MAY 23, 2012

Where are you likely to get a speeding ticket this holiday weekend?

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carWAUNAKEE, Wisc. – Nothing says "welcome to summer" like an undeserved traffic ticket – especially when you're traveling in another state.

But how do you know which states and cities are most likely to ruin your Memorial Day vacation by issuing you that ticket? States don't track traffic ticket data for all of their jurisdictions. And most municipalities don't want to publicize their ticket-happy ways for fear of being labeled speed traps.

Luckily, the National Motorists Association (NMA) – a motorists' rights group that has been helping drivers fight traffic tickets for 30 years – has updated its traffic ticket rankings to give holiday travelers some insight into which locales are most likely to ticket them.

This year the NMA expanded its rankings to include the top 10 metro areas for traffic tickets. Drivers will want to be especially vigilant in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and New York City.

2012 Top 25 State Rankings (ranked from most likely to ticket drivers to least likely):

Rank State Score
1) Nevada 79
2) Georgia 70
3) Alabama 69
4) Florida 67
5) Maryland 65
6) Louisiana 63
7) Texas 62
8) District of Columbia 61
9-tie) California 59
9-tie) North Carolina 59
9-tie) Missouri 59
12) New York 56
13) Mississippi 55
14) South Carolina 54
15-tie) Indiana 51
15-tie) Washington 51
15-tie) Tennessee 51
18) Illinois 50
19-tie) Arizona 49
19-tie) Iowa 49
19-tie) Oklahoma 49
22 Virginia 48
23 New Jersey 47
24-tie) Ohio 45
24-tie) Kansas 45

2012 Top 10 Metro Area Rankings (ranked from most likely to ticket drivers to least likely):

Rank Metro Score
1) Atlanta 74
2) Los Angeles 72
3) Dallas-Fort Worth 62
4) Miami 59
5) New York 57
6) Chicago 52
7) District of Columbia 50
8) Houston 47
9) Orlando 39
10) San Diego 34

Obviously, these rankings aren't perfect (search queries can be impacted by a number of different factors), but the NMA has found that the lists correspond well to its day-to-day experiences helping motorists fight traffic tickets.