Budget deficits lead to increase in tickets for motorist just over the speed limit

In yesterday’s post, Herndon Reston area car crash injury lawyer Doug Landau looked at “speeding a little bit over the limit.” USA Today reported this phenomenon, and as cities and states scramble to fill budget gaps with revenue from traffic citations, “not only are the (speeding) tolerances much lower, but the frequency of a warning instead of a ticket is way down,” says James Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association, a drivers’ rights group that helps its members fight speeding tickets. “Most people, if they’re stopped now, are getting a ticket even if it’s only a minor violation of a few miles per hour,” Baxter says. He cites anecdotal evidence of drivers being pulled over at slower speeds.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices, issued a report in 2005 stating that police in 42 states routinely let drivers exceed speed limits. GHSA said the practice hampered efforts to reduce speeding. A study published last year in the Journal of Law and Economics found that police issue more traffic citations during recessions. From 1990 to 2003, counties in North Carolina issued significantly more tickets in the year following a decline in general tax revenue. Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock found that a 10% decrease in revenue growth caused a 6.4% increase the following year in the growth rate of traffic tickets. Car crash safety lawyer Doug Landau advises driver to set cruise controls to the speed limit, not 10 MPH above. If you try to go over the line, you may wind up with an expensive ticket.

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