New statistics reveal the cost — and likelihood — of speeding tickets.
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Life in the Fast Lane

THE NEXT TIME you feel like mashing your foot down on the accelerator, consider slamming on the brakes instead. According to AutoInsurance.org, 34 million speeding tickets are issued annually, including a whopping 65 every minute. With average fines hovering around $150 and more than $5 billion in penalties assessed each year , doing your best NASCAR impression can also prove to be a costly mistake. Case in point: Despite serving only a combined 56,000 residents, a mere 40 speed traps throughout Texas racked up $178,367,093 in fines between 2000 and 2008. Wondering who’s most likely to hand out a personal driving award? New data from the National Motorists Association (www.motorists.org) indicates that states prone to issuing citations (in descending order) include Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Texas and Alabama. Those least likely to fine drivers include Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alaska. Bear in mind, however, that actual citation data is a closely kept secret, as legislators score precious little goodwill by touting their propensity to ticket . Wise drivers will note that these findings are rather loosely based on Google search queries for related phrases such as “speeding ticket” and “traffic ticket,” categorized by state.

So, no matter where you find yourself cruising the open highway, when the urge to floor it strikes, common sense should still prevail. In other words, for the safety of yourself and others, it’s always safest (and smartest) to stick within the posted limit.