What’s the Worst State for Speeding Tickets?

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You may hear your elders tell you that driving laws in your town or state are “some of the worst in the country.” They could be telling you that to keep you driving safe, or just our of ignorance. The fact is, some states are definitely worse than others, and thankfully we can prove it with math!

The fiscally savvy folks over at WalletHub have put together a complex study of which states are the worse for financial penalties. The company looked at 12 key metrics across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. And they found that the worst state for tickets was…Colorado. Illinois came in a close second, tied with Delaware, Arizona and New Mexico.

RELATED: How Much Speeding Tickets REALLY Cost, and How Not to Get Them

Though not the outright winner, Illinois has it pretty bad. Their law enforcement automatically considers speeding reckless driving, and as a result, it incurs the highest maximum fine (especially for your second reckless offense, which is just your second speeding ticket). The report also cites the frequency jail time issued for a first reckless offense as well as second offense as to why Illinois is, financially, a terrible place to speed in.

Overall Rank
(1=Strictest)

State

Reckless Penalties
Rank

Speeding Enforcement
Rank

1

Colorado

2

10

2

Arizona

10

2

2

Delaware

1

23

2

Illinois

8

4

5

New Mexico

10

4

6

Virginia

8

14

7

Iowa

24

1

7

Massachusetts

2

31

9

Alabama

10

15

10

District Of Columbia

15

10

11

Arkansas

4

44

11

California

5

31

11

Oregon

19

7

11

Washington

19

7

15

West Virginia

6

31

16

Kansas

10

26

16

Maryland

27

7

18

Indiana

27

10

18

Missouri

41

2

18

North Carolina

15

19

21

Oklahoma

6

47

21

Wyoming

14

26

23

Hawaii

24

17

23

New York

41

6

25

Alaska

19

23

25

Louisiana

40

10

25

Maine

19

23

25

Vermont

15

31

29

Idaho

15

44

30

Tennessee

41

15

31

Connecticut

27

31

31

Georgia

27

31

31

Minnesota

27

31

31

Nevada

24

38

35

Florida

37

26

35

North Dakota

27

38

35

Rhode Island

27

38

38

Michigan

19

48

38

Wisconsin

45

17

40

Kentucky

45

19

40

Montana

36

44

40

Nebraska

37

38

40

New Jersey

37

38

40

Ohio

45

19

40

South Carolina

45

19

46

New Hampshire

27

48

47

Mississippi

45

26

47

Pennsylvania

45

26

47

South Dakota

41

38

47

Utah

27

50

51

Texas

45

50

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The study also found that 75% of states have “absolute” speed limits, meaning just by going over the limit, the state has enough to convict you of speeding. The other quarter of states have laws that allow your to argue in court that the speeding was reasonable. Also, while no states have mandatory jail time, if you are convicted of reckless driving, expect to spend at least a night in jail.

Across the country, the average maximum cost of a speeding ticket is $742. The highest is Washington state, where you could incur up to $5,000 on a single ticket. Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Mexico are all tied for the lowest, with a $100 maximum fine.

Check out the full report to see where your state stacks up for speeding tickets.

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