What Happens After You Get Your First Speeding Ticket?
Speeding tickets are no joke. They can cause your driving record to suffer and raise your car insurance rates by up to 30% on renewal. If you get multiple speeding tickets you could see a 50% or larger rate increase. If you are cited for speeding, the insurance company will also take into consideration how many miles per hour over the speed limit you were driving. This will also factor into the increased amount.
So, you’ve just had your first speeding ticket issued. What now? How will a speeding ticket affect your car insurance rates and driving record?
Even though it is frustrating and it will affect your insurance – don’t worry! Most of us get a ticket at some point during our driving careers.
We’ve answered all the questions below, and we’ll explain the best way to act after receiving a ticket.
First And Foremost: What Counts As A Speeding Ticket?
By definition, a speeding ticket is a ticket that a police officer will issue you if you’re driving too fast. It indicates the fine you’re required to pay if you’re going over the posted speed limit.
What is the speed limit in the USA, you ask?
Well, each state sets its laws for speed limits. Most of the time, you’ll see the speed limit stated on the street sign – but you should always get acquainted with the limit before you drive somewhere.
If you’re pulled over by an officer, “not seeing a speed limit sign” will not be a valid excuse!
In general, the speed limit on rural interstate highways will be 70 mph and 65 mph on four-lane highways. When it comes to residential streets, it’s usually 25 mph, and for a school zone, it drops to 15 mph.
Still, keep in mind that you must check the laws for a specific state before driving there!
What Happens To Your Auto Insurance When You Get A Speeding Ticket
After their first fine for speeding, an insured driver – or someone looking to get/renew their auto insurance policy – can expect the following things to happen:
- Your premium could increase up to 20-30%,
- The cost increase will usually occur once you want to renew your policy
- There’s a possibility you won’t qualify for a good driver discount
That said, do note that the consequences are individual. For instance, if your driving history is positive, insurers might be lenient because it’s your first offense – especially if it was low-level speeding.
Plus, your speeding tickets will be removed in 3-5 years, so your costs will likely go down again. Some states also allow you to go to licensed traffic schools that can erase a ticket if you want to reduce the cost more quickly.
Implications On Your Driving Record
Your citation will have a certain impact on your driving record based on the severity and speed. It could result in points on your license or even in a license suspension if it involves a severe violation and reckless driving.
Even if you get a no-point ticket for a moving violation, keep in mind that it will affect your insurance rates.
License Points In The Largest US States
As an example of how a ticket fine could affect your license, check out the license points for a minor speeding ticket in some of the largest states in the US:
- Alabama – 2 points
- Alaska – 2 points
- California – 1 point
- Texas – 2 points
- New York – 2 points
- Pennsylvania – 2 points
- Kentucky – 3 points
- Illinois – 5 points
- Ohio – 2 points
What Do You Do After You Get Your First Ticket?
If you’re cited for speeding, there are generally three courses of action you can take:
Pay Your Ticket
If you pay your ticket, it’s a signal that you acknowledge your violation. You should pay it on time if you want to avoid additional fees that could arise.
Fight The Ticket
If you wish to beat the ticket, it will usually involve appearing in court before a judge. Sometimes, it’s possible to submit a written defense, which means you don’t have to appear in court.
The typical course of events is that the judge will determine the outcome based on the presentation of the case by you (your defense attorney) and the prosecutor or officer.
On that note, consider hiring a lawyer to represent you.
Since it’s your first citation, it might be possible to lower the fine amount or reduce the points if you have a generally safe driving record.
Mitigation usually involves admitting you were guilty and explaining the circumstances in order to benefit from one of the two options.
Find Cheap Car Insurance Quotes
In search of cheap auto insurance quotes if you have a speeding ticket?
Your insurance costs will depend on many more factors in addition to your driving history, including:
- Company you chose
- Discounts, etc.
We want to make the matter simpler for you. Our services include finding you the best auto insurance company from over 30 carriers.
You’ll get free quotes for your auto insurance policy if you use our quote calculator on this page!
How To Prevent Speeding Tickets In The Future?
To reduce the risk of future citations, an automobile driver should take a few steps:
- Plan ahead and pay attention to the road signs
- Inform themselves about speed limits beforehand
- Avoid speeding up when they are the only ones on the road
- Watch out for speed traps
- Avoid driving in the fast lane unless they are overtaking someone (under the speed limit)
- Take a defensive driving course
A Short Digression: The World’s First Speeding Ticket
The first person to be cited for speeding was Walter Arnold. The event took place in 1896 in Paddock Wood, Kent, when Walter Arnold was going at a breakneck speed of 8 miles per hour.
Back then, that was four times the limit in Paddock Wood, Kent!
It wasn’t a paper citation, though, so some argue it’s not technically the first ticket in the world.
Instead, the world’s first speeding ticket was issued in 1904, Dayton, Ohio. While automobiles were still a new form of transportation, a police officer on a bicycle ticketed Harry Myers on West Third Street.
What speed was the first speeding ticket issued for, then?
Well, Harry Myers was going 12 mph in a zone in Dayton, Ohio, where the limit was 8 mph!
If you’ve been issued your first ticket, it doesn’t have to be a significant financial burden with the right insurance company. That’s where we come in:
We connect drivers to the best insurers in the states.
At Insurance Geek, we’re at your service – to help you find auto insurance quotes and provide you with more information on any insurance-related matters!