Attention All Speeders

These Are the Best and Worst States For Speeding Tickets


April 25, 2019 Cars By Photo by Henry Phillips

Ever feel the need for speed? Then you might find New York-area car dealership Yonkers Honda has come up with some compelling (and useful) reading material. The dealership has compiled state-by-state data on speeding tickets issued, presenting information for 48 out of 50 states (Arkansas and Louisiana were left out).

Few would be surprised by California, New York, and Florida were the top three states for total tickets issued. They have more drivers, more police, and thus more opportunities for tickets. More informative is the tickets-per-capita data, which gives a rough estimate of how likely one is to get a ticket.

Wyoming was the state most likely to give a ticket, issuing one per 11.36 residents. The next four states in order were South Carolina (12.04), Oregon (15.57), Georgia (15.78), and Washington (16.25).

West Virginia was the state least likely to give a ticket, issuing one per 154.88 residents. Michigan (143.67), North Dakota (143.18), Illinois (110.78), and Alabama (102.93) were the next least likely.

There doesn’t seem to be any broad, easily discernible trend from the data,  but we can take a stab at analyzing it. States in the Southeast—South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina—tended to be more ticket-happy. Florida had the highest rate among the top four population states. Out West, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Arizona each boasted high ticket rates.

Anecdotally, as a Michigan resident, the aforementioned number seems about right for the home of the muscle car. The “Welcome to Michigan” sign might as well say “get the hell out of the passing lane.” In 2017 Michigan raised speed limits on its highways, bumping it from 70 mph to 75, meaning a lot of drivers cruise at 80—and for rural roads, 55 mph feels more like a suggestion than a hard rule.

The Detroit area has a massive geographic expanse, a large number of roads, and an overstretched police force struggling with crime and emergency response times. Zinging residents for minor traffic violations is a low priority. Going 20 mph over the limit on the way to the airport and feeling unsafe while getting passed on both the left and the right is not uncommon.

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