If you have been given a ticket for driving over the speed limit, you are not alone. Florida Speeding tickets make up the vast majority of all moving traffic citations issued in the state each year. Hundreds of tickets are given out every day in all 67 counties. There are three common ways to be caught driving faster than the legal limit. Firstly you can be followed by a police officer in their vehicle. They check your speed by comparing it to their own speedometer and often this is recorded on video as evidence. Secondly your speed can be checked on a radar or laser device which is either hand-held or mounted on a vehicle. The vehicle the device is on can be stationary or moving and still accurately measure your speed. The last way, perhaps surprisingly, is by aircraft. A plane owned by the Highway Patrol is able to determine a vehicle's speed from the air and a trooper on the ground will pull you over and give you the ticket. This plane is fully utilised and can give out up to 100 tickets every day.
Whichever way a speeding ticket is issued in Florida, it must be settled within 30 days from the day it is received. There are three different ways you can satisfy the citation. The easiest option is to simply pay the fine and have the points added to your driving license. The amount of the fine increases the further over the speed limit you were driving; it can be over $300 if you were going more than 30mph over the legal speed. Usually this will mean that your auto insurance premiums will rise too because you have to tell them you have had points added. The points stay on your license for 3 years.
Another option is to contest the ticket and go to court. Before deciding on this you should ask yourself some honest questions. Do you have good, reliable evidence that either you were not driving over the speed limit, or that the police didn't use legal methods to issue your citation? It is advisable to get professional advice before pleading not guilty, because if you fail and are found guilty you will be fined a higher amount, and this could be as much as $1000.
The third option is arguably the most sensible one to choose. You can go through a traffic school that is approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are online classes and DVD or video methods. After completion you will receive a certificate which you turn in to the clerk. The fine you pay is slightly reduced and you don't get points added to your license, which means that your insurance premiums will not go up. The cost of these classes isn't very high, so it makes sense to select the traffic school option.
If you have received a speeding ticket outside the state, but have a Florida driving license, you can't choose the traffic school option, unfortunately. You can only choose to either pay the fine or argue your case.