The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles latest report puts the Tampa Bay area the most likely place to get a speeding ticket in this part of Florida. Speeding tickets are more common here than any other nearby city, although the statistics indicate that it is more likely that you will get a ticket for a red light infraction than a speeding offense.
Part of the reason why Tampa gets such a high number of speeding tickets is simply because of the sheer density of vehicles using the city’s highway system. In fact, based on population density, you are more likely to get a speeding ticket in a smaller city like Largo than Tampa, because the local traffic authorities have focused their efforts on certain highways, like US Highway 19. According to the 2012 statistics, over 40% of traffic citations given out in Largo were for speeding. Many of the speeding tickets were for drivers who were allegedly driving at more than 10 mph over the speed limit.
Florida DMV speeding tickets vary a little from county to county, but basically if you accept a citation (i.e. you plead guilty or no contest to a speeding or other traffic offense) you will have a fine to pay as well as a local court fee. You will also have three points added to your Florida license if you are convicted of speeding at less than 15 mph over the limit. You will get four points on your license if you are caught speeding at more than 15 mph over the limit.
Most traffic citations, such as running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign, will get you the 3 points, plus a fine. You might lose your license if you accumulate 12 points within the same number of months (i.e. 3 speeding tickets in that period) or 18 points within 18 months.
The practice in many Florida cities of installing red light cameras is supposed to improve safety at those intersections where they are used. Red light camera citations work a little differently from those that are handed out at intersections where there is no camera. You basically end up paying a fine, but will not have any points on your record.
10 News has conducted an investigation into how the red light cameras have had an effect throughout the Tampa Bay area and the results are far from clear. In cities like Bradenton, it has been claimed that red light cameras have had a significant effect on the number of crashes at the city’s intersections, but the investigators found that too little actual monitoring has taken place to provide any meaningful conclusions as to their usefulness. In fact the 10 News revelations found that Bradenton city’s statistics were actually calculated incorrectly. They also say that over half of the Tampa Bay cities are failing to record red light camera crashes as effectively as they should to keep in line with Florida DMV policy.
The best way to avoid getting a speeding ticket or a red light camera citation of course is to make sure you keep within the speed limit or don’t go through a red light, but sometimes you can get a ticket when you have done everything right. Just because you get a traffic ticket, it doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty. You could lose your license as a result of a mistake in observations. You can plead not guilty to a traffic citation and fight the charge. The best way to get a successful result is to use a Tampa traffic ticket attorney to help you get your ticket dismissed.
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