Top 10 Speediest States
Which states dole out the most tickets per capita?
June 1, 2010
Some states dole out more tickets per capita than others, and DriverSide has worked up a list of the top 10 speediest states according to traffic citations. Of course, a lot goes into making up these statistics besides how fast residents are driving, including the number of law enforcement officers on the road and the population of the state. So, do drivers up north really cruise at higher speeds than their southern counterparts? Take a look at our list of speediest states to find out for yourself.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts starts out our list of Top 10 Speediest States. The state’s 6,416,505 residents kept law enforcement busy with 337,103 tickets last year. Hey, they have to pay for that great education and health care system somehow. Why not with speedy dollars?
The tiny state of Delaware can hold its own in the title fight for quick drivers. The first to ratify the United States Constitution is also the ninth speediest state in the country. With a population of just 830,364, Delaware can boast 44,551 tickets. That’s no small number, making up 5.4 percent of the population.
Continuing along the East Coast, South Carolina also has its own share of speedy drivers. The state may be famous for its sandy beaches and laid back attitude, but its population of 4,198,068 has racked up 228,363 tickets. That’s no small number. Of course, some of those may be attributed to out-of-state visitors headed to the coast in a hurry. We may never know.
Holding down the Southwest, New Mexico lays claim to the seventh spot on our list. With its gorgeous scenery and rich historical background, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to speed through New Mexico. That hasn’t stopped the state’s 1,903,289 residents from racking up 117,303 speeding violations – an impressive number considering the state’s 75 mph speed limit on most interstates.
You can add speeding alongside football and crab cakes on the list of things Maryland does. The state’s population of 5,558,058 carries a total ticket load of 349,921, or 6.3 percent of the population. That figure is about five times the number of people who can fit in the Baltimore Raven’s home stadium.
Proving there’s nothing slow about the South, Mississippi takes the number five slot. The state is home to over 2,902,966 residents, and there are over 197,434 tickets on record right now. At 6.8 percent of the population, that’s a big figure for a state known more for taking it easy on the front porch than speeding along down the interstate.
Things must have really picked up since the high plains drifter made his way through these parts. North Dakota boasts a population of around 634,366, and the state’s law enforcement has been happy to hand out 45,510 tickets. That number marks 7.2 percent of the state’s population, or just shy of the capital of Bismarck’s population.
Next up is Vermont. Despite only having 631,394 residents as of the last census, police have doled out 52,269 traffic violations. That makes up 8.4 percent of the population. You know what they say, once Vermont drivers get that syrup in them, they get all antsy. Who knows what the real reason is behind the large number of citations. If we had to guess, the numbers have more to do with the state’s tourist industry than its actual population.
Believe it or not, the land of wide-open spaces tops the list of actual speediest states. Commuters looking to get to their home where the buffalo roam have nabbed a serious number of infractions. At only 506,529 people, there are 46,366 citations on the book right now – or around 9.2 percent of Wyoming’s population. What’s the rush?
It’s not really a state, per se, but the District of Columbia undoubtedly takes the crown as the location with the most citations per capita. The capital of our nation boasts an astounding 553,523 residents with 434,301 tickets. That means a full 78.5 percent of the population has at least one traffic violation to their name! So much for law-abiding citizens in the land of law and order.