I’ve recently had the, well, let’s just say opportunity, of dealing with a speeding ticket. In fact, I’m still dealing with the speeding ticket. What’s worse? It’s not my speeding ticket. I knew that if I hadn’t taken care of the ticket, it would’ve sat idly until further consequences arrived. While that might have been the route to take, it would’ve ultimately made a lot more work for me, something I’m not afraid of under the right circumstances. Trying to squeeze any ounce of “look at the bright side” out of this (right…), I wanted to send a reminder to slow down. Here are the true costs of a speeding ticket.
Ah, the ever enjoyable speeding ticket.
I get it, they happen. I do believe there are some reasons that are more understandable than others when it comes to speeding. Dealing with an emergency? Okay. Being chased by Godzilla? Free pass. Late to work because we can’t ever get our stuff together? Not good. “Didn’t pay attention to how fast I was going?” Yikes. You have a car. You’re behind the wheel of that car. You could do so much damage with the car. Give up the car. Accidents and carelessness are two different things.
Anyways, we’ve been cited for speeding and now we must deal with it. I’m not the type who’s going to contest a justified speeding ticket. If the offense was truthful and there is no ground to protest, suck it up and deal with life. I know that many people show up to court, hope the officer doesn’t, get fines and punishments reduced, and so on. This is just not the approach I take. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll look for a legit reason it might have happened, but if you are driving the same route everyday, speeding around, and waiting to get caught… Officer 1, citizen 0.
So, the true cost of the ticket is only $100-$200, right? I’ll pay it and be on my way, no big deal. Wait, think again.
Additional dollar cost: Oops. When that car insurance bill rolls around, expect your premiums to have an increase. After very thrifty negotiations with my car insurance company over the past seven years, carefully selected premiums, and no accidents or violations, one speeding ticket was enough to increase the premiums by $200 a year. Of course, the INTJ (Myers-Briggs Personality type) in me found a way to save another $50 or so, but my premium has increased for the next 35 months. That’s about $600 that would’ve gone elsewhere. Out the window.
Time: Oh the time factor. This time factor increases two-fold when somebody won’t fess up to the ticket for some time, then they hand you the ticket to deal with it. I might expect it from my child, but I’d still make them deal with their own ticket and the consequences. Unfortunately, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks a lot of the time.
Yes, time is money.
Actually, I believe that time is way more valuable than money. Asking questions about the ticket to see if there was a (good) reason for it, that takes time. This is especially true when dealing with an uncooperative and difficult to communicate with person. Trying to pay the ticket? You could go online to pay it quickly, like the ticket says. Except when the site is down and you check it every day for a week. Eventually, it must be paid through another avenue. When you are the financial guru, you shop for insurance. Why did the costs go up? How can I save more money? Might as well comparison shop for a better rate again, right? Maybe changing coverage will help? Time, time, time. I could go on, but I’ve already lost enough time.
Mental resource: If this is happening once, will it happen again? I’ve had my car back into a parked car, been hit multiple times, and a speeding ticket (that I know of). Oh wait, I also found out that somebody charming talked (cried) their way out a ticket, months after the fact. None of those things involved me but did happen with a car of mine, driven by a person whose name shall remain anonymous. Most of those things I wasn’t told about, I discovered them. If this crap keeps happening, what else is going on that I can’t possibly catch?
Most importantly, see section: Life.
Life: Yup. With two little ones in the backseat, no excuse is good enough, ever. I’m a firm believer that if you’d like to do anything stupid to put yourself in danger, then go ahead. The second you put your children, a child, or any other living thing in danger, it’s going to get ugly. “I don’t do it with the kids in the car” and ” I wasn’t paying attention to how fast I was going” are not excuses that work well together. You can pick door A or door B, but let’s be honest… The ultimate price would be paying with life. Even still, some people don’t care enough to slow down.
I might have missed some costs of the ticket. I think the point was still articulated. Hopefully lessons are learned from events like these. If a ticket was caused by tardiness getting to work, there better be an early departure effective immediately and in action forever. This especially when there is ice on the road, and a set route everyday, and so much consistency that a morning routine could be accomplished with eyes wide shut.
Speeding tickets happen, but they don’t actually have to.
When they do, learn from them. Put on adult pants and deal with them. Don’t pass them to someone else. Dealing with the consequences is why the officer pulled you over and wrote a ticket in the first place.