Top 10 States For Speeding Tickets

Speeding Tickets

Not all states are created equal, and appropriately, some states hand out more speeding tickets than others. Below is a list of the 10 states that receive the most traffic violations every year. While speed is a factor in these statistics, it isn’t the only one: the number of law enforcement officers on the road as well as each state’s population is also taken into account. Is your state one of the top 10 for speeding tickets? See for yourself!

10. Massachusetts: With a population of nearly 6.5 million, the Bay State handed out just about 340,000 tickets last year. That’s just over five percent of all Massachusetts residents.

9. Delaware: Delaware’s a small area with around 830,000 residents, but the First State has managed to rack up a little over 44,500 traffic violations, making up over five percent of the population.

8. South Carolina: Another of the former 13 colonies has the distinction of being one of the nation’s speediest states. With nearly 4.2 million people, South Carolina’s nearly 230,000 tickets composed almost 5.5 percent of its population last year.

7. New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment also happens to be the Land of 117,000 Speeding Tickets. With 1.9 million residents, that’s right over six percent of the population.

6. Maryland: One of the smallest states in the US is also one of the fastest, with about 350,000 residents receiving speeding tickets last year. With a population of around 5.56 million, that’s about six percent of all Marylanders.

5. Mississippi: Approximately 200,000 of Mississippi’s 2.9 million residents took home speeding tickets last year, making up almost seven percent of the population.

4. North Dakota: North Dakotans were in a hurry last year, making it to number 4 on our list. About 45,500 tickets were handed out last year, making up around seven percent of North Dakota’s 635,000 residents.

3. Vermont: Number three on our list is Vermont—the Green Mountain State. With a population of around 631,000, approximately 52,700 residents were given speeding tickets last year, making up a whopping 8.5 percent of the populace.

2. Wyoming: With nearly 506,000 citizens and almost 46,000 tickets last year, Wyoming takes the spot at number 2 with just about nine percent of all residents receiving a speeding ticket in 2013.

1. Washington, D.C.: Although the U.S. capital is not actually a state, that won’t stop it from escaping our list. With around 553,000 residents and 434,000 traffic violations, an unbelievable 79 percent of all Washingtonians were slapped with tickets last year. Washington, D.C. is truly deserving of first place!

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Lyft Line Takes Car Sharing A Step Further

Carpooling remains, unfortunately, an unpopular option in the United States: every weekday, around 100 million Americans drive to work alone. The ride service Lyft, however, is aiming to challenge that.

Lyft is a service similar to its rival Uber. Consumers book a car using a smartphone app and a driver, also connected through his or her smartphone, will arrive to pick them up.

While the company tries to reduce the amount of cars on the road, company founders John Zimmer and Logan Green are hoping to take things a step further with the new Lyft Line service. Lyft Line, which recently debuted in San Francisco, matches riders seeking to travel to similar locations at similar times. The new service will also grant discounts to users who share a ride. The discounts offered by Lyft Line are steep: up to 10 to 60 percent off compared to a standard Lyft ride.

The new service also boasts the ability to display a guaranteed price to consumers before a car is booked. The normal Lyft service only allows users to see the price they must pay after the ride is over. Line will also only match people who won’t take the initial rider more than 5 minutes off their route and will provide a discount even if a match isn’t found. While Lyft Line is only available in San Francisco at the moment, it is slated to arrive in other cities in the coming months and could possibly become one of the most cost-efficient ways to travel.

Although Zimmer and Green say that Lyft Line is the company’s future, the two wonder if consumers will embrace the idea of sharing rides with strangers. So far, the company has only tested the service with Lyft employees. Rival company Uber has responded to Lyft’s announcement by introducing UberPool, a similar service available on an invitation-only basis.

Even with their competitor’s announcement, Lyft appears to be a more casual and personal experience than Uber. Lyft drivers adorn their cars with pink moustaches on the grille, allow riders to sit in the front seat rather than the back, and fist bump riders upon meeting. With millions of rides completed each month, Lyft is set to change the face of public transportation. With any luck, Americans who are dubious about the notion of carpooling will still give Lyft Line a chance.

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The VIN Number

Vin Number

With over a billion vehicles in the world, one might find the idea of identifying each and every one of them impossible. However, a system for classifying individual vehicles does exist and has for many years. Vehicle identification numbers (VIN) are unique to each automobile and are used for all sorts of purposes, from registering a new car, filing an insurance claim, or investigating a vehicle history report.

The United States Department of Transportation and the International Organization developed the system as a joint effort for Standardization following three decades of a fragmented and confusing identification structure. After car production ramped up during the 1950s, each car manufacturer used their own system of classification for their vehicles, which became complex and inefficient. In 1980, the universal VIN number was introduced, unifying all automobiles by identifying them under one system.

VIN numbers are a set of seventeen alphanumeric characters, with each character representing a different portion of the vehicle. Each number is exclusive to each vehicle and the system is used for all vehicles on the road, from trucks to trailers to motorcycles to busses. A vehicle’s VIN number can be found on the driver’s side dashboard and engine block and is sometimes also found on the passenger doorframe, vehicle firewall, and radiator support bracket.

While understanding how VIN numbers work may seem daunting, they are actually quite simple. The first character is used to identify the vehicle’s country of origin. The second and third characters represent the motor company that manufactured it and the automobile’s make. The purpose of characters four through eight depends upon the type of vehicle being identified. If the vehicle is a passenger car, the four characters represent the vehicle’s body style, series, engine, and restraint/safety systems. For busses, trailers, and motorcycles, the characters identify the vehicle weight and horsepower.

The ninth character is used as a way to check for mistakes in the VIN number. Character ten represents the automobile’s model year, character eleven identifies the location of the plant where the vehicle was crafted, and the final six digits are the automobile’s serial number. Although VIN numbers may appear complicated and incomprehensible, they can be easily understood by anyone with a bit of knowledge of how the system works.

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How Will Smart Cars Interact With Smart Roads?

Smart Cars Interact With Smart Roads

So far, Google has led the way for innovation in the field of smart cars, announcing 100 experimental self-driven vehicles earlier this year. However, in a departure from its past, these new cars possess absolutely no driver controls at all. But while Google continues to rule the tentative field of smart cars, “smart streets” are already making their way into our world. Although we’ve had things like in-pavement detectors and timed traffic lights for a while, newer advances in the realm of smart roads are beginning to come to fruition.

Carnegie Mellon University, based in Pittsburgh, recently began a trial run of a “smart signal” project in its hometown. The smart signal project incorporates motion detection along with signal-to-signal communications in traffic lights. The project consequently saw a 40 percent reduction in stop times and an average of 26 percent reduction in travel times.

This technology is also able to monitor air quality, pedestrian crowding, and wind intensity. Apart from Pittsburgh, other cities like New York City, San Jose, and Chicago are also seeing the installation of smart signals. Similarly, Kolkata, India’s city planners are hoping to introduce a “quick response” system that utilizes Wi-Fi. This prototype system will be able to communicate emergency reports and assist with user navigation.

Despite all the excited talk about the possibilities and promises of smart cars, it appears that smart roads will end up outpacing them. Whereas smart cars face the challenges of long-term development cycles, users unwilling to surrender full control over their vehicles, heavy computing and bandwidth requirements, rigid legal regulations, and opposed automakers, smart roads can easily be incorporated into our existing infrastructure. In fact, Gartner, Inc., a technology research and advisory firm, predicts that most new automobiles will feature some form of connectivity by the year 2020.

Smart road features enjoy a competitive marketplace and relatively inexpensive and simple development cycles, so it makes sense that smart infrastructure is popping up everywhere—from toll booths that scan license plates, to radio receivers on freeways monitoring traffic volume, to even smartphone apps that work with parking meters to display vacancies to users.

While Google continues to pave the way for a future filled with smart cars, it seems as though our roads will be ready, hopefully ensuring a world of cleaner air, reduced traffic, and safer streets.

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The Call To Make Connected Cars Hack-Proof

Making Smart Cars Hack Proof

The growing concern about “hackable” automobiles was a topic of discussion at an early August 2014 Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. Now a group of coders and security researchers are answering the call to secure vehicles with digital features.

The group introduced what they are calling their five “critical capabilities” to automobile manufacturers at the Las Vegas-based DEF CON conference last weekend, hoping to help close a number of security holes in current and future car software. Among the requirements outlined by the group are mandatory testing of digital features, a black box within every vehicle to record events that may transpire, secure updates of car software, segmentation of different functions within cars, and a safe disclosure program to allow researchers to freely share security flaws in vehicle software.

Along with the group’s five-point list, a petition on Change.org has been created to further pressure the auto industry into acknowledging worries about security.

Apart from Tesla, which has received praise for the lengths it has gone through to secure its electric cars, very few automobile companies have taken effective measures to make their products unhackable.

Researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller shared a study detailing their exploration into the vulnerability of 24 different vehicles. While neither of the two men was able to remotely control any of the cars, a number of automobiles did not perform well on the test due to the amount of “attack surfaces” they possessed. Among the failed cars were the Infinity Q90 and Jeep Cherokee, cars which Valasek and Miller own, respectively.

Despite the lack of reports of damage produced by successful attacks on digital vehicles, there is a growing interest in exploiting and manipulating car software to cause destruction. It is this rising intrigue that is fueling the concern among hackers and security experts to increase measures to secure digital automobiles.

To this end, Valasek and Miller have released an intrusion detection system. When plugged into a vehicle, the system can defend a car against an attack by shutting off network connectivity once hit.

The United States government has also taken notice of the rise in security concerns for digital automobiles, providing a grant to Valasek and Miller through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue their research.

Although there have been no successful damaging attacks on digital cars to speak of, researchers like Valasek and Miller are spearheading the effort to prevent such attacks before they become a reality.

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