Don’t speed. And definitely don’t speed in Council Bluffs. The Daily NonPareil reports a study by website NerdWallet.com ranked Council Bluffs as the most expensive Iowa city in which to receive a speeding ticket. The study estimated the “true cost” of a ticket for speeding 11-15 mph over the speed limit is $560.70.
Drivers in Iowa pay $168 in fines, fees and court costs for a speeding ticket, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The total reached by NerdWallet accounted for the average increase in insurance premiums after a citation – $130.90 – multiplied by three years.
Steve Cates, a Council Bluffs Allstate insurance agent, noted that the increased premium for a ticket generally last three years if a driver doesn’t receive another ticket afterward. Jeff Chu with NerdWallet said vehicular thefts, population density, driving record, marital status, employment status, age and gender are among the factors that determine a driver’s insurance rates.
On average, Iowa drivers pay $786 for car insurance yearly, NerdWallet said. After a single speeding ticket, annual car insurance premiums will increase by an average of $104.65, to $890.65 a year, according to the study. The average annual cost per driver in Council Bluffs is $921.60 and $1,052.50 after a ticket.
Cates said he believes rates in the area are higher because of a large number of crashes in Council Bluffs compared to other cities. Bettendorf has the second-highest “true cost” of a ticket, at $553.50, followed by Sioux City ($553.60), Des Moines ($531.81) and Davenport ($529.71). Pleasant Hill ($522.24), Urbandale ($518.25), Dubuque ($513.21), West Des Moines ($502.74) and Boone ($500.67) round out the Top 10.
Other findings in the study, according to NerdWallet:
• The average Iowa driver’s car insurance rate goes up 13.3 percent after a single speeding ticket.
• All Iowa drivers face the same speeding ticket fine of $168, but the true cost of a speeding ticket varies depending on location. Not all drivers face the same insurance increases. After three years, drivers in Council Bluffs will pay $124.83 more than those in Knoxville.
• Four of the top 10 most expensive places to get a speeding ticket – Des Moines, West Des Moines, Pleasant Hill and Urbandale – are in Polk County, the state’s most populous county.