Traffic Tickets

Goals

To gain knowledge of traffic tickets and the processes around traffic tickets in the US in general and per state to use to create informative FAQ blogs.T

Early Findings

  • Traffic tickets issued in the US fall into three categories: Traffic Infractions, Traffic Misdemeanors, and Traffic Felonies.
  • Traffic Infractions, also called civil infractions, civil offenses, or moving violations, are the least serious type of traffic offense/ticket category. Examples of actions resulting in a traffic infraction ticket being issued include speeding, failing to stop at a sign or signal, failing to use turn signals, burnt-out headlights, tail lights, or brake lights, seat belt violations, illegal parking, and texting while driving.
  • Traffic infraction penalties typically involve a fine, demerit points on a driver's license, and/or the completion of a traffic or driving school refresher program. Accumulation of demerit points can result in higher insurance rates and license suspension.
  • Fines can be paid in person, online, or through US mail. A court appearance is typically required only when a driver chooses to contest the ticket.
  • Traffic Misdemeanors are more serious traffic offenses. Examples of actions considered traffic misdemeanors include Driving while Under the Influence (DUI), reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, hit and run, and is some instances in some states, vehicular homicide. In some instances, traffic infractions can be elevated to traffic misdemeanors. Examples of this include speeding at an excessively high speed and committing a traffic infraction that causes an accident.
  • In most states, traffic misdemeanor penaltiesinclude fines of up to $1000 and up to a year in jail. Additional fees, court costs, and assessments can raise the amount of the fine. Additional penalties include demerit points on a driver's license, vehicle impoundment, and a driver's license suspension. In some cases, drivers who commit traffic misdemeanor offenses are arrested but are released without having to post bail.
  • Traffic Felonies are the most serious type of traffic offense. Examples include vehicular homicide (in almost every state and instance), vehicular manslaughter, a DUI repeat offender, and incidents causing significant property damage, injuries to others, or the death of others.
  • Traffic felony penalties involve the arrest of the driver/offender at the time of the offense followed by license suspension or revocation, significant fines, and jail or prison time.
Tickets Written per State
  • Yonkers Honda, a Honda dealership in New Jersey combed through a variety of data sources to collect information on the number of speeding tickets written by each state between 2011 and 2017. They were able to gather data from 48 states (every state except Arkansas and Louisiana. After examining the data, the determine that between 2011 and 2017:
  • California, New York, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina wrote the most speeding tickets.
  • North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Alaska, and Montana wrote the least.
  • On average, 41 million traffic tickets are written in the US each year.

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