wow! According to the population clock of the US Census Bureau, there are more than 320,000,000 people in the United States. This probably won’t surprise most people, but what is (and should be worrying) is that when births, deaths, and migration from other countries are taken into account, we gain one person every 14 seconds. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not satisfied with the idea that people die, nor do I advocate that immigration be reduced. It’s just that that’s a lot of people and most of them, about 75 percent, are people of driving age. In fact, more than 41,000,000 people receive speeding tickets each year in the United States. That equates to roughly 17 percent of the driving population.
This is not only a lot of speeding tickets, but it also equates to a lot of revenue for the states and municipalities that issue those speeding tickets. Even if you use the conservative estimate of a $152 fine for the average speeding ticket, the amount of money they collect is staggering: more than $6.2 billion annually in the state of Florida alone. Yes, you read that right, six billion! This figure does not include secondary costs to drivers that can result from a speeding ticket, such as defensive driving school, increased insurance premiums, or a good traffic attorney. Additionally, this number only addresses the number of speeding tickets issued and the revenue they generate. It doesn’t even mention the myriad of other traffic tickets that are issued annually and the cost to drivers.
Now, before you think you don’t have to incur the expense of a traffic attorney, keep in mind that a good traffic ticket attorney can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You may choose to fight your traffic ticket yourself, but having the experience of a traffic ticket attorney greatly increases your chances of having your speeding ticket dismissed. Keep in mind that our experience lends itself to knowledge you probably don’t have, such as the penalty for a speeding ticket varies depending on the county you are in when you are issued the ticket. We also have first-hand knowledge, such as that you may be assessed 3 or 4 points on your license, depending on the speed you were traveling, and based on the same information, your fine may range from $150 to $650.
When you factor in those side expenses, hiring a traffic ticket attorney doesn’t sound too bad. Although my job is to help people once they receive a traffic ticket, let me give you a little advice that can save you from having to deal with a speeding ticket.
Watch out and be aware of speed traps
One of the best ways to avoid a speeding ticket, aside from never speeding, is to spot and avoid speed traps. School zones and construction zones are notorious for having speed traps because there is a higher chance someone will be injured or killed in these areas. With a tremendous increase in traffic volume at school rush hours, including school buses picking up and dropping off students, it’s hard to keep track of where all the kids are, making accidents more likely to happen. .
The same is true for construction sites. Road work makes traffic snarl, so many drivers often try to negotiate around construction. Unfortunately, not following construction directives and not knowing where construction workers are can cause property damage or death or injury to a worker who is just doing their job. This is why you will often see a police officer sitting outside on construction sites. This is also why the fines are not only doubled in these areas, but if your speeding causes a traffic accident, you could end up in jail because it can be considered a criminal offense. You can be charged with both speeding and reversing.
An example of increased fines is as follows:
1 to 5 mph $123.50
6 to 9 mph $123.50
10 to 14 mph $273.50
15 to 19 mph $323.50
20 to 29 mph $373.50
School and construction zones aren’t the only places you’ll find speed traps. Cops often like to hide inside tree-lined median breaks or inside “authorized vehicles only” U-turns. In fact, during the holidays, it’s not uncommon to see multiple policemen doing this along busy stretches of highway.
Police officers will basically find anywhere they can point their radar at you before you can spot it as an attractive spot for a speed trap. These areas include places such as the opposite side of a curve in the road, on top of a hill, or the opposite side of an overpass. I have even seen police officers stationed on overpasses while monitoring the speed of traffic below them.
It is not illegal to signal to other drivers that they are approaching a speed check. However, you may want to try to avoid being seen by the police. If he sees you trying to help other drivers avoid it, he may just pull you over. Cops can always find a reason to issue traffic tickets, and a really determined cop can probably find multiple reasons to cite you.
Pay attention to your fellow drivers
This is absolutely the best way to avoid a speed trap, excluding driving at the speed limit. Most drivers will apply their brakes when they see a cop, even if they’re not speeding up, just as a knee jerk reaction, so watch the traffic ahead to see if you’re braking or if cars are slowing down quickly. Even if it is not due to a speed trap, there is still the possibility of some other hazard, such as children or an object on the road, that could cause an accident or damage your vehicle.
Speed traps are just one of the many reasons you need to be aware of other drivers around you. Safety is a key factor because if there is a driver near you who is driving erratically, their poor driving can affect your ability to move forward unhindered. Whether you’re drunk, suffering from road rage, or just an idiotic driver, you could end up getting hit by him or her.
There is also the issue of unmarked police cars. Use your mirrors often to prevent police from coming up behind you. There was a time when all unmarked police cars looked the same, but not anymore. You’re just as likely to see a cop driving an SUV as one driving a Crown Vic, but by paying attention, you can often spot them. They will often have an odd number of antennas, low-profile lights in the rear window and along the top of the windshield, or they will often have lights positioned inside the front grille of the vehicle. Some law enforcement divisions use vehicles that have been impounded as a result of illegal activity, so you may even see sports cars etc. sometimes tailored around the fact that they were obtained due to illegal activity. Motorcycle cops are even harder to spot because you usually can’t tell if it’s a cop until you’re right next to them or they’re behind you with their lights on.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid getting pulled over. If you are unlucky enough to receive a speeding ticket, call our office for a free consultation at 967-954-9888.