How fast is too fast? Almost 98% of speeding tickets issued in Virginia are for drivers traveling 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. The average is 17 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. This does not sound like much, yet the General District Court handled 590,000 speeding cases in 2018. So, how many speeding tickets are too many in Richmond, Virginia?
What Happens When You Get a Speeding Ticket?
When you receive a speeding ticket, the officer will give you a copy of the ticket. Then, another copy will get sent from the court to the DMV. From there, the violation gets posted on your driving record, applicable points get assessed, your insurance company gets notified, and any suspensions or driver improvement course requirements get issued. There is also a hefty fine that you must pay. Each time you receive a ticket, this process gets repeated.
Driver Demerit Points
The demerit points that get assessed to your driver’s license can compound if you receive multiple violations within a two-year period. The number of points you receive for your speeding ticket will depend on the specific violation. If you are caught speeding 1-9 mph over the speed limit or traveling too slow and impeding traffic, you will receive three points. Four points are assessed for violations that involve speeding between 10-19 mph. The most severe assessment is six points for those traveling faster than 85 mph or 20 mph over the posted speed limit.
So, why do points matter? There is no limit to the number of points you can accumulate, but accumulate too many, your license will get suspended. Accumulate 12 demerit points within a 12-month period or 24 demerit points within an 18-month period, and your license gets placed on probation for six months. Earn demerit points during the probationary period, and your license will get suspended.
This may seem like a lot, but points can add up quickly. For example, two tickets where you receive 6 points for each will get you to the limit within a year. Or you could get three tickets where you are traveling 10-19 mph over the speed limit.
- 3 demerit violation- 45 days
- 4 demerit violation- 60 days
- 6 demerit violation- 90 days
Once your probationary period is over, you are not finished. Your license then enters an 18-month control period. If you earn demerits during this period, your license goes back into another six-month probationary period.
Thankfully, the revocation does not typically occur from only receiving speeding tickets. However, speeding is often combined with other offenses, such as DUI, drug, manslaughter, or felony charges, which all can result in the revocation of a license. If your license gets revoked, you will have to go through the petitioning process to convince the court to reinstate it.
Virginia has a unique points system that can be confusing for some drivers. In addition to demerit points, there are positive, safe driver points. Drivers earn one point each year when they do not receive a ticket and can earn up to five points. They can also earn five positive points for taking a driver improvement course. These positive points balance the negative points assessed.
Cost of Speeding Tickets
For some, they simply cannot afford to get multiple speeding tickets. The average fine is between $350 to $400. However, your fine is either $6, $7, or $8 for each mile per hour over the speed limit you were driving. There are all additional fines for specific circumstances, such as speeding in a residential, school, or construction zone. Then you will need to pay the court fee for each charge, a convenience fee if you pay by credit or debit card, attorney fees, and safer driver course costs.
Increased Insurance Costs
Speeding tickets affect more than your license. Get too many tickets, and you may see your car insurance rates rise. This is because each ticket and points assessment get reported to your insurance company. Over time, you will develop a track record for unsafe vehicle operations. This will cause your insurance company to increase your rates.