speeding violation
By Oregon Department of Transportation (TACT speeding violation Uploaded by Smallman12q) via Wikimedia Commons

Thinking of putting the pedal to the metal as you cruise along the Front Range? If you’re pulled over and ticketed for speeding, your location, more than other factors, will determine your fine. Rates are not static. A speeding ticket in Colorado is generally $232 for going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, but the actual cost of the traffic violation can be much more, depending on municipality. As your Fort Collins automotive service advisor, we want you to avoid the expensive and aggravating experience of getting a speeding citation.

So how do we avoid getting a speeding ticket? One thing to keep in mind is that penalties increase with how many miles one actually goes over the posted speed limit. If you do go over the, keep it minimal, absolutely avoid pushing the amount you might want to speed to 20 or more miles per hour over the legal limit. Be aware that posted speed limits are impacted by driving conditions. The blanket law for Colorado is “reasonable and prudent.” Don’t go faster than is safe for conditions. If you’re driving on I-25 in a hail storm, slow down below the posted speed limit.

Another tip to avoid speeding (at least somewhat unintentionally,) is to be aware of what type of road you’re on, and its maximum speed. The rate of legal speed varies from type of road. Be aware of these regulations:

  • 20 mph: Winding, narrow mountain highways and blind curves.
  • 25 mph: Central business districts.
  • 30 mph: Residential areas.
  • 40 mph:Open mountain highways.
  • 55 mph, up to 65 mph where posted: Rural highways, including two lanes and four-lane divided.
  • 65 mph, up to 75 mph where posted: Rural Interstates.

If you do get pulled over for speeding, you won’t get charged more because of car color, or because your vehicle is flashy, or due to the hour of the day. Imported cars, pickup trucks, or old beaters make no difference to ticket price when it comes to speeding. Next time you complete your Fort Collins automotive service, and decide to enjoy the rest of the day by happily driving to Castle Rock, watch your speed. When combined with raised insurance premiums, a ticket for speeding there will cost you a lot more than one for speeding in Fort Collins.

Municipalities in Colorado can set their own penalties for speeding, and those vary. Additionally, insurance premiums go up with driving citations, including speeding tickets. The average Colorado driver will pay $135.61 more per year for insurance after getting a speeding ticket. Most of us are aware that a high end import car, or a hot rod, or a pricey SUV will hit our insurance premiums harder than a Honda civic. But, what really raises car insurance premiums is actually driving citations. Getting a speeding ticket while driving any vehicle (be it that import car or that old beater) will have an adverse affect on insurance premiums, more than the type of car being driven when getting a ticket.

Nerd wallet put together an analysis of speeding cost combining both the ticket and the expected car insurance premium increase. They found insurance increases across Colorado to be consistent, but noticed a disparity when comparing regions. Where you speed turns out to be the deciding factor in increased premiums:

Speeding Ticket Costs
Courtesy of Nerd Wallet

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. In Colorado, drivers’ average annual insurance premiums increase 11.7% after a 20 mile per hour speeding ticket.

It’s not the resort towns that command the steepest ticket price for speeding in Colorado. It is most expensive to get a speeding ticket in the places we tend to think have speed traps: municipalities that are intersected with major highways. The front range corridor, as well as other communities that bisect our major highways, I-25 and I-70 are the hot spots for speeding ticket revenues.

Being aware of maximum driving speeds per type of road and conditions will save you a potential speeding ticket. Have you ever thought it was OK to go 65 on a Mountain highway, because it’s perfectly legal to do so on rural highways? Now you know that its not! Save your car money for your Fort Collins car service visits to your local auto shop, and don’t blow your car budget on tickets. Watch your speed! (especially in Fort Morgan.)