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North Dakota Speeding Fines Are Hilarious

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

As many of you know, I recently drove my Aston Martin across the United States and back. On this trip, I hosted a meet up in Fargo, North Dakota, at North Dakota State University, which has, in its official seal, several stalks of wheat. None of this is very interesting.

What is interesting is that while I was at NDSU, the people who attended the meet up told me something amazing about speeding fines in the area. Namely, you're fined one dollar for every mile per hour over the limit you drive.

Allow me to repeat that, for effect: If you get pulled over for speeding in North Dakota, you are fined one dollar for every mile per hour over the speed limit you're driving. In other words, if you get caught going 14 miles per hour over the limit in North Dakota, your fine is $14. This is the type of fine you'd expect to pay in Monopoly.

Now, initially, I was skeptical of this, because it sounds like something people would make up when they're being self-deprecating about their home state, so I went to my hotel that night and searched it online, thinking I'd find some base fine of $100, plus the fines my viewers and readers told me about.

But, there is no base fine. Speeding tickets really are that cheap in North Dakota.

In fact, if you search for "North Dakota speeding fines," you'll likely be led to a 2007 article from the Bismarck Tribune, entitled "N.D. traffic fines are called a joke," wherein a North Dakota highway patrolman is quoted, after pulling over a driver for going 67 mph in a 55-mph zone and issuing him a $12 ticket, as saying that the driver told him: "I can't afford not to speed in your state."

Fortunately, it appears North Dakota has done something to combat these low fines. Since the article was released in 2007, speeding ticket fines have increased. Now, it's one dollar for every mile per hour over the speed limit you go up to 15 mph over, then two dollars for every mile per hour until 20 mph over, then three dollars until 25 mph over and so on.

In other words, nearly a decade after the 2007 article came out, that ticket for 12 mph over would still cost $12.

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North Dakota Speeding Fines Are Hilarious - Autotrader