KSL INVESTIGATES

Most Likely Spots In Utah For Speeding Tickets

Feb 25, 2019, 9:49 PM | Updated: 10:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A glimpse in the rear-view mirror. The flashing lights behind you. The realization that you’re going too fast. We all know how it feels to be busted for speeding.

Last year alone, Utah officers wrote more than 160,000 speeding tickets across the state.

How can you avoid getting a ticket? The obvious answer is not to speed. The KSL Investigators wanted to find out which agencies wrote the most speeding tickets. They also analyzed tens of thousands of speeding tickets to learn when you’re most likely to get one.

Our data comes from the Utah State Courts and includes 163,272 speeding tickets from 138 cities and counties across Utah during 2018.

Top Cities/Counties Based On Ticket Volume In 2018

  1. Salt Lake City: 10,846 tickets
  2. Sandy: 9,958 tickets
  3. Washington County: 6,021 tickets
  4. Iron County: 5,385 tickets
  5. Orem: 5,125 tickets

Officer Zack Young is a traffic cop with Unified Police Department. He doesn’t work in Salt Lake City, but says the high number in the state’s capital makes sense.

“I think it all has to do with not so much as how many violators are in your area, but how many officers you have looking for those violators,” said Young.

Top Cities/Counties Based On Per Capita Population In 2018

But what about those towns that don’t have a lot of officers, which are sometimes accused of running speed traps? The KSL Investigators dug a little deeper to find out which cities and counties give out the most tickets per capita. In no particular order, they include:

  • Mantua
  • Wellington
  • Big Water
  • Monticello
  • Emery County
  • Garfield County
  • Juab County

Based on the data, Mantua gives out the most tickets based on population. It was the only area to hand out more tickets (1,283) in 2018 than it has people living there (822).

Time Of The Month

Most drivers KSL talked to believe speeding tickets are most often given out at the end of the month.

“I always assume that at the end of the month they’re trying to fill a quota,” said Damon.

“Probably more towards the end of the month,” said Ken.

“We always used to hear that at the end of the month cops would be out a lot more,” said Rafael.

However, out of the 13,346 tickets KSL Investigators checked from February 2018, more tickets were actually filed in the first week of the month and it gradually went down from there.

  • 1st week: 3,747
  • 2nd week: 3,695
  • 3rd week: 3,110
  • 4th week: 2,794

Day Of The Week

As for the biggest day of the week, KSL did a deep dive into nearly 3,000 speeding tickets from this same week last year and data shows Saturday was the most popular day for tickets.

Time of The Year

Most drivers believe the summer months are when you’re most likely to get a speeding ticket.

“I would say the summer months because I feel like people are more reckless then,” said Noel.

Traffic cops, like Officer Young, agree.

“I don’t know what it is about summer, but it’s a crazy time for drivers,” said Young. “So that’s when we’re going to be out there stepping up our enforcement.”

However, when KSL broke down those tens of thousands of tickets, the busiest month in 2018 was not actually in the summer. It was in the spring, with March having the highest number of speeding tickets given.

  • January: 14,416
  • February: 13,364
  • March: 16,572
  • April: 14,892
  • May: 15,233
  • June: 14,540
  • July: 13,268
  • August: 13,169
  • September: 12,243
  • October: 11,895
  • November: 12,915
  • December: 10,782

KSL also asked Officer Young a question almost every driver wants to know: Is there a speed you can go above the limit without getting a ticket? There’s good news and bad news. Young says he has a buffer zone but every officer is different.

“Me personally, I’m looking for 13 over,” said Young.

For him, it’s not so much about the driver’s apparent need for speed, it more about the need for safety.

“Speed in and of itself may not contribute to the number of incidents of crashes, but it certainly contributes to whether or not that crash is fatal,” said Young. “My end goal is to change people’s driving behavior.”

Leading to driving behaviors that keep all of us safe on the roads.

Young has a Facebook page called “Zack the Traffic Cop” that he uses as a platform to promote safe driving.

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Most Likely Spots In Utah For Speeding Tickets