The cost of a speeding ticket in the state of Massachusetts is $100.00 for 1 mileanhour to 10 milesanhour over the speed limit, plus $10.00 per every additional mile an hour over the speed limit.
Consulting with an attorney I have been told that there is a grace speed of 5 milesanhour that is not prosecuted.
Speaking with a Massachusetts State Trooper I have been told that if one is within 10 milesanhour of the posted highway speed that is not prosecuted.
Although both of these are up to the discretion of the officer. A person can get ticketed for any amount over the speed limit.
Prior to my research for this web site I thought that the speed limit on Route 63 was 50 milesanhour for its entire length, and I have lived in Amherst now for over 20 years. What I have learned is that the speed limit on Route 63 varies between 55 and 50 miles an hour except for a 0.97 mile stretch of road as it passes through the 45 mileanhour Leverett Speed Trap.
If one travels the length of Route 63 with an assumption of 50 mile an hour speed limit, and a speed tolerance that may be as much as 10 milesanhour. When one fails to see the single 45 mileanhour Leverett Speed Trap sign, one may be traveling as much as 15 milesanhour over the speed limit and subject to a $150.00 speeding fine.
It is estimated that the Town of Leverett Massachusetts hands out about 300 tickets a year just based on their Route 63 Speed Trap. This estimate is developed using the following calculation. As explained by the Leverett Chief of Police; For each $150.00 ticket, $50.00 goes to the State of Massachusetts General Fund, $50.00 goes to the State of Massachusetts Head Trauma Fund, and only $50.00 goes directly to the Town of Leverett. As demonstrated in the Town of Leverett’s Annual report below, $14,542.50 was collected from speeding tickets in 2003. This amount divided by $50.00 equals 280 tickets at $150.00 or probably more than 300 tickets because many tickets are for only $100.00.
But the cost of a $150.00 speeding ticket is far more than just the cost of the fine. For every moving violation, two points are added to a driver’s license. According to Remalard Insurance Agency, each of these points add $80.00 per year for a period of six years. So the cost of getting cost of getting caught in the Leverett Speed Trap is a $150.00 fine plus at least $960.00 in insurance payments for a total of $1,110.00 assuming no increase in the cost of Massachusetts Auto Insurance. However, assuming increases consistent with that over the last six years, a Leverett Speed Trap ticket could reasonably be expected to cost a driver over $1,400.00
But I would not feel this outrage, if this speed enforcement were for the purpose of public heath and safety. It is clear from the Town of Leverett’s 2003 Annual Budget, that a collection of $14,542.50 from tickets is extraordinarily high for a town with a population of only about 2000 residents.
Compare this with the Annual reports of surrounding towns with similar roads and populations.
In the attached PDF is the town of Montague's annual report. (Data not yet collected.)
In the attached PDF is the town of Sunderland's annual report. (Data not yet collected.)
