Of course, I offered up the obligatory sympathy. “Bummer,” I said. “What did he write you up for?”
“Oh, I didn’t get a ticket,” she said matter-of-factly. “He clocked me doing 57 in a 45 zone, but he let me off with a warning.”
I couldn’t believe it. “He let you off with just a warning?”
“I know, huh?” she said, practically giddy at reliving the moment.
I’ve been pulled over for a moving violation four times in my life, twice for speeding and twice for making an illegal left turn. I’ve also been stopped for a fix-it ticket or two — but I’ve never had the good fortune to have been let off the hook. Not even once.
The last time I was stopped I even presented the cop with an old Monopoly “Get Out of Jail Free” card that I used to carry in my wallet for laughs. He wasn’t impressed.
Anyway, being a glutton for punishment, I decided to press the issue. “So, Jenna, how many times have you gotten away with a warning?”
I didn’t know what to say. Then again, I really didn’t have time to say anything because, before I could begin gnashing my teeth, Jenna corrected herself.
“No, wait … four!”
It turns out Jenna’s primary tactic for avoiding a ticket is crying. By her own admission, crying doesn’t always work. But the fact that she was able to weasel her way out of three — no, wait … four! — tickets surely saved her hundreds of dollars in fines. Not to mention increases in her auto insurance premiums — especially if she drives an expensive luxury car she can’t afford.
Needless to say, any increase to your car insurance premium resulting from a moving violation depends on the type of infraction you’re written-up for. With that in mind, I’m sure the obvious follow-up question for most people who like to bend the rules is: Which driving infractions will raise my insurance rates the highest?
When it comes to insurance rate impacts, here are the most costly tickets according to Insurance.com, along with their associated average premium increase:
- DUI first offense (rate increase: 79%)
- Reckless driving (73%)
- Highway racing (71%)
- Speeding 30 mph over the limit (30%)
- Careless driving (26%)
- Texting while driving (23%)
- Distracted driving (22%)
- Speeding 16 to 29 mph over limit (22%)
- Improper passing (20%)
- Speeding (20%)
- Following too close (20%)
Well … assuming you aren’t able to cry yourself out of the ticket.
Photo Credit: Dave Hosford