The True Cost of a Speeding Ticket in Colorado

Ticket

Speeding is expensive — and tickets are not the only cost. According to Colorado state regulations, a driver caught speeding 20 miles per hour over the speed limit must pay $232, though the exact fine will vary depending on who cites you and where you are cited. The ticket itself is not the only cost associated with speeding. For almost all drivers, insurance premiums go up as well.  On average, Colorado drivers pay $135.61 more per year for insurance after getting a speeding ticket. For many insurers, the rate increases typically last for about three years, which means that Colorado drivers can end up paying an extra $406.83 for insurance after a single ticket.

However, drivers in some cities pay more than drivers in others. For example, a driver in Montrose will only pay $101.58 more in car insurance premiums after a ticket, whereas a driver in Fort Morgan with the same speeding ticket will pay $178.57 more per year. Generally, the percentage increase in annual car insurance premiums after speeding tickets is consistent across Colorado. The disparity in dollar amount increases is best explained by the fact that car insurance rates differ from city to city.

Key findings

  • The average insurance increase for Colorado drivers after a 20 miles per hour speeding ticket is $135.61 per year, and insurance increases often last for three years. That means a $232 ticket actually costs drivers $638.83.
  • A driver in Fort Morgan who receives a speeding ticket will pay $76.99 more per year than a driver in Montrose who receives the same ticket.
  • In Colorado, drivers’ average annual insurance premiums increase 11.7% after a 20 mile per hour speeding ticket.

Cities in Colorado where it is most expensive to get a speeding ticket:

1. Fort Morgan

True cost of a speeding ticket: $767.70

Fort Morgan has higher annual car insurance rates, $972.31, than the state average. Drivers in Fort Morgan are also faced with the steepest car insurance increases after receiving speeding tickets, 15.59%. As a result, Fort Morgan drivers’ wallets are hit hardest after speeding violations when compared to other Colorado cities.

2. Castle Rock

True cost of a speeding ticket: $745.94

Castle Rock’s municipal court has jurisdiction over traffic violations. In cases of minor speeding tickets, most drivers can pay for their violations before appearing in court. Like many states, Colorado uses a points system to police drivers. If defendants pay for their parking tickets prior to their court date, they can lower two- or three-point tickets to one point.

Drivers who receive speeding tickets should re-shop for insurance. In Castle Rock, drivers can look to both Affordable American Insurance and CoWest Insurance Group if they are thinking about switching insurance carriers.

3. Evans

True cost of a speeding ticket: $739.95

Often, drivers who move to Colorado are concerned that their previous moving violations will affect their licensing in Colorado. However, in Colorado — including Evans — the DMV will not place minor violations on drivers’ records once they move to the state.

Drivers who have further questions about fines and traffic violations can turn to Evans’ municipal court or the Colorado Motor Vehicle Division.

4. Sterling

True cost of a speeding ticket: $726.06

Sterling, like many cities in Colorado, has speed traps. Wary motorists can turn to numerous organizations and apps to avoid speeding tickets. The National Motorists Association monitors speed traps across the nation. To report a speed trap or to see an area’s speed traps, drivers can go to the NMA’s website. Besides the NMA’s database, an app, Trapster, helps drivers avoid speed traps.

5. Pueblo

True cost of a speeding ticket: $705.37

After receiving a minor speeding ticket, the average rate increase for Pueblo drivers is 13.82%, which is less than its neighbor, Colorado Springs. However, Pueblo’s average car insurance rates, $989.97, are higher than the rest of Colorado’s, and the dollar amount increase is thus a bit higher.

6. Colorado Springs

True cost of a speeding ticket: $693.26

Last year, Colorado Springs was named the No. 1 city for congestion growth in the United States.  In an effort to alleviate congestion, the Colorado Springs Department of Transportation is expanding the section of I-25 that runs from Colorado Springs to Monument. Drivers should note that Colorado Springs has many traffic cameras, many of which are situated along I-25.

After getting a speeding ticket in Colorado Springs, some drivers might want to hire a lawyer to contest a ticket. Both the Liberty Law Center and McDowell Law Firm are good places to look.

7. Loveland

True cost of a speeding ticket: $671.49

In Loveland, drivers who suspect that they have unpaid traffic tickets can call the Loveland Municipal Court or the Larimer County Court.

Drivers who receive points on their driving record can often remove them by taking traffic school. A few options include options MasterDrive Traffic and DriversEd.com, which offer classes in Loveland.

8. Parker

True cost of a speeding ticket: $668.88

Like many cities in Colorado, drivers who speed in safety-sensitive zones are subject to increased fines. If a driver receives a ticket in a safety-sensitive zone such as a construction area or school zone, fines are automatically doubled.

9. Greeley

True cost of a speeding ticket: $658.47

Greeley State Sen. Scott Renfroe is spearheading a bill that will impact drivers across Colorado. His bill, which would ban speeding cameras in Colorado, just passed the state senate. He argues that speeding cameras do not actually increase driver safety and that they are merely revenue generators for the state.

10. Aurora

True cost of a speeding ticket: $654.77

In Aurora, many state legislators are able to avoid both parking fines and speeding tickets. The legislators use license plates that are not registered with the DMV. The Department of Public Works relies on the DMV’s database to contact people with unpaid tickets and are therefore unable to contact people with unregistered license plates.

For young drivers, vehicle car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death. The National Safety Council designed a safe driving course called Alive at 25, which helps young drivers learn safe driving skills. Aurora residents should take advantage of a class held in Aurora on May 10.


True Cost of Speeding in CO

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Most Expensive Cities to Get a Speeding Ticket

Rank City Average Annual Car Insurance Premium Average Annual Car Insurance Premium After Speeding Ticket Difference % Increase True Cost of Ticket
1 Fort Morgan $972.31 $1,150.88 $178.57 15.59% $767.70
2 Castle Rock $918.29 $1,089.60 $171.31 14.72% $745.94
3 Evans $869.06 $1,038.38 $169.32 15.65% $739.95
4 Sterling $986.19 $1,150.88 $164.69 14.86% $726.06
5 Pueblo $989.97 $1,147.76 $157.79 13.82% $705.37
6 Colorado Springs $978.45 $1,132.20 $153.75 14.10% $693.26
7 Loveland $843.38 $989.88 $146.50 13.44% $671.49
8 Parker $956.00 $1,101.63 $145.63 14.02% $668.88
9 Greeley $847.72 $989.88 $142.16 12.40% $658.47
10 Aurora $997.19 $1,138.11 $140.92 10.45% $654.77
11 Denver $1,004.61 $1,145.47 $140.86 12.11% $654.58
12 Windsor $849.25 $989.88 $140.63 14.21% $653.88
13 Fort Collins $838.03 $978.25 $140.22 12.18% $652.66
14 Boulder $838.51 $977.20 $138.69 12.73% $648.07
15 Steamboat Springs $970.81 $1,108.13 $137.32 11.98% $643.95

Least Expensive Cities to Get a Ticket

Rank City Average Annual Car Insurance Premium Average Annual Car Insurance Premium After Speeding Ticket Difference % Increase True Cost of Ticket
1 Montrose $923.69 $1,025.27 $101.58 9.86% $536.74
2 Durango $1,016.56 $1,126.60 $110.04 10.61% $562.13
3 Golden $924.25 $1,037.19 $112.94 9.14% $570.81
4 Westminster $910.47 $1,026.56 $116.09 9.81% $580.28
5 Broomfield $856.71 $975.04 $118.33 8.73% $587.00
6 Fountain $981.94 $1,101.00 $119.06 10.92% $589.18
7 Grand Junction $883.86 $1,003.25 $119.39 11.03% $590.17
8 Fruita $881.13 $1,003.25 $122.12 11.91% $598.36
9 Wheat Ridge $922.25 $1,044.56 $122.31 9.06% $598.94
10 Longmont $856.04 $978.58 $122.54 10.42% $599.63
11 Louisville $829.44 $954.25 $124.81 9.24% $606.43
12 Lafayette $828.13 $954.25 $126.12 9.68% $610.36
13 Brighton $874.35 $1,000.71 $126.36 10.82% $611.07
14 Thornton $894.25 $1,023.94 $129.69 11.15% $621.06
15 Englewood $937.86 $1,068.19 $130.33 10.32% $622.98

Methodology

To determine the average insurance premium increases, we retrieved quotes for four different driver profiles in Colorado: 27-year-old single men and women and 40-year-old married men and women each driving Toyota Camrys and Ford Escapes. For each driver profile, we chose each city’s two cheapest car insurance quotes to mimic consumer behavior and to determine our overall average. We only surveyed cities that had populations greater than 10,000 residents. We calculated the total cost of the speeding ticket by adding the cost of a speeding ticket to three years of car insurance increases. The estimated costs are for illustrative purposes only. The actual insurance increases you face will vary depending on your insurance carrier, your location and other factors.


Anne Kitzman /Shutterstock.

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