Which cars are the real ticket magnets?

Any statistics majors out there looking for a thesis project? Tell me which cars are ticket magnets.

Don’t waste my time with a web search. I’ve read too many anecdotes and bad statistics. Autoblog debunked the most popular story.

The basic problem is this:

I want to know if I buy a Mini, am I more likely to get a ticket? (Or a 370Z, SS, etc.)

The usual press releases answer the question I didn’t ask, is the kind of driver who buys a Mini (370Z, SS, etc.) the kind who gets a ticket?

I’m not going to change my driving style. I’m not going to start obeying those decorative signs or passing on blind curves. But I might look like the kind of driver who would, just because I traded in my black sedan for a tan minivan or a red sports car.

I told a new Mini owner those cars are ticket magnets, and sure enough she got her first speeding ticket in 20 years within months. That’s at least following the scientific method (hypothesis then experiment). But it’s hardly statistically significant.

You’ll need some serious data mining or field work to get the real answer.

I’ve heard one anecdote enough to trust it. A guy called me up to complain about a speeding ticket from a cop who made a U turn and chased him down five miles later. How could he be sure he got the right car? Not many red Porsches on the Turnpike. I’ve heard more of that sort, including victims of mistaken identity.

Nothing unique and memorable for me. (There’s something to be said for the melted jellybean era of car design. Besides “yuck”, I mean.)

I got to thinking about this because my 12 year old car was acting funny and there aren’t many good, inconspicuous manual transmission cars left.

Luckily, a reboot cured my car so I don’t need to replace it yet. But maybe by the time you graduate I’ll be in the market for something that won’t land me in jail.

Feel like earning your degree by doing the driving public a service?

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