Did you know that not all speeding tickets are the same? Before you think about speeding next time you’re behind the wheel in Arizona, know these consequences.

Speeding might seem like the norm, especially in Arizona, where we have an unfortunate reputation for fast drivers. But even if it seems like “everyone is doing it,” speeding isn’t safe: It endangers everyone else on the road, increases the chances you’ll lose control of your vehicle, and increases the likelihood of a severe crash, says the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Not only that: Speeding is against the law. And it comes with stiff penalties here in Arizona (our state was ranked third in terms of having the strictest responses to speeders). In this state, there are two types of speeding tickets: civil and criminal. 

How do you know which is which? If you do speed and a police officer issues you a traffic ticket, you’ll notice boxes in the top right corner that indicate the category of speeding offense: Civil Traffic of Criminal Traffic. 

Here are the differences between the two. 

Civil Speeding Ticket

Most speeding tickets fall under this category and may be issued if you are found to be in violation of the law, which says that, “A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing.” 

If you get a civil speeding ticket, you’ll get 3 points on your driving record and be required to pay the fine or attend a defensive driving course like those we offer at Stop and Go Driving School. 

Criminal Speeding Ticket

There are three things you can do in Arizona to be charged with criminal speeding: 

  1. Excessive speed or exceeding 85 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit. 
  2. Exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 mph. 
  3. Exceeding 35 mph near a designated school zone. 

Criminal speeding is usually a class 3 misdemeanor that will result in 3 points on your driving record. You could receive a felony charge if your speeding results in an accident causing serious bodily injury or death. You could also face up to 30 days of jail time, plus up to one year on probation, and fines up to $500. 

If you have accumulated 8 to 12 points on your record, or you’re under 18 and it’s your first violation, you’ll be required to attend Traffic Survival School

Learn more about what to expect if you receive a civil or criminal traffic violation in Maricopa County. 

Steer clear of traffic tickets and keep yourself and others safe with Stop and Go Driving School’s courses, and learn more about our Traffic Survival School