Is there something about Florida that the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) issued 317,936 speeding citations in 2010? According to FHP statistics, that number was a little less than the number in 2009 (which was 321,777). And this doesn’t count the number of speeding tickets handed out by other police agencies in Florida.
Naturally, a two-year average of more than 300,000 tickets just for speeding makes one wonder whether Florida drivers simply have more of a need for speed than drivers in other states.
But is that true? How do other places stack up? And is it truly a “need for speed” on the part of drivers, or is it that some cities and states put more effort into ticketing people?
The National Motorists Association (NMA), an advocacy group for motorists’ legal rights, has in the past put Florida at the top of the list (in 2010) regarding where drivers are most likely to get a speeding ticket.
This year, the NMA 2012 report again puts Florida in the top five (a group that includes Nevada, Georgia, Alabama and Maryland).
And as Jayne Clark reports for USA Today, the NMA also ranked metropolitan areas in 2012. It’s no surprise, but Miami came up number four on a list of 10 major cities that includes Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
It’s Not Florida Drivers, It’s Florida Speed Traps
Traffic tickets are “big business,” as the NMA characterizes it, arguing that money is the prime motivator in issuing speeding tickets, not traffic safety. That’s why it’s difficult to know where the worst places are for getting speeding tickets – a city would prefer not to publish such data, while continuing to rake in revenue from ticketed drivers.
The Florida Highway Patrol may issue more than 300,000 speeding citations every year, but it’s likely only a fraction of the total number of speeding citations given out every year throughout Florida.
And all of those tickets add up to big money for local government.