Are Iowa’s Speeding Laws Too Strict?
The other day I overheard a brief conversation between two people discussing a recent speeding ticket in Iowa. Then, something they said caught my attention. One of the individuals asked the other if the ticket writing officer mentioned Iowa's Right to Speed Law. What is that, I thought?
A Google search didn't deliver much on the subject. Still, upon digging deeper, I found a poorly drafted description of Iowa's "right to speed" law.
Like many laws, it's a little convoluted, but the bottom line is that getting a ticket for driving under ten miles over the limit in a zone between 34-56 miles per hour may work to your benefit. Of course, you may still have to pay a fine, but the more important part is that the speeding infractions won't count against your driver status.
That research took me down the legal rabbit hole where I found several articles citing Iowa as one of the strictest states for speeding enforcement. It made me wonder why, with its primarily rural setting, small towns, and cities.
Iowa has some strict speeding laws, and like many states, it has a driving demerit point system. A driver's license will likely be suspended for points on three or more offenses in 12 months.
Don't be an offender or violator in Iowa, or you will lose your license for a long time.
A driver with six or more traffic violations over two years is considered a habitual offender. They result in being barred from driving for at least one year. All traffic and moving violations count. However, parking tickets and registration violations do not.
You are considered a habitual violator with three or more major traffic violations like a DUI and driving while suspended within six years.
These laws are strict. You may complete a defensive driving course or drug or alcohol course, but accumulated points remain on driving records for five years.
But wait, there's more! The State of Iowa will immediately take your license if you're guilty of going 25 mph or more over the limit. In addition, any traffic violations you receive out of state still go on your Iowa driving record.
Every time you receive a traffic citation in Iowa, points go on your driving records.
The State of Iowa monitors the points accumulated over time. A suspension is inevitable when a driver gets a certain amount of points.
Three moving violations or more in 1 year or six moving violations or more in 2 years get your license suspended.
The length of the suspension depends on the points received during a specific time and may range from 2 to 6 years.
Driving infraction points may pile up fast and aren't equitable for the crime. For example, going with a suspended, revoked, or denied license will earn you 2 points, and vehicular manslaughter gets you 6 points.
A DUI remains on your record for up to 12 years. So the bottom line, it is wise and financially prudent to avoid breaking traffic laws that put points on your driving record.
If you find yourself in a problematic or punishing point scenario, seek legal representation to negotiate a plea bargain and hope for the best.