Watch Your Wallet When Driving Through These 10 States

With the first major driving holiday of the summer season approaching, we have analyzed the laws across the country to determine the best and the worst states when it comes to exploiting the motoring public.

These state rankings were calculated using seventeen criteria related to specific traffic laws, enforcement practices, and the treatment of traffic ticket defendants. The rankings are designed to provide guidance to travelers who do not want their vacation ruined by speed traps, arcane laws or “kangaroo” traffic courts.

The state most likely to find its way into your wallet is New Jersey. With its toll roads, roadblocks, and speed traps, New Jersey has left almost no stone unturned when it comes to extracting cash from motorists. The state has also recently pushed through a red-light camera pilot project at a time when many states are banning the ticket cameras because they’ve proven to have a negative effect on traffic safety. Add in “driver responsibility” fees, which are ineffective and have a disproportionate effect on the poor, and you have the worst state in our rankings.

Here are the worst ten states:

1) New Jersey
2) Ohio
3) Maryland
4) Louisiana
5) New York
6) Illinois
7) Delaware
8) Virginia
9) Washington
10) Massachusetts

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the five states that treated motorists most fairly are Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Kentucky. The complete list of rankings and the criteria we have used can be found at the bottom of this article.

Jim Baxter, President of the National Motorists Association, said “It is not exactly a well kept secret that many traffic laws, enforcement practices, and traffic courts are more about generating revenue and political posturing, than they are about traffic safety. During holidays, like the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, we’re bombarded with messages about intensified enforcement, ‘click it or ticket,’ and horrendous fines when in fact most vacation-related traffic accidents are caused by inattention, distraction and fatigue. However, these are accident causes that don’t generate much in the way of government revenue, so instead our highways are overrun with unmarked police cars and ticket cameras.”

Baxter went on to say “The long term solution to aligning legitimate public interests with government policies is to remove the money from traffic regulation, enforcement, and adjudication. Until that happens, the focus on revenue generation will continue to trump effective traffic regulation and ethical enforcement practices.”

With this in mind, motorists who will be traveling to unfamiliar areas during the holiday may want to check out the NMA’s National Speed Trap Exchange – a listing of speed traps across the country – at

Full List Of State Rankings From Worst To Best

1) New Jersey
2) Ohio
3) Maryland
4) Louisiana
5) New York
6) Illinois
7) Delaware
8) Virginia
9) Washington
10) Massachusetts
11) Colorado
12) Oregon
13) Tennessee
14) California
15) Michigan
16) Vermont
17) Maine
18) Florida
19) Pennsylvania
20) North Carolina
21) Alabama
22) Rhode Island
23) West Virginia
24) New Hampshire
25) Arizona
26) New Mexico
27) Missouri
28) Texas
29) Oklahoma
30) Nevada
31) Georgia
32) Connecticut
33) South Carolina
34) Iowa
35) Hawaii
36) Arkansas
37) Alaska
38) Kansas
39) Mississippi
40) Wisconsin
41) Utah
42) South Dakota
43) Indiana
44) Minnesota
45) North Dakota
46) Kentucky
47) Nebraska
48) Montana
49) Idaho
50) Wyoming

List of Criteria Used To Generate Rankings (no particular order)

1) Speed Traps Per Capita (# of speed traps listed on indexed to population)
2) Does the state have “driver responsibility” fees?
3) Does the state have mayor’s courts?
4) Does the state authorize the use of roadblocks?
5) What are the freeway speed limits?
6) Does the state have red-light cameras?
7) Does the state have speed cameras?
8) Are there toll roads in the state?
9) Is a jury trial available for traffic violations?
10) Is trial by declaration (asserting a defense in writing without appearing in court) available?
11) Is the state a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact?
12) Is the state a member of the Driver’s License Compact?
13) Are radar detectors banned in the state?
14) Does the state have a primary seat belt law?
15) Are there adult helmet laws in the state?
16) Are there move-over laws in the state?
17) Is cell phone use banned?

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Leave a Comment

78 Responses to “Watch Your Wallet When Driving Through These 10 States”

  1. JJ says:

    This is why I always use a radar detector, CB radio, and mobile police scanner when going on long trips.

    • William Sindelar says:

      Hey Randy, you miss the whole point. Go back to bed.

    • Randy says:

      William I get it completly. They now have cameras so I am sure that the locals know how fast they should be driving and I would bet very very few get tickets any more and I would also bet that the driving conditions are very good being that more people are driving closer to the same speed. There is also no questioning about police trying to get you. You get yourself.

  2. Randy says:

    If you would stay within the legal limits or even close to them you would not get a ticket. I am glad to live in one of the top states so I do not get hit as often by someone that is driving whatever they feel like even though unsafe for others. Funny how living in such a high level state and still I have not received a ticket for decades. How could that be?

    Could it be that these states are not as bad as they are suggested as being but it is the drivers that are bad and do not know how to follow any signs or laws.

    • me says:

      if you're the same randy we know & %^&*& then you already know the answer to this one . In order for laws and limits to be obeyed , enforced or lead to a conviction in court they must make sense . The current rules and limits in the worst states are about one thing , you know what that is Randy $$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!

      I'm hoping Ohio is the first domino to fall in finally bringing some sanity rural posted limits in New England . If Ohio goes to 70 this will apply pressure to Penn to go 70 and so on . This pressure from the other states that surround Ohio is what has gotten them to this point of considering a rural 70 limit today . Granted this still isn't anywhere close to the real 85th percentile rural freeway speed in these states but it is at least a move in the right direction .

      Ohio is doing away with their split limit July 1 and Ill is also about to bring a little sanity to their posted rural limit by doing away with their split speed limit . Hopefully just like Ohio they will soon follow suit and raise their rural limit to at least 70 for cars now that the ridiculous split limit has been abolished .

    • Swamprat says:

      When I am driving slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, I do it in the right lane. I have never had a problem with people "running me over" or feeling like they are going to hit me. I have driven on some of the fastest freeways in the United States and have never had a problem with "speeeeeeeeders," even when going 60 mph. If you want to drive slowly, kick back in the right lane and cruise. Enjoy life. Take a cop to lunch. Happy Motoring.

    • Randy says:

      In response to Me:
      If it is all about money then why is it that I and thousands of others seem to get by without getting any tickets. If it was all about money they would get me too. I forgot, you and others here are trying to boost up that 85 percentile speed well past the limit just for fun. I forgot you and others here like to fly past stop lights and drink heavily while you drive.

    • Randall says:

      Well Randy, i hope that when you travel to a state with or live in a state (i don't know where you live) with speed scameras and for some reason you get distracted and get a ticket in the mail for something you didnt even know you did, if you did it at all then maybe you'll realize that it's all about money.

      Recently I got pulled over in Virginia for speeding. I was coming home from vacation, you know, just wanted to get home , blah blah blah. I got caught gong 75 in a 55 which is considered reckless driving in VA. I hate that an arbitrary speed is considered reckless driving, especially when people do those speeds in MD on a very common and daily basis on highways.

      Anyways, long story short, I argued with him and he decided to write me a ticket for Speedomoter Malfunction. Now in MD that would just be a fix it ticket, you get it fixed and your good. BUT NOO not in VA it's a $30 fine PLUS $51 processing Fee PLUS $10 local fee. At least MD doesn't have these stupid fees. I ended up paying $91 for something that should have been $30 or at least just go fix it.

      Now you tell me that that isn't for money raising. The fact that those 2 fees are in there prove it. I wouldn't say this if they didn't have those fees. Prolly Why VA is ranked in the top 10, plus that stupid reckless driving law.

    • Randy says:

      Randall all I can say is that if you were driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone then I guess you should not complain about getting a ticket even if it was over $100. I guess the lesson you learned was not to drive that fast in a 55 mph zone even if you are on vacation.

    • Randall says:

      Well i certainly happy with the outcome, since I should have recieved reckless driving. Which you can serve up to 6 months in jail for, you have to go to court which would have been 2 hours away, and of course the cost of a lawyer. I've never heard of a state that can give you jail time for your speed, but virginia does it. OH and do your math better it was $91 not over $100.

      And also recently I got a letter from some lawyer in VA that wanted to represent me, how the hell did he get my information. I mean the stupid VA cop put my wrong home address on the ticket but i get a letter from a VA lawyer with my correct address? I'm so confused as to how this lawyer got my information. Not to mention why would someone want a lawyer for speedometer malfunction?

  3. Jason Merrell says:


    The "legal limits" are horribly out of date, and were based upon flawed studies when they were implemented to begin with.

    I'm not a robot. I don't let a speed limit sign destroy my common sense.

    Further, the trend towards red light and speed cameras is unwise. If you lay down for those (and you do, gladly) then next will come cameras everywhere else. And how can you refuse? You are happy to bend over for "public safety" already, so you'll have no argument.

    • Randy says:

      Jason follow the limits and you do not have any problems. As far as out of date speed limits, I see limits anywhere from 65 mph to 75 mph on the highway. That is plenty fast enough. If you are in town and need to drive 10 to 20 mph over the limit for a couple of blocks to get you somewhere a few seconds faster then I feel sorry for you.

    • George says:

      Modern speed limits on a highway should be 100mph daytime, 80mph nighttime.

    • Randy says:

      George says: you have the right to die I guess. I can think of many roads highways that if people start driving that fast they will not be with us for long. 65 mph at night is driving way beyond your headlights if you are on dims and you want to go 80 in which case many here on this site will have to go over the limit so they will be going at least 90.

    • George says:

      Don't put words into my mouth. Don't rephrase what I have typed.

      No one forces you to drive the speed limit. You drive common sense-see Jason Merrell above.

      Have you not seen on this site studies that show an honest & true speed limit promotes conformity?
      If you are overdriving your headlights at 65mph, get better headlights, or get a better vehicle. or don't drive at night.

    • Randy says:

      respond to George says:
      Yes George I have read what they have here. What they forget or should I say purposefully leave out is that almost always after they increase the limits on an interstate there is a crackdown on limits after the change is put into place and that is when the survey is done. If you have read this site before it does not matter if you raise a limit from 65 to 75 or to 85 there will be some that say the limit should be 100 and try to drive at that speed and compain if they do get a ticket. Read this blog and you will see what i am talking about.

    • Randy says:

      George on a dark night with your dims on how far away can you see a person standing on the left side of your lane? Take that distance and divide by 117 feet/second which is 80 mph and see how much time you would have to stop. The answer is you would not be able to stop even with the brightest legal dim headlights.

    • George says:

      The first problem you have, is if you refer to your low beams as 'dims'.
      A person standing in the left side of my lane? on a divided multilane highway, that would be in the middle of the road-because you drive right, pass left. So all that I would have to do is steer just a little to the right.
      But I will play along with your unrealistic strawman.

      If you needed to stop from 80, you could do it in 300 feet.
      Does said person have retro-reflective material on their footwear?
      If they do, then you could see such a person without HID projector low beams. If such a person had encapsulated lens retro-reflective material, then you wouldn't even need HIR bulbs. Engineer grade would work with HIRs.

    • Randy says:

      George you did not answer my question and around 300 feet is braking distance during good conditions. You forgot reaction time and if you in a large truck the braking distance is a lot more than 300 feet. If you want to change it to a vehicle crash in front of you then you can do that. Chances of you stopping is zero.

    • George says:

      You did not ask a question. You made up a unreality based hypothetical, and now you are modifying the scenario.
      I did include reaction time.
      Large trucks would not be going 80 mph at night. I disagree with the NMA about unified speed limits regarding vehicles with have the privilege of using the road system [commerce] and people who have a right to drive.
      So I guess in this scenario, both of the vehicles batteries ruptured, and neither vehicle has any electric power to operate their hazard lights (which shouldn't be red) and no one has any other kind of signaling devices, and they just happen to take off all legally required retro-reflective devices.
      and lets say that I didn't notice a change in the retroreflective signature of the road, I could still steer.

      You should check out the Hella variox headlamp system. What Hella calls the motorway function, BMW calls the autobahn mode-see new 5 series GT. It isn't about brightness, it is about light distribution.
      and they have high beam assistant-which is for the stupid or lazy (or both) which turns the high beams on automatically, which has been shown to increase nighttime driving safety.
      and then there are the infrared systems too…

    • Randy says:

      George one thing you forgot is that during night driving when visibility is limited it takes longer to know that you are in a dangerous situation because you lack references in the dark and even if the vehicles have lights on like you say because of the lack of ruptured batteries and not broken tail lights or headlights , you still can not determine that something is wrong right away like in the daylight. 6 months ago I was involved in a vehicle stoppage on the highway at night because of some kind of problem in front of me and about 2 miles behind me there was a major crash because a semi driver did not make a quick enough determination that there was a problem ahead and he was speeding and the estimate was somewhere around 70 mph and you could hear the explosion of vehicles colliding miles away with the windows shut. I am shure you would have told him just to steer around the collision though.

      That fact is that higher speeds at night are much more dangerous than during the daylight. That is why many states have reduced speeds at night and not reduced to 80 mph!!!!

    • Randall says:

      I think the better question is why is there someone standing on a multilane highway especially at night? That's illegal. So the argument is won right there. No need to stop for anyone, they shouldn't be there in the first place.

      And what is this overdriving of headlights? huh? Does anyone realize how fast light travels? NONE of us are overdriving any light any time soon. Unless your going 3 X 10 ^8 meters/second or 670,616,629 miles/hr. So i don't know what you all are trying to say but no matter how fast you drive the light is the same brightness and the same distance away from your car.

    • Randy says:

      Ok Randall I understand. You are another of the idiots from this organization. People on this site have given similar idiotic statements saying it was illegal for vehicles to be stopped on the highway also. I guess if the lanes are blocked in front of you then you should drive you car in the ditch because you are not supposed to stop on the highway even if you can not drive forward but good luck if you are on a bridge or other place with no ditch.

      I will let you win that light is very fast but low beam headlamps are named that for a reason. They are not pointed at objects 400 to 500 feet in front of the vehicle because it would blind other drivers. Remember that this organization is against daytime running lights and the intensity of those are a fraction of your low beams and people here have complained about those.

  4. William Sindelar says:

    I stay out of Cleveland for many reasons, including what they call red light cameras. Unfortunately i was driving in a 35 mile per hour zone that changed to 25 MPH for a short distance. I did not notice the change, so I was clocked, by a camera going 36 in a 25 MPH zone. It cost me $100.00, as to my surprise when I got the ticket in the mail. Well Cleveland, you won't see me there for a long time, if ever. Anyone traveling through parts of Ohio, you better check on these cameras….better yet………stay out of Ohio and Cleveland if you can……….Seems there only industry to balance their budgets is fine the motorist!!!

    • Randy says:

      William are you saying that the speed limit change from 35 mph to 25 mph was a pure scheme to increase their income or was the change for a particular safety reason. I would guess the latter.

    • me says:

      Changes in limits without sufficient warning aren't about safety but about the $$$$$$$ hap hazard changes in limits can raise . This is why in most states there is a requirement of a warning sign of "Speed Zone Ahead" or "Reduced Speed Again" before the limit drops . And in most states that don't require sufficient warning there is a grace distance after the sign to get down to the changed speed .

      But in the few that allow no , don't require a grace distance or warning no case can be made of anything other than a speed trap , plain & simple !!!!!!!!!!

    • Randy says:

      reply to me says, How in the heck do you know what warnings and signs were present for this instance? If someone was stopped it was a trap according to you. I guess when you walk across the street it is ok to run you over because there was not enough warning signs.

    • me says:

      I've spent a lot of time over they years in the Cleveland area and warnings of changing limits are hap hazard if they exist at all . Many limits are posted in the extreme low just for revenue raising not in any way for safety . Under posted limits are often used just as a money raising tool like the current enforcement of the limits around Akron & Columbus on their freeways . Many of these limits today are posted 20-25 mph below what is the safe 85th percentile speed , ODOT redidly admits this .

      Small signs are used on purpose where the limit changes to give as little warning as can be gotten aways with in the hopes they will be missed . Speed Scamras have little warning and many times the warnings that exists are placed in a position where they are least likely to be seen by passing motorists . I hate to drive in Ohio as it is one speed trap or other money raising scheme after another .

      So I do have a little experience on this one there …………..

      And your comments Randy are making less & less sense ????, maybe you should think about what you write next time before you hit that submit button again …………..

    • Randy says:

      In reply to Me. I doubt if they use other than standard sized signs etc. I do not know about the area in question but sign size is usually standard. Why don't you go and measure the size of the signs and I will compare them to what we have around here and other areas. I do not believe in people making things up to make their story sound better.

    • Randy says:

      I am not sure if this link will carry over but there are standards for signs in Ohio.

    • me says:

      You really need to do a little more traveling and then maybe you will see the kinds of games places played by cities & states to raise money from manipulated traffic rules and limits .

      I guess you believe the signs on a all city street are the same size with no regard to number of lanes or the ones on all super highways are all the same size ???????? Each situation described above has a different size sign standard . Using the incorrect sign size in a given situation is a manipulation of traffic rules and is also illegal in many states .

      It happens all the time smaller than are standard for a given road are used just to get around the rules . Many times only caught when a driver illegally ticketed challenges . The facts of this happening comes out all the time when challenged in court . I'm not going to do your work but there are plently of examples of this that can be found if you look . If you did any traveling you would know that this is a real issue in many places across the US .

      A Multi lane roads require larger signs than single lane roads . Multi lane each direction freeways require larger signs than 4 lane freeways .

      Many places around the US that allow speed Scameras & red light Scameras require a warning sign be a minimum distance from the scamera or the placement of the warning . So many times and I speak from driving where scameras exist are placed in places where they are least likely to be seen . And the signs used are under sized to the extreme and made of odd colors . And all across the US red light scamera operators are being caught for shortening yellows just to catch unsuspecting drivers . In many states the yellows have been shortened below the state's statute standard making them illegal . You can't tell me that any of this is about safety or isn't a game they are playing just to catch unsuspecting drivers to raise money .

      How can someone post with such assurance and have such little of a clue about the things they post about ???????………..not like our going to have a rational response to the question though .

    • Randy says:

      Me, Have you ever measured any signs you thought were too small and turned it in? If not how can i believe you and your ramblings.

    • Randy says:

      Me, I forgot I read that it is not required to have any speed change warnings from 35 mph to 25 mph which makes sense because since you can see the speed limit sign far down the road why would you need a warning to slow down 10 mph?

    • me says:

      Why don't you write the legislatures in the states that require a warning before the limit drops on any road , highway or freeway like Alabama , NC , SC , Texas , Oklahoma , Tenn , Kansas , CA , ect…………. . Or the one's that require a grace distance after limit change sign if sufficient warning is not given .

      And Federal Department of Transportation rules require a warning on all freeways when the limit drops at all , 5 mph , 10 mpg , ect….. . Also in Federal DOT rules it's stated that no limit should drop more than 10 mph at once .

      So our federal government along many state governments thinks it's a good idea not to change the limit without warning . Because the only reason not to warn of limit change is to create a speed trap for money .

    • Randy says:

      To me says::
      Sorry but if you can not slow down 10 mph within a two to three hundred feet when traveling 35 mph you should not be on the road period and you should get a ticket. That is well over 5 seconds to slow down 10 mph. No wonder you complain about short yellow lights. iGet a life and fight a real problem. You just like to have excuses for blaming someone else for you not being able to drive.

    • William Sindelar says:

      Hey Randy……you do-gooders out there have to realize we will NEVER have a perfect world or society. Last one that tried to do that was Hitler. Everyone makes mistakes, it's LIFE ! To penalize the average guy through fines should not be a business. Unfortunately you haven't had access to TV and radio stations in our area who complain about the same thing. Red light cameras, speed traps should not be used for income. How about greating new jobs, lowering taxes and other ways to generate income? You do-gooders are ruining this country. Wake up? ( you would probably vote for a fine on overweight people for the sake of health and medical costs)

    • Randy says:

      William it is pretty simple if you follow laws you do not get tickets period end of statement. Laws were put into place for a reason. I am sure some here would think they can fly through a 25 mph zone at 60 mph safely. That is why there are laws in place. Some people can not make safe judgements. If the laws are not correct then you get them changed but it does not give you reason to break existing laws. This site is all about someone else months or years ago finding a problem in another part of the country and it is repeated on and on even if the problem does not still exist.

      The fact is that if there was no enforcemt of laws we would have dunks on the road, people tailgating and flying around you 50 mph faster than you are driving and on and on. The exageration of the police doing bad things on this site is terrific. As you say this society will never be perfect including police but it is far better having them than not. If you do get a ticket for driving 36 mph in a 25 mph zone it is a learning experience and you then are more careful in those areas and watching signs. If you continually are getting tickets then you should not be driving.

    • me says:

      you comments Randy seem to become less & less coherent or connected to reality .

      No one , I repeat for the idiot in the peanut gallery you know who you are , NO ONE has suggested 60 in a posted 25 is ok or acceptable . Only a clueless idiot would ever even make such a statement or suggest otherwise .

      So Randy continue to post your crap and all will know what an @$$hat , what a clueless post wh0/3 you really are ………….have a nice day ;~)

      I'm done responding to your clueless rantings , someone else can takeover trying to deal with you …..I'm starting to agree with the consensus about you being a plant to clog up strings with your clues less rants .

    • Randy says:

      In response to Me:
      So you are saying no one is asking for 60 mph in a 25 mph zone but how many complain if they are driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone and get a ticket. pretty much all here would. If they say you should be able to drive 25 mph over a limit then if you start allowing that they will want 30 mph or 40 mph over the limit. It is not about limits it is about complaining and wanting the right to go over any limit there is.

      Answer this one, who would complain about not have a warning for a 10 mph drop in a speed limit without a warning when you can read the sign 100s of feet in front of you if you pass any vision tests.

  5. Brian Graham says:

    Their list did not take into account those states that have different laws than the other 49.

    In Indiana it is legal to pass on the right. I've known a handful of people who had near misses and actual accidents because of that. For those of us who do not live there, it is a bit of a shock the first time someone does it to you!

    • Randall says:

      Well in Maryland you can pass on the right too. Also you don't have to get out of the left lane either so it is quite often that people pass on the right here because of that jack ass sitting in the left lane doing the limit or below. So common it's normal driving.

    • Tom says:

      The purpose of allowing people to pass on the right is so that a left lane hog can't block the whole road. Think about it – if someone was in the left lane doing 30 mph, do you think people in the right lane need to do 29 mph…or should they be able to pass him?

  6. Fleet Admiral says:

    WHAT! MI didn't make it in the top 10?

    Everyone knows MI has the worst driver responsibility law on the books. Their law allows the long arm of the treasury to reach into even OUT of state drivers pockets for up to $2,000. That's right, our law is part of the government financial failure institution. They'll garnish wages, rape your bank acct #, and withold taxes to get that money if you refuse to pay the TAX.

    And you know where they get the money to advertise their tourist campaigns? The general fund, right where that excess "fee" money goes into for pork barrel spending. And that general fund is short about 300 million $ because people are telling the govt. to go screw themselves and refusing to pay the "fees" of this asinine law, and in most cases people on suspended licenses RUN from the cops rather than stop. So they plugged that loophole, and made it a felony to flee and elude.

    So now they're looking for fat out of state wallets. Tell your friends to stay out of MI at all costs, and invite your enemies in.

    Melon farmers!!

    • Randy says:

      This makes sense that Michigan is cracking down on speeders. From some of the posts on this site from people from Michigan, they said they can drive as fast as they want to even in the 90 to 100 mph range no matter what the speed limit is. It seems to me that cracking down gets rid of that mentality.

      When a state lets things get out of control for so long bad things happen and drastic measures are needed.

  7. jimpeel says:

    Colorado just made the seat belt law a primary violation. The state needs money so this is one way to do it under the guise of "safety".

    Every state which enacts a seat belt law does so, to start with, as a secondary violation. There are always the government hacks who say things like "You can drive past the police station with the seat belt hanging out the door and there is nothing they can do about it." Then, a few years later, they "adjust" the law.

    Happened in California when I was there. Happened in Colorado.

    I warned the populace in Rhode Island, when I lived there, that they would do this there as well. Hasn't happened yet; but it will.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel there you go again just like the rest pushing the money excuse. If the state wants more money pretty much all they have to do is raise taxes unless you are in a state like California in which people would rather have the state go bankrupt by passing dumb laws. States want to get their death rate down as low as possible to show that they are doing something to increase safety and if they only gave out warnings people "would not" change their habits along with speeding violations being in the same category. The fact is with seat belt use death rates drop drastically but you are right. This site is against safety, promoting drinking and driving and many pushing no speed limits and want the ability to run red lights and on and on.

    • jimpeel says:

      Stating that "death rates drop drastically" is a broad brush that you are not equipped to wield. That is patently false on so many levels; but let's simply examine the public record. Start here… which shows that the death rate in 2004 was 15.3 at 44,933 deaths; and in 2005 the rate stayed the same but the number of deaths went up to 45,343. The fact is that the number of accidents has gone down over the past few years yet the death rate and the number of deaths stays fairly steady.

      There is a reason for this and it is detailed in this article by Dwight Filley entitled "Risk Homeostasis and the Futility of Protecting People from Themselves"

      The studies show that as people become more comfortable with the safety measures put in place they tend to participate in riskier behavior. "My helmet will protect me so I can go down this hill at breakneck speed on my bicycle." "My seat belt will protect me in a crash."

      Sorry to be the one to break it to you; but the increased usage of seat belts will increase, not decrease, vehicle related deaths.

      Now, as to the monetary aspect. Yes, the government wants us to live longer and be safe. Only through longevity can they continue to collect taxes from those they "protect". Live taxpayers pay taxes year after year. Dead taxpayers pay only once.

    • jimpeel says:

      By the way, reference this article and you will find that any risk reduced by increased seat belt usage — if any — will be more than offset by the new cafe standards. Harvard and the Brookings Institution released a study which cites NHTSA figures on the increased costs and death expectations of the new standards.

      A number of studies have documented the lethal consequences of requiring carmakers to improve fuel standards.

      * According to a 2003 NHTSA study, when a vehicle is reduced by 100 pounds the estimated fatality rate increases as much as 5.63 percent for light cars weighing less than 2,950 pounds, 4.70 percent for heavier cars weighing over 2,950 pounds and 3.06 percent for light trucks. Between model years 1996 and 1999, these rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars and 14,705 for light trucks.12

      * A 2001 National Academy of Sciences panel found that constraining automobile manufacturers to produce smaller, lighter vehicles in the 1970s and early 1980s "probably resulted in an additional 1,300 to 2,600 traffic fatalities in 1993."13

      * An extensive 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data found that since CAFE went into effect in 1978, 46,000 people died in crashes they otherwise would have survived, had they been in bigger, heavier vehicles. This, according to a 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data since 1975, roughly figures to be 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards.14

      * The USA Today report also said smaller cars – such as the Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon – accounted for 12,144 fatalities or 37 percent of vehicle deaths in 1997, though such cars comprised only 18 percent of all vehicles.15

      * A 1989 Harvard-Brookings study estimated CAFE "to be responsible for 2,200-3,900 excess occupant fatalities over ten years of a given [car] model years' use." Moreover, the researchers estimated between 11,000 and 19,500 occupants would suffer serious but nonfatal crash injuries as a result of CAFE.16

      * The same Harvard-Brookings study found CAFE had resulted in a 500-pound weight reduction of the average car. As a result, occupants were put at a 14 to 27 percent greater risk of traffic death.17

      * Passengers in small cars die at a much higher rate when involved in traffic accidents with large cars. Traffic safety expert Dr. Leonard Evans estimates that drivers in lighter cars may be 12 times as likely to be killed in a crash when the other vehicle is twice as heavy as the lighter car.18

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel your arguments are laughable. it has been proven that seatbelts save more lives than any of your arguments of other things making it worse. Small cars can be built very safe if you spend the money and have the latest technology. And you are an idiot to think that people that wear seat belts drive more dangerously because they think they are safer.


      You are very smart though in saying that small cars cause more deaths than large vehicles. The reason is that if we all drove large vehicles that get less than 20 mpg then no one would have enough gas to drive so with no driving there can be no accidents.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel I also forgot to say you are an idiot responding with data 30+ years old when there were no seat belts or if there were they were lap belts which no one used and they never heard of front air bags and side airbags were at the time out of the question and crash standards were practically non existant. Other than that you are correct in those days.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel, going back and reading your comments you said that Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon accounted for an exceptionally high death rate compared to other vehicles. I am not sure if those cars are that much worse built than others but I would bet there are a far greater percentage of very young drivers driving them which have the highest accident and death rate of any other age group. I would also bet they do not have all of the safety devices available in todays cars. Statistics are great if you know all of the facts that go into them. If you do not have all the facts you can come to any conclusion you want to.

    • jimpeel says:

      First of all, knock off the ad homs and name calling and debate the premises.

      Randy said:

      "you are an idiot responding with data 30+ years old"

      1989, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, etc are not 30+ years ago unless you are in an alternate universe.

      "… the death rate in 2004 … and in 2005 …"

      "Risk Homeostasis" is from 1999.

      "According to a 2003 NHTSA study …"

      "A 2001 National Academy of Sciences panel …"

      "An extensive 1999 USA Today analysis …"

      "… a 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data SINCE 1975 …"

      "A 1989 Harvard-Brookings study …"

      Randy said:


      I never said they don't save lives. I said that the death RATE will remain unchanged as other behaviors and factors take more lives.

      Randy said:

      "you said that Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon accounted for an exceptionally high death rate …"

      No, I stated nothing of the kind. What I posted was a QUOTE from the 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data. Those were their words, not mine.

      "The USA TODAY REPORT also said smaller cars – such as the Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon – accounted for 12,144 fatalities or 37 percent of vehicle deaths in 1997, though such cars comprised only 18 percent of all vehicles.15"

      Randy said:

      "And you are an idiot to think that people that wear seat belts drive more dangerously because they think they are safer. "

      Then what is driving the death rates to remain at near equilibrium or slightly increasing? Why haven't the death rates come down precipitously as your safety improvements are added to vehicles?

      See my next post for an example where your safety devices create unintended consequences.

    • jimpeel says:

      Read this article first:,2933,306556,00.htm

      Now, why is this significant? Here's why.

      We are now facing what the same people and organizations, who opted and lobbied for these laws regarding the placement and seating provisions for children, are calling an “epidemic”.

      There have been numerous cases of children being left in hot cars while the parent(s) are at work or other activities. The answer to why this is happening with increasing frequency is simple — the law of unintended consequences.

      Back in the mid 1960s, seat belts began to appear in cars as an option. The effect on the reduction of accident related deaths was almost immediate. It was not long before the government mandated the installation of seatbelts in all cars.

      The effectiveness of shoulder belts was demonstrated shortly thereafter. The government stepped right in and mandated that all cars be equipped with front seat shoulder belts and rear seat lap belts.

      As time progressed, it was found that young children sitting in the back seat with lap belts securing them were susceptible to spinal separation injuries when they were involved in frontal impact accidents. The government mandated that all cars must have rear seat shoulder belts as well as all other previously mandated restraint devices.

      The problem with the new mandate was that the children using the newly mandated shoulder belts were being "clotheslined" during frontal impacts causing severe injuries and even some deaths. The answer to this was for the government to further mandate child seats for younger, lighter children and booster seats for older heavier children. This at no small cost to parents.

      The advent of the airbag ushered in the age of the passive restraint system. Manufacturers offered the new technology as an option in new cars. Before long, the government mandated that all cars must have airbags as well as all other previously mandated restraint devices. It was at about this time that state governments, never able to pass up a revenue enhancement opportunity, started mandating the use of restraint systems for vehicle passengers, including children, with citations and fines for failure to use them.

      It was also at about this same time that forward facing infant seats were found to be unsafe. The age of rear facing seats was upon us. Infant seats laid the child on their back facing rearward.

      The fallacy of this new technique soon became apparent as child after child was killed or severely injured by airbag deployment during low-impact accidents. In one case, the child was decapitated right in front of it’s mother. The new recommendation, soon to become a government mandate, was to place the child in the back seat away from the airbags.

      Federal law prohibited the disabling of the airbags system so that was not an option. To the back seat the children went — out of sight, and out of mind.

      Which brings us to the unintended consequences of today. Parents are simply following the law and placing their children in the back seat. Unfortunately, if the child is asleep and making no sounds to alert parents to their presence, the parent can forget they are there until it is too late. Thus we have this “epidemic” of children dying in hot cars, and the parents going to jail, all because of the unintended consequence of a “benign” government mandate that was designed to protect those same children; which began with the simple lap belt.

      So what have those who opted and lobbied for these laws come up with to counter the unintended consequences of their actions? They suggest that you place a teddy bear on the front seat where you can see it to remind you that your child, who should be sitting where the teddy bear is, is in the back seat, fast asleep.

      All of these mandates and the death rate remains at equilibrium. Why do you think that is, Randy?

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel good long article you wrote and it shows that much effort has gone into the safety of passengers in vehicles. I can not argue that. If something needed to be fixed then it was done. The death rate has gone down according to even the statistics from this organization. They would have gone down a lot more if you could remove other dangerous things like drinking and driving and reckless driving. If you are so interested in safety push toward resolving those problems here and thousands of more deaths will not occur.. Instead this organization pushes for the ability to drink and drive and allow you to drive recklessly without punishement and argues against minor cost increases to make vehicles more safe and argues against manditory seatbelts. This organization promotes nonsafe behaviors.

      As far as seatbelts go, if you look at all accidents, it is almost always the person that has their seatbelt on that walks away and the one that does not have their seatbelt on are carried away to the morgue.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel I forgot to ask you what your solution is to your last post. Is it to remove all restraints and let kids fly in the vehicle during a crash or would it be something else?

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel sorry I did not read the previous response before your last long one. The quotes that you made about things like Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon were to make the point that these small cars were much more dangerous. If that was not your point why did you include the quotes? Your statement " “… a 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data SINCE 1975 …”

      “A 1989 Harvard-Brookings study …”

      Says to me that they were taking crash statistics on vehicles built in the 70s and and 80s. This was before any major saftey requirement, laws and technology were in place or available. Do not compare my car that gets close to 40 mpg with a death trap from the 70s or even the 80s and if you lost track the 70s were 30+ years ago . If you do you are an idiot.

    • jimpeel says:

      Randy said:

      "Instead this organization pushes for the ability to drink and drive and allow you to drive recklessly without punishement and argues against minor cost increases to make vehicles more safe and argues against manditory seatbelts. This organization promotes nonsafe behaviors."

      You confuse advocacy for civil and Constitutional rights with advocacy for lawlessness.

      The site advocates that if you do participate in certain behaviors that you have certain civil and Constitutional rights which you should not give up willingl7y. They do not advocate, nor encourage, you to go out and violate the laws.

      Is the ACLU an advocacy group for lawlessness? They have what they call the "Bust Card" which is on their site for download at… .

      The ACLU also fights sobriety roadblocks… . Does this mean that their site "pushes for the ability to drink and drive and allow you to drive recklessly without punishement"?

      The ACLU supports the decision in Illinois v. Lidster.… . Does that mean that the ACLU is advocating that felony fatal hit-and-run drivers go unpunished?

      The ACLU advocates the same things that this site does. Are you of the same opinion of the ACLU as you are of this site?

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel you say that the ACLU pretty much does not want to do anything to keep people from breaking laws that were put into place to save the lives of all people includiing my family and friends then I would say that I am against an organization like that. I am not up to speed on everything they stand for but if they want to make it easier for others to kill my family and friends then I would state positively that they are wrong.

      I personally do not have any problems with having road blocks. Since someone is only delayed and not seized as they say then I do not have a problem with checking to see if drivers are safe to be on the "public" road. If they are driving on their own property then I guess they may not be able to and would not need to stop them.

    • jimpeel says:

      Randy said:

      "Says to me that they were taking crash statistics on vehicles built in the 70s and and 80s. This was before any major saftey requirement, laws and technology were in place or available."

      Perhaps you need to read a bit on seat belt history.

      Randy said:

      "Do not compare my car that gets close to 40 mpg with a death trap from the 70s or even the 80s and if you lost track the 70s were 30+ years ago . If you do you are an idiot."

      Again with the ad homs and name calling. You are not worthy of debate.

      Perhaps, with time, you will mature out of that propensity.

      No further responses will be posted.

      Over and out.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel get lost. Your last link was about maditory seat belts in school buses and I seen nothing else when the states reguired them for automobiles. If you are going to display any links any more then make sure they are current or at least true facts of the past that pertain to the subject.

      You are wrong on this subject that seatbelts are not beneficial. All data reported for years has shown their safety benefits so get lost until you can come up with some true facts that say otherwise.

    • jimpeel says:

      One last post to show you why you are unworthy of further debate …

      HINT: Start at the BOTTOM of the article and read UP and try to read for comprehension. Note especially 1963.

      "Some U.S. manufacturers provide lap belts in front outboard positions (23 States have laws to requires belts in front, most effective 1/64) "

      How's that for "true facts".

      Now would you please go away and let the adults play?

    • me says:

      Colorado didn't in the end pass a primary enforcement seat belt law . It was voted on this year but failed to pass . It came up this year because this was the last year they could pass a primary enforcement law and still qualify for extra Highway Trust Fund Money ( HTF ) under the that program .

      Several states did join the primary enforcement club just under the deadline this year so will split $1,000,000s of HTF dollars still available under the program . Since this HTF money pressure is now removed it isn't likely to come up again anytime soon in Colorado at least .

      A couple of Notes ; ,

      Colorado has had a primary enforcement seat belt law for those under 18 for several years now . And even NH considered a seat belt law this year , the last state without a seat belt law at all to qualify for the HTF money that was being offered .

    • jimpeel says:


      Thank you so much for correcting that for me. I thought that POS passed.

      Here is the Denver Post editorial on the mess.

      Thanks again,


    • Randy says:

      jimpeel you get lost. So what if "SOME" manufacturers included lap belts in 1963. You still do not have a brain if you are bringing that up. There are a number of things wrong with that statement.
      One: only some had lap belts
      Two: lap belts were outdated in the early to mid 80s and are old safety devices
      Three: They were not required to wear them until much much later.
      Four: Lap belts were only slightly better than nothing at all.
      Five: With current seatbelts combined with air bags and side air bags and increased crash safety requirements a driver or passenger in a vehicle is multiple times safer than with lap belts that were seldom used.

      Six: I said to get lost until you have something of substance to do with current facts.

      Seven: If people wear current seatbelts along with the other safety devices they are a lot safer than without and you "do not get ticketed".

      Eight: Maybe they should not require seatbelts and get rid of more people without a brain.

    • Randy says:

      I did read that last link. I liked the comment from Mike M

      "Let Darwin's Law about survival take its course. Stupid people don't buckle up so they die in greater numbers than those who do. It improves the gene pool."

  8. jimpeel says:

    Speed, of and by itself, is not a problem. It is the activities which often accompany speeding — following too close, failure to observe traffic devices, threading traffic, etc. — which are the problem.

    • Randy says:

      You are mostly right on this but there have been numerous cases where speed has either been the major cause of an accident and death or a significant contributor or making the accident a lot worse. This is observed most dramatically in the winter weather conditions where you see someone flying past you only to see them in the ditch or worse a few miles down the road. That is not the only case where speed is the cause of an accident but the most observable case.

    • jimpeel says:

      Did I have to detail every act which accompanies speed that makes it dangerous?

      Yes, driving too fast for conditions — weather, low sun, traffic, construction, poor road conditions, curves, dips, debris in the roadway, et al — is an activity which makes the speed of the vehicle dangerous. Failure to act on traffic signage and signals, which was covered, is a factor, also, if one fails to heed the "sharp curve ahead" signage posted on the highway or leaves insufficient time to act on traffic signals.

      I assumed that those reading my post would NOT assume that I was saying that all roads are straight, all roads are dry, all roads point North and South so the sun doesn't blind drivers, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

      I guess I erred.

    • Randy says:

      jimpeel one thing you did forget was that studies have been done that people drive close to the same speed no matter what the conditions. You are correct that speed does usually not cause any accidents if the road is straight and dry and smooth and no other traffic is on the road and vehicle condition is very good then you are right speed means very little in causing traffic accidents but of course there are none then unless the driver falls asleep driving 100 mph.

  9. Kevin says:

    In you rankings, speed traps per capita should be changed to speed traps per car. For example, New York State probably gets a higher ranking than it should. NY State probably has less cars per capita than any other state because New York City has 43 percent of the state's population, and only 44% of city residents own cars. Other states with well utilized mass transit systems are probably also similarly mis-ranked.

    • j says:

      NYC should be Cut Loose from New York State. If they contribute so much to New York State, let them be Independent. We gladly give them to New Jersey. No No No… no need to thank us. The Pleasure's all ours. No really…it is. Just imagine; 8 million more people to tax the crap out of who actually deserve to be taxed like the rest of the State's people. But this time, no holds barred. And besides, Jersey could use the extra cash. And Jersey is easy to drive through. You just enter the State, look waaaay down the road to the other side and FLOOR IT. And never look back. Piece of Cake. :-)

  10. […] were also number 1 with speed traps,traffic light cams etc Watch Your Wallet When Driving Through These 10 States […]

  11. […] Posted by banksock were also number 1 with speed traps,traffic light cams etc Watch Your Wallet When Driving Through These 10 States I never heard about gps related accidents on the news. Whats next eating in the car? Also […]

  12. j says:

    I just can't believe that our police have gone from being Officer Friendly to Officer "Gimmeallyourmoney".

    • bobloblawsblog says:

      talk about gimmie your money – my town in NJ – asbury park – a fire chief stopped my dad for no seat belt (he was driving 4 blocks) , i got a ticket for not having my light on when wipers were on (it was bright and sunny and water falling from trees after it had rained) got towed for registration lapse in the middle of the night, plus alternate side of the street parking is $30/ticket and they check at 9.01am . ALL BOUT THE $$!!!

  13. j says:

    oh…I almost forgot to add this: When was the last time a govt. program cost less, did more, even worked and didn't take away from our freedoms? Answer: Never NE..VER!! Just because some egg-head goof with a clipboard says it's safer, doesn't or shouldn't mean we want things changed to put more "Padding" around us. Who said life is safe. Who said it's even Supposed to be safe. Who wants to be taken care of and Safe from the craddle to the grave? Not me! Nobody's ever Safe. Nothing is 100% safe. Nowhere is Safe. Nobody is even safe in their momma's womb. If anybody feels that giving up their Rights & Freedoms for safety to a govt. that can't even balance it's own checkbook, you reeeeeaaalllyyy need to take a step back and look these people in the eye, who are taking your control from you and using it against you. We need to think for ourselves. We need to keep ourselves safe. We need…As Americans to run our own lives, not let others run it for us. History shows us that once they've got more Rights over our lives than we do, it's over. And if you don't care or you can't imagine what I'm talking about, then you're not paying attention.

  14. j says:

    "….Why haven’t the death rates come down precipitously as your safety improvements are added to vehicles?" Answer: Because no matter what you do to the cars or how you change them, the same idiots are still driving them. Nuf sed.

  15. […] The National Motorists Association ranks New York among the top ten unfriendly states for motorists. The NMA calculated the rankings using 17 criteria “related to specific traffic laws, enforcement practices, and the treatment of traffic ticket defendants.” […]