Speeding is a common traffic violation that not only endangers lives but also leads to numerous traffic citations and penalties in Texas. One of the most significant areas where speeding tickets are issued with regularity is Harris County, Texas. This article explores the dangers of speeding in Harris County, delves into the statistics of speeding offenders, discusses various police divisions responsible for issuing tickets, outlines the consequences of receiving a speeding ticket in Texas, and explains how drivers can mitigate penalties by taking an online defensive driving course.
The Need for Speed Control in Harris County
Harris County, Texas, encompasses Houston, the state’s largest city and a bustling metropolitan area with extensive road networks. With countless highways, major thoroughfares, and a population of over 4 million people, Harris County sees its fair share of traffic violations, including speeding.
Statistics of Speeding Offenders in Harris County
To understand the gravity of the issue, let’s examine some statistics related to speeding offenders in Harris County:
Traffic Citations: Harris County consistently ranks among the top counties in Texas for the number of traffic citations issued, with speeding violations being one of the most common.
Accident Rates: Speeding is a leading factor in traffic accidents and fatalities. In 2020, Harris County recorded 180 fatal crashes, with many involving speeding.
Police Divisions: Multiple law enforcement agencies operate within Harris County, including the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Houston Police Department, and various municipal police departments. These agencies collectively issue a substantial number of speeding tickets.
Police Divisions Issuing Speeding Tickets in Harris County
Harris County Sheriff’s Office: The Sheriff’s Office patrols unincorporated areas of Harris County and is responsible for enforcing traffic laws on county roads. They frequently issue speeding citations.
Houston Police Department (HPD): HPD oversees law enforcement within the city limits of Houston. With its extensive jurisdiction and high population, HPD plays a significant role in combating speeding.
Municipal Police Departments: Numerous municipalities in Harris County maintain their police departments. These departments handle speeding enforcement within their city boundaries.
Consequences of Receiving a Speeding Ticket in Texas
Receiving a speeding ticket in Texas, including Harris County, carries various consequences:
Fines: Speeding fines can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand, depending on the speed exceeded and the area where the violation occurred.
Traffic Violation Points: Each speeding ticket adds points to your driving record. Accumulating too many points can result in license suspension.
Insurance Premium Increases: Insurance companies often increase premiums for drivers with speeding tickets on their records. The higher the speed, the greater the impact on insurance rates.
Traffic School Requirement: In some cases, the court may require drivers to attend traffic school or defensive driving courses as part of their penalty.
License Suspension: Accumulating excessive points or receiving multiple speeding tickets within a short period can lead to license suspension.
Warrant for Arrest: Failing to pay fines or appear in court for a speeding ticket can result in a warrant for your arrest.
Impact on Employment: Certain professions, such as commercial drivers, may face job-related consequences for accumulating traffic violations, including speeding.
Taking an Online Defensive Driving Course
One way for drivers to mitigate the impact of a speeding ticket in Texas, including Harris County, is by taking the DriveSafe Online Texas Defensive Driving Course. Here’s how it works:
Eligibility: In Texas, if you receive a speeding ticket, you may be eligible to take the DriveSafe Online Defensive Driving Course to dismiss the ticket and avoid points on your driving record. However, eligibility criteria vary by jurisdiction and offense, so check with your local court.
Court Approval: Ensure that the court accepts the DriveSafe Online course for ticket dismissal before enrolling. Some courts may have specific requirements or restrictions.
Course Enrollment: If eligible, you can enroll in the state-approved DriveSafe Online Defensive Driving Course. Thes six-hour course covers topics related to safe driving practices, Texas traffic laws, and accident prevention.
Completion: Complete the online course within 90 days of your citation date. Keep in mind that you must request court permission to take the online safe driver course soon after receiving the ticket. The citation notes your court date, which is when you must make your decision to take the defensive driving course known.
Passing the Exam: You’ll need to pass a final exam to successfully complete the course. The DriveSafe Online Texas Defensive Driving Course boasts a 99% passing rate for first time users.
Certificate of Completion: Once you pass the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion. This certificate must be submitted to the court for ticket dismissal.
Ticket Dismissal: If you meet all the court’s requirements and deadlines, your speeding ticket may be dismissed, and no points will be added to your driving record.
Insurance Discounts: In addition to ticket dismissal, some insurance companies offer premium discounts to drivers who voluntarily complete defensive driving courses.
Speeding remains a significant issue on Texas highways, particularly in Harris County, where traffic volumes are high, and numerous law enforcement agencies are active. The consequences of receiving a speeding ticket in Texas are serious, including fines, points on your driving record, increased insurance premiums, and more. However, drivers have the option to take an online defensive driving course to mitigate these consequences and improve their driving skills.
To stay safe and avoid the dangers of speeding in Harris County and throughout Texas, drivers should adhere to speed limits, obey traffic laws, and exercise caution on the road. Defensive driving should not be considered an important proactive measure to enhance safety and ensure that every journey on Texas highways is as secure as possible.