Most Expensive Speeding Ticket

just cost me $220 yesterday, but didn’t buy me anything to enjoy because it was a speeding ticket!

Two months ago I was pulled over on my way to work after dropping off my daughter at day care. The officer asked if I had any idea how fast I was traveling and I said no. In fact, I never really paid attention to the speed limit on that road, though I have been living around that area for nearly four years. It’s a local road near residential area, so the limit couldn’t be high. The officer then told me my speed was 51 mph and the limit is 35. 51? I knew I was speeding but was I really that fast? But why exactly 16 miles over the limit? I didn’t dispute and didn’t ask for the radar readings (I don’t know if I could).

In the past ten years, I didn’t have any accident except once I was hit by a guy on my left trying to make a right turn, but that was my fourth speeding ticket. I guess I always tend to drive a faster, but to some extent, who doesn’t speed? How many people actually follow the posted speed limit?

Anyway, after postponing the court appearance twice, I eventually decided to go yesterday to see my chance of getting the case dropped or downgraded. Outside the court room, I found the officer’s name appeared as witness on a long list of cases and after meeting him in the hallway, I knew I can’t expect a no-show. The best chance for me, thus, was to try to get the charge reduced. With my last ticket three years ago, I played the delay game three times and when I called to get another extension, I was told over the phone I didn’t have to come if I agreed to double the fine and they could reduce the charge from speeding to a less severe reckless driving with no point.

The talk with the prosecutor didn’t last long and he agreed to amend the charge to a 14-mile over the limit instead of 16, but that’s still worth 2 points! He said he can remove the points if there were only two (0 to 14 miles over the limit), but couldn’t go from 4 to zero. Fine!

So what did this costly ticket teach me? First, don’t speed. It could put people in danger. Next, if I do need to go a little faster for various reasons, don’t exceed the limit more than 14 miles.

BTW, here’s an article on LifeHacker on how to beat a speeding ticket. I read it but didn’t beat it, :((.

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8 Responses to “Most Expensive Speeding Ticket”

  1. Lulu |  Apr 04, 2007 at 10:14 am

    I got a speeding ticket a couple of years ago for doing 55 in a 35 zone. Before that I had always driven the speed limit but I was late coming back from lunch that day and did not want to call to say I would be late. I took online defensive driving for $20 and did not have to pay the massive ticket….but from that day on I always drive the speed limit. My cellphone is always charged so I just call to say I will be late because I do not want to pay for another ticket….or have to do that horrible defensive driving thing again.
    So in response to your question on how many people drive the speed limit: 1 so far…that’s me.

  2. goldfish |  Apr 04, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Just think it’s a good thing because it reminds us safety is the first important thing in our life. Imaging somebody else drives fast when your daughter is playing in the neighborhood.

  3. Tim |  Apr 04, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    states vary as to what a defensive driving course can do. normally, if it is possible it is listed on the speeding ticket. you still have to pay an administrative fee and the cost of the defensive driving course, but it is far less than the ticket plus hit to your insurance rating.

    for new jersey, you can remove the 2 pts you got for the speeding ticket by taking an approved defensive driving course.
    Probably worth it in terms of added insurance. many can be done online. i did mine by renting it through blockbuster.

  4. Golbguru |  Apr 04, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Slow down cowboy :) …if it gives you a bit of encouragement, I drive within speed limit …it’s the most enjoyable kind of driving you can get (although I am tempted to speed often). If you need more encouragement, read this for a while:

    You have probably gone over that before. :)..but just in case you missed it.

    If that doesn’t work for you, think about the ounce of gold you could buy in the cost of three speeding tickets…that will surely slow you down. :)

  5. The Sun |  Apr 04, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Tim: Thanks for the tip. I went through the list of available driving class and found the nearest one is still about 17 miles from where I live. I think I will have to call them to see what exactly needs to be done in getting the 2 points removed. I never thought about taking a course, but it’s definitely an option now. BTW, how do you taking the course by watching a video. Is that on option available to everybody?

    Golbguru: That one third ounce of gold really got me, :D.

  6. Tim |  Apr 05, 2007 at 2:10 am

    Sun, as in my email reply, it varies from state-to-state as to whether you have to attend classroom or can do an online or video rental course. for NJ, you have to attend classroom which is around $70. the benefit can be two-fold. you get the points removed and you may get insurance reduced. normally, you get two certificates. one for the DMV, the other for your insurance company. some insurance companies do not offer a reduction for courses though. your insurance company should never know about the points.

    in my case, for TX, TX allows for online courses. I rented the course from blockbuster. You do not have to pay the ticket, but have to pay an administrative fee, plus the online course. you submit the course certificate with the ticket and they do not report or add points. at that time, my insurance company also gave reduction for defensive driver course. so, i sent them a certificate in order to get the reduction. for TX, you can continue to get the insurance reduction for 3 years then you have to retake the course. CAVEAT: if you had taken the course and then got a speeding ticket within the 3 yr period, having done the course does nothing. I believe this is the same for all the other states that accept DD for pt reduction or ticket dismissal.

  7. Mike Kelly |  Dec 18, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Sun,

    Excellent post & blog in general. Is there anywhere to view how many points you currently have on your record (& if so; is there anywhere you can view it free of charge; or do you have to order a driving history from your state for ~5$..assuming that is where one would find the info).