The state of Illinois has the steepest potential fines for CDL speeding tickets, and California has the largest minimum fine for CDL drivers who exceed the speed limit.
That’s according to a recent study by TrafficTickets.com, a division of traffic violations law firm Rosenblum Law, which analyzed nationwide data for CDL speeding tickets to determine which states distribute the costliest penalties and which are more reasonable.
The firm studied this data to educate the industry in practicing better safety standards as speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities, and large trucks contributed to 10% of all fatal vehicle accidents (4,014 deaths) in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Of large truck accidents, 74% are attributed to crashes involving tractor trailers. States have specific laws against speeding by CDL drivers because the combination of large trucks and speeding can often result in serious injury or death, which is why 18-wheelers are more often seen pulled over on interstates.
“Not only does this new information help educate professionals in the trucking industry, but it also adds to our knowledge and expertise in the field,” said Jobin Joseph, managing attorney at TrafficTickets.com and Rosenblum Law.
States have a range of fines for speeding, but they can vary significantly. The study found that some states are more lenient than others.
In its initial ranking, the study first considered the highest possible fine for a first speeding offense over 15 miles per hour. Illinois topped the list with the highest potential speeding fine at $2,500 and the lowest potential fine at $75. Arizona followed with a range of potential fines from $0 to $2,500. Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Connecticut, Maryland, California, Hawaii and Utah rounded out the top 10.
California had the highest minimum fine at $230.
CDL drivers caught speeding may not be ticketed at the state’s highest fine, but the study shows that multiple states have mandatory minimum fines – 13 of which have a minimum speeding fine of over $100 for CDL drivers.
Florida and Hawaii follow California with the highest minimum fines of $219 and $200, respectively. Connecticut, Alabama, Texas and Ohio rank 4th through 7th in this category, with minimum fines of $198, $190, $185 and $175, respectively. Speeding in both Indiana and Utah will cost a CDL driver at least $150. Completing the list of 13 are Oregon and Colorado (both $115), Tennessee at $109 and Washington at $108.
“Having defended thousands of truck drivers from CDL traffic violations, we wanted to know more about which states were imposing the steepest fines and which were imposing the highest minimum fines,” says Adam H. Rosenblum, founder of TrafficTickets.com and Rosenblum Law. “We hope these new findings bring awareness to carriers and truck drivers and, ultimately, help to decrease speeding.”
A full ranking across 45 states can be found here.