How much can a 15+ MPH speeding ticket cost your company? Thousands. Yes, thousands of dollars. And how much can it cost your driver and his family? Sadly, a lot. Losing a good paying job can cause real trouble on the home front – a lost job hurts the driver, his wife and his kids.

Make sure that you and your drivers understand the true cost of serious speeding violations.

The cost of a new driver

We may think of fines, points on the license, and CSA scores as the major issues associated with a speeding ticket. However, in today’s insurance market, the major cost is the human cost – the time and money lost hiring a new driver.  Don’t get caught thinking that the price of major speeding citation is just the $300 fine.

In recent years, more and more insurance companies have tightened up their policies and are now requiring fleets to let go of drivers who receive reckless driving citations or 15+ speeding tickets.

While every insurance provider is different, in today’s market two 15+ tickets, or one 20+, will very likely result in a “driver exclusion” – insurance speak meaning that the driver is uninsurable. Some providers set the bar as low as a single 15+ ticket. Depending on the location (urban area or a school zone), or the mood of the officer, a 15+ ticket can also bring on a reckless driving charge. This brings a single violation into two major infractions with serious consequences.

Once your driver is “excluded” by the insurance company, what next? Well, after you have to let go of your experienced driver you need to recruit a new one. Do you know your true cost to recruit, hire and train a new driver? The Upper Great Plains Transport Institute  estimates that the all-in cost of recruiting a new driver is $7,000-$10,000 and that’s before you count lost revenue and the disruption in customer and team relationships. To calculate your own cost of recruiting, check out the Randall Reilly Driver Recruiting Calculator.

Even if your insurance company doesn’t require you to let go of your driver, a major speeding violation can lead to a 60 day CDL suspension for the driver, and tripled fines. What does that do to your operations? Let’s take a look at even more horror stories.

Insurance Costs and CSA Points

Consider this: for a personal vehicle, a 15+ speeding ticket in the state of Illinois will cost 6.2 times the price of the ticket in increased insurance premiums. In some states, a 15+ ticket will cost a CDL driver 1.5 times more license points than it would a non-commercial driver. Add that to the fact that a 15+ citation can add up to 30 points to your CSA score. That’s not good for the driver or for your company when it comes to insurance premiums and your reputations.

As safety managers, protecting the company starts with protecting the driver. So, it’s a good idea to make sure that drivers understand that a 15+ speeding ticket in a CMV will affect their personal vehicle insurance for the next 5 years.

You’re Charging me how much?

In addition to these less obvious costs, some states are much harsher than others when it comes to the direct penalties associated with a 15+ ticket.

Some standouts by state:

  • In Arizona, the average fine is going to be around $250.
  • West Virginia is lighter on the fine at no more than $100, but mandatory traffic school is one of the potential penalties. What’s the time and cost that come along with that?
  • In Utah, there is no set amount for fines. It’s based on “officer and court authority discretion.” And while that can be scary, it’s not near as bad as the fact that the state can shut your driver down until the fine is paid. There are also surcharges which can range from 35 to 90% of the base fine.

As you can see, the penalties from state to state can vary quite a bit. You should be aware of the severity of these penalties based on the states where you operate – and so should your drivers!

The Numbers

All-in costs of a major speeding ticket:

COSTS FOR THE DRIVER
Fine $100-$300
Driver’s lost wages due to suspended CDL $5,000-$10,000
Personal insurance premium increase $300-$900/year
COSTS FOR THE FLEET
Hiring a replacement driver $7,000-$10,000
Lost revenue How quickly can you replace your driver?
Disruption to operations How much overtime will you pay, how many late deliveries, how much time rerouting?
Higher CSA Score Exclusion from bidding on some contracts, increased insurance premiums, public access to the incident
Damage to your reputation Potentially devastating

 

The Bottom Line

One of our challenges as safety managers is that we provide a service that is sometimes seen as a nuisance – even the reason for frustration with operations teams and drivers. One way to do our jobs better is to provide the companies we serve with proactive measures that predict problems before anyone even knows they exist.

A major speeding citation can cost your company thousands, so make sure your team knows the true cost. As a part of your safety management program, you can put together an information packet for your drivers and your operations team.

  • Make sure your drivers know that if they receive a serious speeding violation, the consequences may be out of your hands. You might need to let them go not matter what you or they do.
  • Make sure your drivers know about the 60 day CDL suspension and help them think about what that cost would be to their families.
  • Educate them about the states where you operate, and make sure they understand the impact on their personal insurance premium.

A major speeding citation can cost thousands; make sure your team knows the true cost.


Something Cool Coming Your Way!

A companion piece to this article is coming soon, featuring an interactive map with the consequences for a major ticket in each state. Sign up for the Cautious Coyote newsletter below to receive an update when the map and other great content from Cautious Coyote becomes available!

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