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Don't Mess with Texas Highway Patrol

Texas: Top 5 State for Issuing Traffic Tickets

     

Many of us may have experienced that dreadful sight of a police officer waving you to the side of the road. A police officer may pull you over for a traffic violation or other reasons. The cost of the violation depends on the violation type and the municipality you are ticketed in.

Below are some interesting facts and figures about Texas traffic violations.

 

texas traffic violations facts and figures

 

Major vs. Minor Violations

Traffic violations are the most common types of offense that people make. They are typically divided into two types: major and minor. Both types have consequences, depending on the severity of the violation. The best way to get points removed from your record after committing a traffic violation is to take a Texas Defensive Driving course.

Examples of minor violations and their consequences:

Minor Violation Fines/Consequences
Disobeying railroad crossing signs $50 - $200
Failure to stop for school bus $200 - $1000 for 1st offense; repeat offenses result in license suspension
Not wearing a seat belt $50 - $200 (depends on age of unbelted passengers)
Parking in disabled space Up to $500
Speeding $150 (depends on municipality)

Fact: The fastest speeding ticket issued in Texas in May 2003. The car was going 242 mph in a 75 mph zone.

Tickets are usually issued for a minor offenses and the violator can either pay the fine, try to fight it in court, or attend traffic school to dismiss the ticket (if the court allows it).

Examples of major violations and their consequences:

Major Violation Fines/Consequences
Driving Without a license $200
Driving while intoxication (DWI) $2,000 for first offense, at least 90 days license suspension, and minimum of 3 days in jail
Hit & run Up to $5,000 and maximum of 5 years in jail
Intoxication manslaughter Up to $10,000 and 2-20 years in jail
Reckless driving Up to $200 and 30 days in jail

Fact: The legal blood alcohol concentration limit in Texas is .08

The consequences are more severe for major offenses. You can be arrested and imprisoned if you are found guilty.

 

Most Ticketed Vehicle

A yearlong study was conducted to determine which car is most likely to draw a ticket for their driver. ISO Quality Planning, the San Francisco company who conducted the study, anaylzed over 1.7 million driver records and came up with a list for the most ticketed and least ticketed vehicles.

Most Ticketed Vehicle * Rate
Hummer H2/H3 463%
Scion tC 460%
Scion XB 403%
Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG 397%
Toyota Solara Coupe 306%
Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG 276%
Scion XA 275%
Subaru Outback 266%
Audi A4 264%
Toyota Matrix 264%
Least Ticketed Vehicle * Rate
Jaguar XJ sedan 11%
Chevrolet Suburban 16%
Chevrolet Tahoe 21%
Chevrolet C/K- 3500/2500 pickup 28%
Buick Park Avenue 32%
Mazda6 34%
Buick Rainier 37%
Oldsmobile Silhouette 37%
Buick Lucerne 40%
GMC Sierra C1500 pickup 40%

* = Violations per 100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.

"The sense of power that Hummer drivers derive from their vehicle may be directly correlated with the number of violations they incur," said Raj Bhat, the president of ISO Quality Planning. "Or perhaps Hummer drivers, by virtue of their driving position, are less likely to notice road hazards, signs, pedestrians and other drivers."

 

"Click It or Ticket" Texas

According to national statistics, about 63% of people killed in a crash were not wearing a seat belt. Seat belts are your best protection in a car crash. They save approximately 13, 000 lives in the United States each year and continue to be the most effective tool in reducing injuries during a car crash.

The law of inertia states that an object in motion will continue to stay in motion until something else stops it. Imagine that you are driving at a steady 50mph. At this point, your speed and the car’s speed are pretty much the same. Now, imagine if the car were to crash into a tree. The tree would stop the car’s motion, but you would keep moving forward at the same speed.

If you are not wearing a seat belt during a car crash, you would have to either hit the steering wheel or go through the windshield at 50mph before your motion would slow down. This could instantly kill or severely injure you. If you are wearing a seatbelt in a car crash, the seat belt will act as the stopping force and allow your body to slow down. It prevents you from flying forward and being ejected from the vehicle.

Most states, including Texas, have enacted the Primary Seat Belt Law, which allows an officer to give you a ticket just for not wearing a seat belt. To learn more, visit Click It or Ticket - Texas.

 

Most Common Reasons for Issuing Traffic Tickets

A Texas law firm has listed some of the most common laws from the Texas Transportation Code that Texas police use to issue traffic tickets.

  • Sec. 545.351 - MAXIMUM SPEED REQUIREMENT
  • Sec. 545.352 - PRIMA FACIE SPEED LIMITS
  • Sec. 544.010 - STOP SIGNS AND YIELD SIGNS
  • Sec. 545.157 - PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE
  • Sec. 548.602 - FAILURE TO DISPLAY INSPECTION CERTIFICATE
  • Sec. 548.605 - DISMISSAL OF CHARGE; ADMINISTRATIVE FEE
  • Sec. 601.051 - REQUIREMENT OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
  • Sec. 601.191 - OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

(See law details)

 

Total Licensed Drivers

Below is a recent list of the top ten states with the most licensed drivers. Texas is ranked second with almost 13.5 million licensed drivers.

State Amount
California 22,657,288
Texas 13,498,071
Florida 12,905,813
New York 11,356,988
Pennsylvania 8,369,575
Illinois 8,054,232
Ohio 7,656,362
Michigan 7,065,438
North Carolina 6,014,782
Georgia 5,757,953

(See full list of states)

 

Revenue from Traffic Ticket Fines

An interesting fact about traffic tickets is that an average traffic cop generates an annual average revenue of $200,000 for the city - just from traffic ticket fines! In Texas alone, the state's top forty speed traps generated a total of $178,367,093 in speeding tickets from 2000 to 2008.

Below are the top 10 states that are known for writing tickets:

  1. Ohio
  2. Pennylvania
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Texas
  6. Georgia
  7. Virginia
  8. North Carolina
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Connecticut

(Source: http://www.trafficticketsecrets.com/speeding-ticket-facts.html)