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Just How Much is a California Speeding Ticket These Days?

How much is a California speeding ticket these days?

It’s really no surprise to most people that a ticket for speeding in California will cost some cash. Most people figure that they’re in for a fine of $100-$150. However, those drivers are often stunned when they receive their total bill, which often exceeds $400.

how much is a California speeding ticketWhen searching the answer to how much is a California speeding ticket, at first glance, the state charges for traffic violations seem quite low. With a more in-depth look though, you’ll find that it isn’t the base charge that is high; in fact, this base charge has remained fairly constant over the last two decades. The culprit responsible for emptying your wallet faster than the speed you were caught driving at is really all of the additional fees and charges that are tacked on to that base fine. Currently in California there are 10 of these additional charges.

These add-ons, known as penalty assessments, are set by the legislature, and are used for various projects throughout the state. The base CA speeding ticket fine for those going up to 15 mph over the limit is around $35. Most of this base fine goes to the city and county where the offense took place.

First added during the late 1950s, these penalty assessments were $1 extra for every $20 of the base fine. In 2002, those same fines ran at $17 for every $10 in fines, and today, the penalty assessment charges are nearly double that amount, now adding an average of $30 for every $10 of base fine!

how much is california speeding ticket

Source: Judicial Council of California

It doesn’t stop there, though. Over the last 10 years or so, several flat fees have also been tacked on, including a $35 criminal conviction assessment fee, a $40 court operations fee, and $4 for medical air transportation funds. The other fees include $10 for state programs, $5 for state court construction, $4 for DNA identification programs, $9 for the county and $2 for the state’s general fund.

When all is said and done, your $10 base fine CA driving ticket now costs $120. Your $100 fine swells to become a $480 fine. Need to request traffic school? That will add on another $55 to your bill-and that doesn’t include the cost of the class!

Running a red light cost $103 in 1993; according to the Judicial Council of California, today it costs $490. 10 years ago, rolling through a stop sign would’ve drained $130 from you. Today, the same violation will empty you of $238. Speeding up to 15mph over the limit can cost $238 as well, which is more than eight times what it cost in 1993.

As you can imagine, the number of people who fight a California speeding ticket in courts trying to get their fines reduced or eliminated is climbing with each passing year, thanks to these swelling fees and fines.

Sources:
The Center for Investigative Reporting, http://cironline.org/reports/california-drives-traffic-fines-fees-earmarked-projects-5223

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