Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on April 10, 2010


There are many sites that discuss fighting speeding tickets. Some have good information, but presume speeding tickets are essentially criminal in nature. Tickets were criminal charges in Washington state decades ago. They are now civil infractions. This lowers the burden of proof. The judicial and procedural hurdles for the state to prove guilt are not high here.

The local jurisdiction may offer a deferral program for one speeding violation every few years. If you are worried about the effect of your driving record on your insurance premiums, you just might want to ask about the program offered and pay the exorbitant charge to participate. It may cost more than your ticket, but it could save you more than the cost on vehicle insurance. This is especially so if you must apply for a new policy and the total number of tickets of all drivers on the policy meets the insurer’s threshold. A few years ago it was a total of two tickets to move you from preferred rates; that is only one for each of two drivers in a typical mom and pop family.

There has been a lot of conjecture that the decrease in the number of warnings as a percentage of stops is being caused by revenue shortages of state and local government. The Washington State Patrol says their new approach is for safety. I believe there is a strong financial driver for two reasons. The state coffers are low because our forecasters, like so many of us, did understand the extent of the financial bubble, and we have local speed limits that are dictated by the local residents, not the users of that section of highway. That tends to lower our speed limits in some areas to levels well below what the road was designed to handle. This suggests safety is often an excuse to lower speed limits well below safe driving speeds.

Try not to forget that the cop stopping you is the same person who arrives on the scene first after crashes that severely injure our friends and relatives. I do not like folks insisting I drive slowly, but the kinetic energy that must be dissipated in an a crash does increase with the square of speed. The risk of injury and death does not rise linearly with speed. It is worse than that.

Comments are closed.

  • Tag Cloud