Somewhere between Buffalo and Albany, you see the spinning lights. You check your speedometer. You sigh.
You are about to get "soaked" by the state with fines and other penalties.
The state wants us to drive safely and not harm other people, which is understandable. It is the size of the fines that are not understandable. Yikes!
- For the average person, a $600 fine is a big deal. That is a significant amount of money they can no longer spend on rent, groceries or clothes for your kids.
- Some people do not have an extra $600 in the bank. They might ignore the ticket and live outside the law until they are pulled over again.
If you received a ticket for speeding, remember that you have not hurt anyone. Of course, the state is still going to come down on you. Let's be honest; the state probably cares less about making an example of you or even improving public safety than it does adding another $600 to its coffers.
The problem for you does not stop with the $600, either. You get points added to your driving record. Your insurance premiums may double, or worse. The public availability of your conviction information can have repercussions that affect your employment, your studies or your reputation as a good citizen.
While it does not happen often, a speeding conviction can put you behind bars for up to 30 days. On top of all this, you could also lose your driving privileges.
Breaking it down
A first-time conviction for speeding in New York will cost you between $45 and $600.
- If police clock your speed at less than 10 miles above the posted limit, the fine for the ticket will be between $45 and $150.
- Drive a little faster, between 11 and 30 miles over the limit, and the fine jumps to the range of $90 to $300.
- If you are caught driving faster than 31 miles over the speed limit, your ticket will cost $180 to $600.
- If you have prior speeding convictions on your record, the fines increase even more.
Your problems do not stop there. Our state levies a $70 moving violation surcharge plus a driver assessment fee if you have six or more points on your record.
Our suggestion to you
Slow down. Speeding is bad. It pollutes the air and it diminishes your fuel efficiency. And yes, the state is right, you can hurt or kill somebody - starting with yourself.
If you get pulled over, think hard. Is it better to absorb all this punishment or fight the ticket in court? Most people opt to absorb the punishment, but you can fight the ticket and win.