DETECTO BAN!!! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban
    Report This
    snickers23185 Sep 01, 2010 4:36 PM
    Repeal The Virginia Radar Detector Ban: As you may know, Virginia is the only state that bans the use and sale of detectors. There is no evidence that the detector ban increases highway safety. Our nations fatality rates have fallen consistently for almost two decades. Virginias fatality rate has also fallen, but not any more dramatically than it has nationwide. Research has even shown that radar detector owners have a lower accident rate than motorists who do not own a detector. Maintaining the ban is not in the best interest of Virginians or visitors to the state. I know and know of people that will not drive in Virginia due to this ban. Unjust enforcement practices are not unheard of, and radar detectors can keep safe motorists from being exploited by abusive speed traps. Likewise, the ban has a negative impact on Virginias business community. Electronic distributors lose business to neighboring states and Virginia misses out on valuable sales tax revenue. Radar detector bans do not work. Research and experience show that radar detector bans do not result in lower accident rates, improved speed-limit compliance or reduce auto insurance expenditures. The Virginia radar detector ban is difficult and expensive to enforce. The Virginia ban diverts precious law enforcement resources from more important duties. Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the nation, in all 49 other states. In fact, the first state to test a radar detector ban, Connecticut, repealed the law it ruled the law was ineffective and unfair. It is time for our Virginia to join the rest of the nation. It has never been shown that radar detectors cause accidents or even encourage motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise. The Yankelovich Clancy Shulman Radar Detector Study conducted in 1987, showed that radar detector users drove an average of 34% further between accidents (233,933 miles versus 174,554 miles) than non radar detector users. The study also showed that they have much higher seat belt use compliance. If drivers with radar detectors have fewer accidents, it follows that they have reduced insurance costs it is counterproductive to ban radar detectors. In a similar study performed in Great Britain by MORI in 2001 the summary reports that "Users (of radar detectors) appear to travel 50% further between accidents than non-users. In this survey the users interviewed traveling on average 217,353 miles between accidents compared to 143,401 miles between accidents of those non-users randomly drawn from the general public." The MORI study also reported "Three quarters agree, perhaps unsurprisingly, that since purchasing a radar detector they have become more conscious about keeping to the speed limit..." and "Three in five detector users claim to have become a safer driver since purchasing a detector." Modern radar detectors play a significant role in preventing accidents and laying the technology foundation for the Safety Warning System (SWS). Radar detectors with SWS alert motorists to oncoming emergency vehicles, potential road hazards, and unusual traffic conditions. There are more than 10 million radar detectors with SWS in use nationwide. The federal government has earmarked $2.1 million for further study of the SWS over a three-year period of time. The U.S. Department of Transportation is administering grants to state and local governments to purchase the SWS system and study its effectiveness (for example, in the form of SWS transmitters for school buses and emergency vehicles). The drivers of Virginia deserve the right to the important safety benefits that SWS delivers. Please sign this petition and help to repeal this ban and give drivers in Virginia the freedom to know if they are under surveillance and to use their property legally: www.stoptheban.org http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/repeal-the-virginia-radar-detector-ban
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    Everyone dreads a speeding ticket. Find out the states where speeding ticket fines are known to be high in a special report from AOL Autos.
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