Drivers in these states have the most speeding tickets on record
Western and Midwestern states dominated the top 10 states with the most speeding tickets, but one East Coast state made the list.
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
1. North Dakota
Drivers in North Dakota have the most speeding tickets on record, with 8.7% reporting a violation on car insurance applications. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed a bill that would have increased highway speed limits from 75 mph to 85 mph in March 2023, citing the state’s “Vision Zero” initiative to reduce traffic deaths.
“Our relatively flat terrain could result in people feeling safer traveling at high speeds, as we do not have significant hills, curves, or trees that hinder visibility,” said Sgt. Adam Malafa from the North Dakota State Highway Patrol.
Comparatively low fines could also contribute to the higher speeding rate. “[In North Dakota,] a citation for traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph zone is a $15 citation. In many other states, this could be $200 to $300. Comments are routinely heard from out-of-state motorists [...] that reference our citations as ‘cheap,’” said Malafa.
A North Dakota Senate bill that would have doubled speeding fines for people driving at least 21 mph over the limit failed to pass in April 2023. Additionally, the bill would have added $100 to traffic fees for drivers with three or more specified violations in five years.
North Dakota doesn’t have official speeding ticket quotas. “However, officers are encouraged to make traffic stops and issue tickets,” says the West Fargo Police Department’s website.
2. Wisconsin (Tied)
Although Wisconsin prohibits ticket quotas, the state’s drivers tie with Ohio for the second-highest rate of speeding tickets. The Wisconsin State Patrol issued 1,100 speeding tickets for drivers going above 100 mph in 2022, up from 583 citations in 2019.
In the same period, traffic fatalities increased from 550 to 603 annually, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Milwaukee officials announced 45 “traffic calming” projects in January 2024 aimed at combating reckless driving with raised crosswalks, curb extensions, and street reconstruction projects.
Consequences for speeding in Wisconsin generally range from $200 to $800 fines and three to six driver’s license points. In comparison, speeding could result in a year of jail time and fines of up to $1,500 in neighboring Illinois, where only 3.3% of drivers have a violation on record.
3. Ohio (Tied)
Ohio ties with Wisconsin for the second-highest rate of speeding tickets on record, at 7.8%.
Penalties for speeding in Ohio can be severe. Repeated violations or driving significantly over the limit can result in a third-degree or fourth-degree misdemeanor, $500 in fines, and up to 60 days in jail.
Ohio saw 27,676 speed-related crashes in 2023, resulting in 338 fatalities and 1,344 serious injuries. The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) uses a data-driven approach to identify areas where dangerous speeding is most likely to occur and assign enforcement details, says Lt. Nathan E. Dennis from the OSHP.
Ohio permits using photo-monitoring devices (traffic cameras) to detect and enforce speeding citations, which could contribute to the higher violation rate. “[A data-driven approach] allows each patrol post to take a proactive approach in patrolling areas they identify as a higher risk for crashes or crash-causing violations,” said Dennis.
However, some local police departments have faced criticism for traffic camera tickets. After implementing the program for just five months, Peninsula, Ohio, generated 8,900 citations and $560,000 despite having just 536 residents. Drivers claim the traffic cameras incorrectly ticketed them, and they can’t afford to pay the $100 filing fee to contest the citation in municipal court.
The Ohio House is hearing a bipartisan bill, House Bill 333, to prohibit ticket quota requirements for law enforcement officers.
4. Iowa (Tied)
At 55 mph, Iowa has the lowest urban interstate speed limit (along with Oregon) among the 10 states with the most speeding tickets. But the low limit isn’t stopping the 7.1% of Iowa drivers with a speeding violation on record.
The state ranks 38th of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico for population density, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With fewer drivers on the road, Iowa residents might feel more comfortable increasing their speeds on rural interstates, where limits are 15 mph higher.
Speeding is considered a simple misdemeanor in Iowa, and fines typically range from $20 to $100, plus $5 for every mile per hour above 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. Speeding violations in school zones can result in up to 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.
Iowa law prohibits law enforcement from implementing citation quotas for speeding or other traffic violations. Legislation introduced in early 2024 would close a loophole by banning a requirement on the number of required traffic stops, regardless of whether a ticket is issued.
5. Idaho (Tied)
Idaho has the same percentage of drivers with a speeding ticket on record as Iowa, at 7.1%. Idaho is also a sparsely populated state, ranking 46th for population density out of 52 U.S. states and territories, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Less crowded roads could contribute to drivers feeling more comfortable about traveling at high speeds.
Penalties for speeding in Idaho include fines of $90 to $155 — or more in construction and school zones. Drivers could also have three to four points added to their driving records. Idaho doesn’t prohibit ticket quotas, but local police departments and sheriff’s offices have repeatedly denied their existence.
Idaho traffic fatalities reached a 20-year high in 2023. At least 277 people died in crashes, according to preliminary data from the Idaho Office of Highway Safety. Speeding was among the top 10 contributing factors behind traffic deaths.
Wyoming has one of the highest urban interstate speed limits in the country, at 75 mph, but that’s not fast enough for the 6.8% of residents with a speeding ticket on record. A basic speeding violation costs $85 in fines, but drivers could pay $155 or more for violations at faster speeds.
The state doesn’t have a driver’s license points system, but having more than four moving violations in 12 months is grounds for driver’s license suspension.
Fewer drivers on the roads could make Wyoming residents feel more confident about driving over the speed limit. The state ranks second to last for population density out of 52 U.S. states and territories, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Speeding contributed to about 28% of the 121 Wyoming traffic fatalities in 2023, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
7. South Dakota
South Dakota has the highest speed limit among the 10 states on this list. Still, 6.7% of residents have a speeding ticket on record.
Like many states with a high percentage of speedy drivers, South Dakota is sparsely populated. The state ranks 48th out of 52 states and territories for population density, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Speeding is a Class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota and can cost drivers two points on their licenses. South Dakota speeders pay fines and court fees ranging from $87.50 to $222.50 — or double in construction zones. A South Dakota violation can even lead to a reckless driving conviction or vehicular homicide charge if someone dies in a speeding-related crash.
Virginia is the only East Coast state among the 10 places with the speediest drivers. The state is notorious for strict speeding enforcement, and penalties include up to six driver’s license points, hefty fines and processing fees, and, in some circumstances, reckless driving convictions. Convicted drivers face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a six-month license suspension.
Virginia banned ticket quotas in 2022, and the Virginia State Police launched Operation DISS-rupt (short for distracted driving, impaired driving, speed compliance, and seat belt safety) the following year. The initiative increases the presence of troopers along an entire interstate corridor for two days, concentrating on safety issues, including speeding.
“During our first two [Operation DISS-rupt] initiatives, there have been zero fatal crashes on the designated interstate, and the troopers have witnessed increased compliance in all areas of traffic safety,” said Corinne Gellar, public relations director with the Virginia State Police.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) takes an educational approach to reducing speeding with media campaigns and public service announcements.
“There are many factors involved in why people choose to speed. And we believe that if people are aware of the many consequences, from increased crash likelihood to the impact on [their] wallet after tickets and fines, ... they are more likely to choose to not speed,” said Jillian Cowherd, public relations and media liaison with the Virginia DMV.
At least 6.5% of Utah residents have speeding tickets on record. Utah drivers might be speeding up when few other cars are on the road. The state has the 10th-lowest population density among all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Penalties for a speeding ticket in Utah range from fines of $120 to $470 and 35 to 75 driving record points. Drivers face license suspension if they accumulate 200 points.
Ticket quotas are against the law in Utah, but lawmakers have questioned the difference between quotas and a police “incentive” program tied to the number of citations officers issue. Utah legislators called Ogden Police Chief Eric Young to testify about the program in August 2023. Young defended ticketing incentives as a way to measure job performance.
Several anonymous Ogden police officers told Fox 13 News that the incentive program functions as a ticket quota, with one stating, “We want to be able to do our jobs. My job is not a tax collector.”
Oregon ties with Iowa for the lowest speed limit on urban interstates, at 55 mph, which could account for its higher citation rate. Issuing speeding citations based on red light photos from unattended traffic cameras is legal in Oregon, as are ticket quotas.
Residents who exceed the speed limit face fines of $115 to $1,150 and driver’s license suspensions at higher speeds. The state doesn’t have a point system, but “drivers who rack up numerous tickets or preventable accidents will find themselves subject to license restrictions or suspensions under Oregon’s Driver Improvement Program,” according to the Oregon DMV.
Crashes involving excessive speeding, lane departure, impaired driving, and not wearing a seat belt are the most common causes of Oregon traffic fatalities. The state saw 376 motor vehicle crash deaths in 2023, up from 365 in 2022, according to preliminary data from the Oregon Department of Transportation.