Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, but getting pulled over in a rental car always feels a bit worse. Here’s what happens if you get a speeding ticket in Alabama.
How Much Are Speeding Fines in Alabama?
In Alabama, the speeding ticket fines depend on where you’re driving, as well as how fast you are driving. Drivers must be cautious when driving around curves, hills and railroad crossings, and take care when dealing with inclement weather, school zones or pedestrians.
To make things more complicated, each county assesses its own penalties, so there’s no standard fine. The difference can vary greatly. For example, in Mobile going less than 25 mph over the speed limit will cost $20 (not including court fees), but doubles to $40 when over 25 mph. The fine for exceeding the “reasonable and prudent” speed—such as going too fast around a curve—is $20. But a general speeding ticket in Tuscaloosa County will set you back $182, and $202 if you’re going 25 mph or more.
Regardless of the ticket price, paying a speeding fine is never fun and can add points to your license. So, it’s best to pay extra attention to your speeds when driving a rental in Alabama.
How to Handle a Speeding Ticket in a Rental
Unlike parking tickets and toll violations, which are typically tied to the vehicle, a speeding ticket is generally tied to the driver. If a police officer pulls you over, you’ll be able to handle the fine on your own. There’s a good possibly the rental company won’t ever find out. From there, you can pay the fine or fight it. Going to traffic school or taking a defensive driving course online may also be an option for avoiding points on your record.
There is one way the rental company could find out about the issue. Getting caught by a speed camera that takes a photo of the plate would mean that the rental company would be notified of the fine—and pass on to you at a later date with an added fee. If you receive a notice in the mail about a fine triggered by a speed camera, pay it immediately to avoid dealing with collections agencies or you could end up on the Do Not Rent list.
How to Pay a Speeding Ticket in Alabama
If you decide to pay the speeding ticket, normally there are several methods for doing so. Check the ticket for specific instructions about where and how to send the payment—handling the fine in person, on the phone, by mail and even online are common options. Note that available payment options may differ depending on where the ticket was issued.
You may also have the option of completing traffic school or a defensive driving class to dismiss the ticket or avoid an increase to your insurance premiums. However, this option is not always available for every situation.