North Carolina has some of the most punitive traffic laws in the country. Despite this, there is a simple formula for keeping your insurance rates low and affordable: Don’t get a speeding ticket! Easier said than done, right? Getting a speeding ticket probably wasn’t on your to-do list, and if you want to keep your insurance rate low you had better make sure that paying your ticket off in order to “be done with it” isn’t on your to-do list either. The devil is in the details and the true cost of a speeding ticket is much deeper than the court costs and fines listed on your traffic citation.

Say, for example, you're driving at a speed of 70 mph in a 65 mph zone. That feels innocent enough. Everyone does it, right? But then, you don't notice the speed limit drop to 55 mph and the next thing you know you’re getting pulled over. Life gets busy and you decide to simply pay for the speeding ticket online to avoid the hassle of court. All good, right? Unfortunately not. In this example, you’d receive three points on your license, and your North Carolina auto insurance premiums could go through the roof!

North Carolina has rather affordable auto insurance rates for good drivers, but the rub is that a single ticket could make those rates skyrocket. In fact, this is all part of an intentional scheme to keep the roads safe. The North Carolina Department of Insurance created the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) to “give drivers a financial incentive to practice safe driving habits.”

Court costs and fines for your North Carolina speeding ticket can regularly range between $188 and $250 on average ($188 court costs plus $10–50 for the speeding fine itself), which sounds expensive, but not unbearable. However, these costs are only the tip of the iceberg.

How does a traffic conviction affect my NC insurance costs?

Traffic Violation Conviction License Points Insurance Points rate increase
Speeding 76 mph in a 65 mph zone 3 4 90%
Speeding 82 mph in a 70 mph zone 3 4 90%
Passing a stopped school bus 5 4 90%
Reckless driving 4 4 90%
Illegal passing 4 2 55%
Running stop sign/red light 3 1 40%
Driving While License Revoked 3 8 200%

By just paying off a traffic ticket and pleading guilty, even the lowest level of a moving violation would carry 1 insurance point, which increases your family’s insurance premiums 40%. Speeding citations on the other hand usually can carry a risk of between 2-4 insurance points accumulation (45-80% insurance increases).

For simplicity sake, say your family’s annual insurance premium is $1,000. In the example above, where you chose to pay off your speeding ticket for speeding 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. That would carry 2 insurance points, resulting in a likely 55% increase of your NC insurance premium for the next 3 years.

That’s $550 per year.

$1,650 over the next 3 years.

In other words, making the wrong move in handling your speeding ticket in North Carolina could cost more than 6 times the cost of the actual ticket (court costs and fines).

While it may seem easier to just pay off your speeding ticket to avoid any further hassle, it is always in your best interest to call a North Carolina traffic lawyer first. Whether you call us or another firm, please do not pay off your ticket without first speaking to an experienced traffic attorney. We offer completely free consultations.

Not only can paying the ticket cost you an arm and a leg, there are also other less known consequences to worry about, such as license suspension. Our experienced traffic attorneys at iTicket.Law and their team can walk you through your legal options - and what reductions may be available to keep the “true cost” of your speeding ticket as low as possible. We pride ourselves on seeking to make this process as quick and painless as possible. Give us a call at 919-800-0822 or hire us online today. Let us seek to take the stress off your shoulders and fight for you.

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