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Transportation Stats

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets? 261

An anonymous reader writes: Have you ever been pulled over for a traffic stop and wondered if your sporty car was what caught the officer's attention? Ever had an officer pass up your clunker to snag a flashier vehicle? Well, there's now some data showing which vehicles accumulate the most tickets. According to a study by Insurance.com, drivers of the Subaru WRX, Pontiac GTO, and Scion FR-S get a higher percentage of tickets than drivers of any other cars. At the bottom of the list, we see vehicles such as the Ford Ecosport, the Land Rover LR4, and Chevy Sportvan. They have a widget that will let you see data on your own make/model, if you're curious.
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Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

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  • It is based on driver reporting. As mentioned in the widget:

    Insurance.com analyzed online quote information submitted by 557,238 drivers January 2013 to July 2014. Ticket data calculated for models with 50 or more quotes.

    • by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @10:02AM (#48036243)

      Indeed, the study should be extended with statistics of which *phone brand* gets the most traffic tickets.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      I suspect that when an insurance company does a quote, they consult databases of driver's ticket/points records. The "self reporting" would only apply to matching drivers with vehicles, so they can make the indirect link between tickets and vehicles.

      It's unlikely there's any significant "self reporting bias," as you seem to be implying, which would be caused by drivers being deceptive about the vehicles they're actively seeking insurance quotes on.
    • by Skater ( 41976 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @10:14AM (#48036401) Homepage Journal
      I lost faith when I saw this entry:

      Mercury Topaz – 28.8%

      A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets? It's the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo, which didn't make the top 20 at all. And I'd be willing to bet Ford sold a lot more Tempos than they did Topazs...

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @11:21AM (#48037239)

        I lost faith when I saw this entry:

        Mercury Topaz – 28.8%

        A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets?

        You misunderstood the data. The Topaz did NOT get the 7th most tickets. It got the 7th most tickets per car. So if there are few of them left around, just a few tickets could skew the statistics.

      • A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets? It's the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo, which didn't make the top 20 at all. And I'd be willing to bet Ford sold a lot more Tempos than they did Topazs...

        The data just says that of all Mercury Topaz's included in the report (and at least 50 must have been used to generate a quote for the model to appear at all), 28.8% have been ticketed at least once. The list is then sorted by the percentage. You can see the obvious flaws.

        First, if a single Corvette received 100 tickets last year, it still just counts as "ticketed once". Second, if 10,000 Tempo's were given quotes, while only 50 Topaz's were, every Topaz influences the results 200 times as much as a Temp

    • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @10:15AM (#48036409)
      Looks like they are the car models that are mostly driven by younger drivers. I would guess that explains most of it.
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      I definitely got stopped and ticketted more when I was driving my sporty looking car (2005 Toyota Celica) rather than my family car (Honda Civic Hybrid).
      Even more so when I was wearing a baseball cap.
      As far speedcams go, I got more tickets driving the family car.
      I guess cops are just really objective and unprejudiced.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Or, you know, you could not drive so fast that it would warrant a speeding ticket in the first place... and then the number of speeding tickets you get in any type of car would all be identical.
        • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

          The bad part about the cameras is they don't take into account conditions. I got speed camera'd when I escaped from a dangerous situation with a couple of larger SUVs coming down off a mountain road.

          I've been pulled over by the police three times in the past 10 years. 57mph in a 55mph zone, got a warning ticket. Passing a county sheriff on a double yellow, verbal warning. 10mph over in front of a traffic control officer (left a light and didn't see him behind me, got me on the curve), warning. In all three,

      • When I drove an old sedan, I never got a speeding ticket. Ever since buying a new coupe (driving the same speeds) I've gotten at least one ticket per year. I don't care about paying the money because I'll openly admit I was speeding, but to claim that cops don't target sporty cars to punish them is a joke.
  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:45AM (#48036027) Journal

    Is this for speeding or does it include tickets for parts falling off onto the roadway? A Topaz hasn't been manufactured since 1994.

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:46AM (#48036035)
    Here is an important line from the (extremely short) article:

    "Cars don't get tickets, drivers do - but those drivers like the WRX," Insurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups noted in a statement about the study.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      People who prefer inexpensive but fast vehicles get a lot of tickets. I have no idea what kind of demographic this might be (young males).
      • by jd2112 ( 1535857 )

        People who prefer inexpensive but fast vehicles get a lot of tickets. I have no idea what kind of demographic this might be (young males).

        Have you priced a WRX lately? Not exactly cheap, even used.

        • involves removing the tree from the engine compartment.
        • People who prefer inexpensive but fast vehicles get a lot of tickets. I have no idea what kind of demographic this might be (young males).

          Have you priced a WRX lately? Not exactly cheap, even used.

          I wouldn't buy a WRX used anyway unless I knew the owner personally. Cars like the WRX get ridden hard and put away wet FAR more often than something more sedate.

      • So your assumption is as follows:

        1) People that prefer inexpensive, fast cars drive poorly and as a result get more tickets.

        2) But cops are not smart enough to realize that inexpensive, fast cars are prime targets.

        By definition, if you are correct, than smart cops should begin to profile and pay extra attention to those cars, which means that YES, the cops ARE targeting you for the car your drive.

        There are only three real possibilities: 1) even distribution, 2) uneven distribution caused by profilin

    • Except if you compare those same drivers and their tickets while driving different cars, I'll bet money (based on my personal experience owning both family sedans and sports cars) that you'll see that it's the car and not the driver that drives the ticket count.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:47AM (#48036049) Homepage

    Do they get tickets because they drive these vehicles, or do they drive these vehicles because they're the sort who get tickets?

    • It's like red cars. They get a higher amount of tickets, apparently.

      Is it because cops target red cars? Or because people who buy red cars are more likely to drive fast?

      Who knows.

      In the case of the WRX, I'm not surprised ... this is a car which can break any posted speed limit in North America while still accelerating in second gear. I remember being in a friend's as he merged into traffic ... and we went from surface street speeds to passing the cars on the highway in a really short period.

      I was quite i

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        Red cars are more easily seen. They have the most tickets but the least accidents. Yellow is similar. Dark gray cars have the least tickets (camouflage), but the most accidents by 10 times, because other drivers can't see them either. This is why I own black sports cars. They look great and have low incidence of tickets and accidents.
        • by Jhon ( 241832 )

          I drive a 1988 tan toyota pickup. I've received a single speeding ticket in this truck -- 1989 in Santa Maria. Cop was pissed because he pegged me going 85 and he KNEW I was going faster but suspected I slowed down because I saw him. I actually was going about 95 (trying to race a friend back to Cal Poly SLO who had a major exam that morning) -- and slowed down because I entered Santa Maria (where there was a very high cop to car ratio). I just didn't slow down fast enough.

          Anyway, I typically drive "as

      • It's like red cars. They get a higher amount of tickets, apparently.

        Red cars don't get more tickets. It's a myth. [snopes.com] I'm still not sure how these myths of conventional wisdom start, but this one just isn't true.

      • by CeasedCaring ( 1527717 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @10:31AM (#48036623)
        In the UK, red cars get most tickets because cops are playing snooker. (You have to sink a red before any other colour)
      • The "red cars get more tickets" myth is a myth. See snopes.com. Supporting evidence of this is the fact that insurance companies don't ask you what color your car is.
    • Do they get tickets because they drive these vehicles, or do they drive these vehicles because they're the sort who get tickets?

      Almost certainly the later. Think about it. These are relatively inexpensive, fast cars driven mostly by young men who like to go fast. Put the same guy in a Corvette and they will still get tickets because they drive like asshats and don't know when to take their foot off the accelerator.

  • I drive a Subaru WRX/STi, and I've been pulled over once. When they realized I was over 40 and not a 17 year old with a souped up car they got really disappointed. I didn't get a ticket but they did say that my license plate frame was crooked.
    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

      57 and I ride a sport bike.

      "Well, be a little careful around here in the future."

      "Yes sir, thanks!"

      I think they're just happy you don't run :D

      [John]

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:55AM (#48036153) Homepage
    I cant tell you how many times ive roared down the highway at the breakneck speed of 50 miles per hour in my 1996 Chevy Sportvan (pedal to the METAL baby, thats how i roll.) Its got all the markings of a classic hot rod, from the 48 foot turning radius to that sporty 6600 pound curb weight. and man ive got one heck of a lead foot in this autobahn racer so its good to know i dodged this bullet. I bet those cops have no clue about my high performance 33 gallon gas tank and optional school bus conversion (with sweet anti-lock braking too)
    • The Chevy Sportvan is a homage to the Family Truckster, right down to the 8 headlights.

      http://www.cardomain.com/ride/... [cardomain.com]

    • My mother-in-law's Mercury Topaz is surely a greater danger! How she gets away with it I'll never know.

      What a crappy misuse of statistics. Heh, hardly even statistics. How about balancing those "ticketed" numbers against the number of each model on the road? I don't see a single Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar, not even Corvettes! And they don't get tickets? Come on!

  • by eth1 ( 94901 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:56AM (#48036167)

    Cars don't get tickets, drivers do - but those drivers like the WRX,

    This is the important bit. The cheaper "fun" cars are the ones that the younger, less responsible drivers can buy. I was extremely surprised when I bought a used Boxster S a few years ago (probably one of the best cars around for, umm, "enthusiastic" driving), and the liability insurance was LESS than for my 14 year old Camry.

    To make things worse for the WRX, the STI version comes stock with a ridiculous wing on the trunk that just screams "stupid rice rocket driver."

    • This, so much of this. As one of those *ahem* enthusiastic younger drivers, I absolutely loved test driving the WRX and FR-S, but just could not get over the fact that I would look like a yobbo everywhere I went. I knew it was a lost cause when the sales guy got offended at the suggestion of removing the rear spoiler of the WRX. Wound up with a Jetta GLI instead - you know, that rarely seen mash-up between a stock Jetta, ranked 67th on this site for tickets issued, and the GTI hatchback, ranked 12th. Insura
  • It might just be that they have a lower top speed, but all the vehicles on the bottom of the list are physically quite large. I'd conjecture that they seem proportionately slower to the eyes of enforcement, since their size messes with your sense of scale.

  • drivers of the Subaru WRX, Pontiac GTO, and Scion FR-S get a higher percentage of tickets than drivers of any other cars.

    Wow. Cars most commonly driven by young men who like to go fast get the most tickets. Who would have guessed?

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @10:04AM (#48036269)

    I guess that explains it. I haven't been pulled over in years... but I do hear a lot of cops laughing if I happen to drive by them.

  • i don't see it anywhere on the list

  • I can't believe the prius is #20. We've got those all over here... and if someone passes me doing 90 on the interstate it's usually a prius. Maybe the irony makes them stand out.

  • Thank you for telling us what kind of car you drive. Our ad network's profiler will appreciate this information.
  • 911 (couldn't actually find my model) ranks 447. Eat my dust baby!

  • ok, I'm going OT. These days you better pay that ticket, show up for court, or you will be issued a FTA (failure to appear) and you will be issued a bench warrent. Result is next time you are pulled over, it is mandatory arrest, as dispatch radios back to officer the 10-28/10-29 info.

    But it wasn't like that back in the days. There were people that accumulate tickets which they never took care of i.e. as portrayed in "American Graffiti" of John Milner's "CS files." A relative of mine who died decades ago b

  • The headline is clickbait, and the article is native advertising.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @11:27AM (#48037345) Homepage

    If you dont drive like a Complete Dooshbag, you dont get ticketed.

    Sadly, most drivers out there dont understand that... "It's the Cars fault Bro!"

  • Wow, I never would have guessed that car to be at #20 on this list.

  • A good 40MPH over the limit on highways. Here in RI most of the highways are 55MPH or 65MPH. But I recall as a kid they used to all be 70MPH.

    So I can be found flying down RI-4, or I-95 in a variety of vehicles.

    Most recently I had a Subaru Impreza - speedy little beast. I was on I-95N in the left hand lane until I came upon an asshole doing 55MPH there. So I dropped to the right, accelerated. I see headlights behind me while I'm doing 85MPH. It's a State Trooper - he just cuts around me. Didn't even tu

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