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When you’re taxed in the name of public safety: The high cost of speeding

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) —  Isaac DeLeon was on his way home from work at Greece Ridge Mall when he was stopped for speeding.

“It was actually my first time getting pulled over, so my heart dropped,” he said.

However, he got a real fright when he found out how much it would cost him. For going 55 miles per hour on a 40 mile per hour road, he was fined $180. There was a nearly $100 surcharge on top of that. To make matters worse, he got another ticket a few weeks later.

“There’s even a driver’s assessment cost,” DeLeon said. “If you get more than enough points within a year, it’s an extra $300.”

Those added costs are a major source of revenue for New York state. The average cost of a speeding ticket ranges from $90 to $600. In addition to those fines, New York imposes a moving violation surcharge. It’s $88, no matter the violation.

For some drivers that means the surcharge is more than the fine itself. Rochester attorney and legal analyst Bob Brenna says given the high cost and the potential impact on insurance, people should question their ticket in court.

“To just plead guilty without exploring your options would be ill-advised,” Brenna said.

The added revenue from surcharges pumps millions into state coffers every year. According to the state budget office, most of the revenue from the surcharge goes to a fund that pays for court appointed attorneys. The rest goes to the general fund and a fund for crime victims.

DeLeon says the cost is a hurdle, but one he’s determined to take care of. Although he’s fighting the case, he’s the first to admit speeding doesn’t pay.

“For a difference of five minutes, arriving a little sooner? It’s just not worth it.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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