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#1 2008-10-27 03:46:17

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,191
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Texas' penalties for speeding are weak compared to other states

* 20 states provide for first offense incarceration for speeding. Texas does not.

* 12 states provide fines of up to $500 for first offense speeding. 5 states provide up to a $1000 fine. Texas' maximum fine is $200.

* Some states specifically provide higher penalties for excessive speeding. Texas does not.

* In Texas, excessive speeding may be prosecuted as "reckless driving," which carries the possibility of a jail sentence of up to 30 days. 42 states have stiffer jail terms than Texas for reckless driving, with penalties ranging from 60 days to 2 years.

From http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/trafficsafet … enalty.htm

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#2 2008-10-27 07:32:26

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 551

Re: Texas' penalties for speeding are weak compared to other states

Are you presenting this as a good thing or a bad thing?  Are you suggesting that changes should be made?

This list is obviously presented by the city with the intention of making our fines seem not so bad.  But it's somewhere between misleading and flat-out wrong.

For example, according to The City of Austin's fine schedule, the fine for going 30 mph over the speed limit is $273, not $200.  It's hard to be certain, but it looks like the chart suggests a maximum of $301.  It's been a while since I got a ticket, but I seem to recall the fines usually being given as `$X + $Y/mph' above a certain speed ... which would suggest no limit.  If there is a $200 limit, the city has found a way to exceed it, perhaps by adding other fees?  Perhaps the Texas part of the fine is $200, but Austin adds to that?  Either wrong, or intentionally misleading.

Texas's fines are larger than other states.  For example, let's compare to Montana.  (Though this article is dated.  I don't know if it's changed since then.)

`20 states provide for first offense incarceration for speeding. Texas does not ... Some states specifically provide higher penalties for excessive speeding. Texas does not.  In Texas, excessive speeding may be prosecuted as "reckless driving," ...' ... do these guys even read what they write?  OK, so we don't add extra penalties for excessive speeding.  Instead, we can call it reckless driving, which has extra penalties.  And we can't put you in jail for speeding -- but we just call it reckless, and put you in jail for that.  Either way, you're in jail, for your first speeding offense, with a very large fine.

Or let's look at North Carolina (the state they chose for a direct comparison) ... 1 mph over the speed limit?  Fine of $1 to $100.  1 mph over the limit in Austin?  $143.

Most spin doctor jobs are not as transparent as this one ...

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#3 2008-10-27 08:37:00

jmayson
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Texas' penalties for speeding are weak compared to other states

I don't know how Texas' fines compare to other states.  But I have found enforcement leaves a lot to be desired.  I have been driving 65 mph down Research Blvd, Mopac, etc. and had my doors blown off and watched cops do absolutely nothing.  Once I was stopped at a red light on the US-183 frontage and Lake Creek Parkway.  There were marked units from APD and WCSO at the intersection.  A car ran a red light.  And I don't mean his rear bumper was still in the intersection when it turned red.  It had been red and he flew right through it.  Thankfully no cars were in the intersection at the time.  Neither the cop nor the deputy did anything.  I'm not sure either saw it, they were both on their cell phones.

I have read that Texas is second only to Montana in weak DWI/DUI laws.  I don't know if this is true or still is true.

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