Traveling for the Holidays?

One of the reasons I started ATLAS is my tendency to take long road trips that cross multiple states.  The holidays are no exception to this – before November’s end I’ll have driven over 32 hours across 13 states just for Thanksgiving.  That’s a lot of changing laws.

How many people do you know who never speed?

When you have a thousand miles to drive in a day you want to get there as fast as possible, which for many (myself included) can mean going over the speed limit at times.  If you’re going to do this you probably want to know the speeding fines.

In the state where I grew up the maximum speeding fine is $150.  In the state where I live now it’s $100.  Before setting out on this holiday drive to my childhood home I had no idea that in the states between those it ranges from $500 to $1k.  Until getting pulled over, that is.

We drove this year rather than flying in part because we prefer not to subject others to a loud crying baby on an airplane, but mainly because all things considered it was much more cost effective.  Large fines can make that significantly less so.  My fine was well over what I expected and higher than the max in either state I’d ever called home.

Traffic laws are often heavily enforced around the holidays and travelers who are often unaware of how some areas treat what one might consider a very minor offense are usually hit the hardest.  After getting that ticket and using ATLAS to check the fines in the remaining states we slowed down significantly.  Considering the sizable police presence on the roads for the rest of the trip this could have saved a lot of money. 

It’s on all of us to stay safe during our travels.  Part of that means being aware of the local rules, especially if they’re different from wherever we call home.  What you don’t know definitely can hurt you.  Make sure you know before you go!