Drivers in Tennessee who commit minor traffic violations – explicitly driving over the speed limit – will receive no more than a standard speeding ticket. When given a traffic citation, drivers have two choices. They can either decide to contest the traffic citation by submitting a plea of innocent or merely pay the ticket.
Paying a Speeding Ticket in Tennessee
Operators who are issued a speeding ticket by an officer will be required to pay the fine and all applicable fees (if any). There are three options for a paying the fine:
• Online at the proper website
• Mail the payment to the appropriate courthouse or agency
• Arrive in person to pay the fine using acceptable payment methods (cash, card, etc.)
Although online is the most convenient and efficient method to pay your speeding ticket, the state of Tennessee does not require it. Keep in mind, that paying online will process the payment faster if you are nearing the deadline and can’t mail the payment in on time or arrive at the courthouse.
Driving Violation Fines and Penalties in Tennessee
One of the most common questions that drivers ask is, “What determines how much money I’m going to pay for a speeding ticket?” Although there may be several variables that determine the amount of the fine, the primary factor is how fast you drive over the speed limit. For instance:
• Drivers who break the speed limit by one to five miles will pay an average of $42.00
• Drivers who break the speed limit by more than five miles pay an average of $82.00
In addition to the fines, a driver may be required to go to court for more severe driving offenses. Examples may include:
• Running a red light while speeding
• Speeding through a school zone while the caution lights are flashing
• Speeding that causes a collision
• Reckless driving while speeding
• Speeding while under the influence of drugs, medication, alcohol, etc.
In these cases, the fines and penalties will increase significantly. Drivers may also be required to pay additional penalties, court costs, defensive driving school fees, and other designated fines.
Accumulating Driving Points
In addition to penalties, drivers who violate speeding laws will also have to pay by having points added to their driving record. The nature of the offense determines the number of points added to a driving record. The following is a list of driving/speeding violations and how many points the state of Tennessee will add to the driving record.
• Child safety at risk – 8 points
• Reckless driving – 6 points
• The driver does not yield the right of way – 4 points
• Passing in a no passing zone – 4 points
• Speeding – 1 to 8 points
Drivers who receive speeding tickets and other offenses listed above can accumulate points quickly with multiple infractions. They will have the opportunity to apply for a driving school to remove some of the points and reduce the total amount. Drivers who accumulate more than 12 points on their driving record will receive a notice that the state of Tennessee has suspended their license.
Speeding Tickets and Insurance
A third way that drivers will pay for a speeding ticket is with increased insurance rates. Every insurance company is different with issuing elevated rates depending on the overall record of the driver. For example, if a driver has to pay several speeding tickets and loses his or her license due to the accumulation of points, the insurance would skyrocket for a period before it comes back down. A driver who gets a ticket once every five to ten years, however, will probably not see a bump in their rates. Check with your insurance company to find out their policies on speeding tickets.