Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect that the surcharge for a speeding ticket in Steamboat Springs is $20.
The cost of a speeding ticket in Colorado is generally a standard $232 for going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, but the true cost of the traffic violation can be much more.
Consumer finance website NerdWallet recently published a post examining how the cost of a ticket differs from city to city in Colorado based off the subsequent increase in car insurance rates.
Steamboat Springs ranked as the 15th most expensive city in the state for speeding tickets, but the actual cost is lower because of the city's lower penalties.
Municipalities in Colorado can set their own penalties for speeding, and the city of Steamboat Springs bases its fine structure on the state's point system for violations, according to the Steamboat Springs Police Department. The city charges $25 per point so being ticketed for traveling 20 miles per hour over the speed limit would be a $150 penalty plus a $20 surcharge for a $170 total cost.
Using NerdWallet's estimate for insurance premium increases, the total ticket cost during the course of three years would be about $582 for Steamboat drivers. NerdWallet estimated the true cost of the ticket at $634 for a Steamboat driver, assuming the $232 penalty.
NerdWallet’s analysis estimated the increased cost of insurance based off quotes for four different driver profiles — “27-year-old single men and women and 40-year-old married men and women each driving Toyota Camrys and Ford Escapes” — and added that amount to the state's $200 speeding fine and $32 surcharge for traveling between 20 to 24 mph over the speed limit.
The increased insurance premiums were estimated to last for three years because that’s how long it takes for some insurers to drop major moving violations from the formula used to calculate rates.
Fort Morgan was listed as the most expensive city in which to receive a speeding ticket, and Montrose was listed as the least expensive. Despite the actual differences between municipally-established penalties and state highway fines, the effect of insurance rates on the true cost of tickets remains significant.
“Generally, the percentage increase in annual car insurance premiums after speeding tickets is consistent across Colorado,” the post stated. “The disparity in dollar amount increases is best explained by the fact that car insurance rates differ from city to city.”
NerdWallet: True cost of speeding tickets
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz