10 worst U.S. cities to get a speeding ticket

Los Angeles tops our list, but find out where else you want to keep that lead foot in check

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Nobody wants to get a speeding ticket. Not only do you have to pay hefty fines to the jurisdiction in which you're pulled over, a driving infraction can also increase your auto insurance premiums. 

But not all cities and states have the same consequences for speeding tickets. In fact, some are much more expensive than others. 

We researched four key areas at the state and local levels to determine the costs associated with driving infractions. Our data included:

  • Auto insurance premium increase: After a speeding violation between 11 and 15 miles over the speed limit (by city; data pulled from The Zebra)
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record (by state)
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine: Different jurisdictions structure their fines in various ways so we based our estimates on 15 mph over the speed limit (by state)
  • Total fines per adult resident per year (by city or nearby town): This isn't just related to traffic offenses, but gives an idea of how aggressive the local jurisdiction is with fining in general. 

Discover which cities have the toughest fines when it comes to driving infractions.


#1: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is known for its traffic congestion and unfortunately, drivers are also subject to some of the highest costs related to driving infractions. In LA County, fines average nearly $4,600 per year per adult in the city. Los Angeles drivers also face a large increase in auto insurance after a speeding ticket, paying more than $900 extra each year.

Los Angeles by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $908
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years, 3 months
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $250
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: $4,592

#2: Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas has one of the strictest driving record policies on the list. Speeding tickets stay on your record permanently, although the points are removed after three years. Driving infractions are also expensive; the maximum fine for 15 mph over the limit is $1,000. And your insurance premium could jump by nearly $600.

Las Vegas by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $591
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: Permanent; points removed after 3 years
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $1,000 
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

#3: St. Louis, Missouri

Like Las Vegas, St. Louis has one of the highest thresholds for maximum speeding ticket fines. You can also expect more than a $500 increase in car insurance after a speeding incident. However, your driving infraction won't haunt you forever and will be erased from your driving record after just three years. 

St. Louis by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $539
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $1,000
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

#4: New Orleans, Louisiana

Speeding in New Orleans comes with a costly jump in car insurance costs, landing at more than $950 extra per year. Plus, the maximum fine for a 15 MPH speeding violation is $500, making it among the most expensive cities we analyzed. On the plus side, other types of city fines may not set you back too much, with general municipal fines averaging just $150.

New Orleans by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $951
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $500
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: $150

#5: San Francisco, California

San Francisco drivers also see a large increase in auto insurance premiums, which add nearly an extra $850 each year. Tickets stay on your driving record for just over three years, and you can expect to pay as much as $250 for a 15-mph overage.

San Francisco by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $846
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years, 3 months
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $250
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

#6: Riverside, California

Riverside is another area where insurance premiums rise substantially after a ticket, averaging $808 more per year. Like San Francisco, your driving record will clear after three years and three months, and you'll pay up to $250 for a speeding ticket that is 15 mph over the limit.

Riverside by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $808
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years, 3 months
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $250
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

#7: Baltimore, Maryland

The maximum speeding fine in Baltimore is $500 for a 15 mph overage, which is one of the higher fines. City fines in general are also above average at $259 per adult each year. And once Charm City residents get a speeding ticket, their auto insurance jumps by $520.

Baltimore by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $520
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $500
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: $259

#8: Sacramento, California

Think again before speeding in Sacramento — the average auto insurance increase is $765. The fine for 15 mph over the limit is $250, which is still above average compared to other cities we looked at.

Sacramento by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $765
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years, 3 months
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $250
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

#9: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta residents face one of the higher speeding ticket pricing structures among large cities we reviewed. The maximum fine is $500, and insurance premiums rise by more than $540. The good news is that speeding tickets only stay on your record for two years.

Atlanta by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $541
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 2 years
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $500
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: $183

#10: San Jose, California

Premium increases are high in San Jose, averaging an extra $731 after getting a speeding ticket. The violation will cost you as much as $250 and stay on your record for three years and three months.

San Jose by the numbers

  • Auto insurance premium increase: $731
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record: 3 years, 3 months
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine for 15 MPH over limit: $250
  • Total fines per adult resident per year: Data not available

Methodology

The Zebra pulled four data points to analyze the top 50 MSAs (by population) in the U.S. related to driving infractions:

  • Annual auto insurance premium increase: After a speeding violation between 11 and 15 miles over the speed limit (by city; data pulled from The Zebra)
  • How long speeding ticket stays on record (by state)
  • Maximum speeding ticket fine: Different jurisdictions structure their fines in various ways so we based our estimates on 15 mph over the speed limit (by state)
  • Total fines per adult resident per year by city or nearby town (Governing Magazine)