Texas is the best place to speed in the US. Anyone who has recently driven on the racetrack that is I-10 between Houston and San Antonio can testify to that fact. Red was doing 85 in the right line recently and cars were blowing by in the left lane at speeds up to an estimated 105 mph. And why not drive like the proverbial bat released from Hades? According to WOAI – the consequences of speeding are much less in Texas than in the rest of the country. Red would argue that the chances of actually getting a speeding ticket in Texas are slim. The DPS has been stretched to thin by Gov. Abbott (TP-Texas) sending them on a fool’s errand on the Texas border. Trying to enforce Texas law is weak tea compared to grandstanding on immigration issues.
Texas has by far the most lenient speeding laws in the country, according to a study by WalletHub.com. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales says they measures a number of factors, from that the posted speed limit is, to how strict the penalties are for people who have been apprehended.
One example, Gonzales says, is at what point the minor offense of ‘speeding’ gets kicked up to the far more series offense of ‘reckless driving.’ For example, in Virginia, driving more than 20mph over the speed limit is automatically considered to be ‘Reckless Driving,’ and a motorist can get up to three months in jail for the first offense. She says Texas is one of the few states where speeding is never considered reckless driving, no matter how fast you’re going.
“Texas has no limits, so it is unclear what is reckless driving to the police officer who pulled you over,” she said.
Almost every other state considered a third offense of speeding over a certain amount to be reckless driving, but Texas doesn’t.
“There is no minimum jail time for the first or the second offense, and there is no license suspension on the records, either.”
Gonzales says Texas is also one of a handful of states without an ‘absolute’ conviction for going over the speed limit. In most states, a radar reading of 10 miles over will be adjudicated guilty by a judge, but in Texas, a motorist can argue that there were extenuating circumstances, like the motorist was passing a vehicle or trying to avoid an accident.
Texas also gets high marks for outlawing cameras to register a motorist’s speed and automatically send a ticket, about a third of the states allow that. Texas also does not have additional penalties allowing an officer or a judge to bump a routine speeding arrest up to ‘aggressive driving.’
Texas also caps the fine for speeding to $200. In many states, the fine can be $1,000 or more. In Virginia, for example, the fine for speeding can be $2,000, in Washington state its $5,000. Texas also does not allow license suspension for speeding. The aforementioned Virginia allows a motorist’s license to be suspended for up to 3 months for a first offense.
And, to top things off, Texas has hundreds of miles of I-10 and I-20 in west Texas where the speed limit is 80 mph, and a stretch of State Highway 130 with a posted 85 mile speed limit, the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
Photo from http://www.autoblog.com