South Carolina — one of the most lenient states on speeding

Speed kills. We have all been told that since driver’s education class, and yet American drivers routinely exceed the speed limit. To find out which states take the hardest line on dangerous driving behavior, the leading personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Strictest and Most Lenient States on Speeding and Reckless Driving.

WalletHub analyzed penalties for speeding and reckless driving in each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. Our data set ranges from what speeds are automatically considered reckless driving to how many speeding tickets it takes to earn an automatic license suspension.

Strictest states on speeding and reckless Driving

1 Colorado
T-2 Arizona
T-2 Delaware
T-2 Illinois
5 New Mexico
6 Virginia
T-7 Iowa
T-7 Massachusetts
9 Alabama
10 District Of Columbia

Most lenient states on speeding and reckless Driving

T-40 Kentucky
T-40 Montana
T-40 Nebraska
T-40 New Jersey
T-40 Ohio
T-40 South Carolina
46 New Hampshire
T-47 Mississippi
T-47 Pennsylvania
T-47 South Dakota
T-47 Utah
51 Texas

Key Stats

  • The average maximum cost of a ticket for reckless driving is $742, with the lowest being $100 (in Kentucky, Mississippi and New Mexico) and the highest at approximately $5,000 (Washington).
  • Twenty-nine percent of states use speed cameras to automatically catch and fine violators.
  • None of the states has a mandatory jail time for speeding. However, reckless drivers should expect, on average, to spend at least one day in jail for their first offense and four days for their second offense.
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