No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night

I rolled down my driver’s side window and waited. The rap of knuckles came on the passenger side window. I pressed the button to roll it down for the officer.

The California Highway Patrolman asked me, “Do you know how fast you were driving?”

“No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Anyway, I received a speeding ticket for gliding across the Mojave Desert toward Las Vegas at 84 mph as I sped up to pass a truck in the two lane section of Highway 58 just before the road went down to single lane outside of Barstow.

My travel savings from the $135 free room at the Holiday Inn Express Tehachapi from a successful Best Price Guarantee claim on Friday was negated this morning by my speeding ticket fine.


Holiday Inn Express Tehachapi, California

Cars and trucks sped past me on I-15 for the remaining 150 miles from Barstow to Las Vegas.


Perhaps I should have traveled by air.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter of Loyalty Traveler blog posts on the upper left side of this page.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. I got zapped during a quick pass many years ago while on a crotch rocket. My theory was, “If you are going pass, do it quickly and return to your lane.” Cop and Judge did not agree, pointing out that speed limits do not have exceptions. If the limit is 65 and you want to pass someone doing 60, you’d better have a LOT of room, ’cause hitting even 66 puts you in technical violation. I still pass once in a while, but I try to keep the top end within 10 MPH of the limit and yes, the crotch rocket is long gone. At 84, I can imagine that your fine was hefty. You’ll be in budget motels for a bit longer…

  2. Funny way to incorporate HI Express’ tagline! Sorry that it had to be under these circumstances though.

  3. Got a warning once. No ticket.

    But that’s when i invested in a good detector.
    First time on the road, it paid for itself about 5 times over.

  4. Ouch!! California jurisdictions add a ton of surcharges to the base fine (to fund the local courthouse, the public library, the police pension fund, and anything else you can think of). In the Bay Area, a few years ago I paid a ticket for my GF, it was over $400. I think it’s $500 now. Compare with my $100 ticket on Hwy 58 from the early ’90’s. (Hope the surcharges are less in Mojave.)

  5. As a National Safety Council certified defensive driving instructor we teach students that you won’t get a ticket if you don’t speed and if you have to break the speed limit to pass do you really need to pass.
    Easy to teach but harder to follow I know. Besides doesn’t Sammy Hagar have a song about this very stretch of road, oh that’s right “I can’t drive 55”.

  6. @UAPhil – I expect the ticket will be about $400 since 65 mph on Highway 58. The ticket will be 50% more than if I had been ticketed at the same speed east of Barstow where the limit is 70mph on I-15. In Utah there are stretches of I-15 with posted 80 mph limit.

    @DaninSTL – I’ll be reminded of that repeatedly in my online driving school class that will accompany the ticket fine.

  7. We’ve all done what you did. With budget tightening it seems to me that cops don’t give as many warnings as they used to. Unfortunately, the fine is just part of the cost. Not sure how it works in CA but my biggest fear of tickets is what it does to auto insurance rates. In MA it raises the premium for 5 years, then drops off.

  8. Been there done that….

    i was outside of Moab drive up to SLC along that main road about 5 miles from I-70 and the highway for some strange reason goes from 2 lanes each way to one lane right before you get to the interchange. there are few other stretches on the highway like this.

    I was in the Left lane and their was a semi next to me and the right lane was going to end..so I sped up to avoid playing chicken and then a cop pulled me over.

    I dont get that many speeding tickets over the years (25+).

    The rules I usually follow:

    1. usually the limit is about 7 or 8 miles over the speed limit–reason–statistical uncertainty means you have to give some lee way.

    2. Dont be the fastest car around. If others are driving faster than you stay a little below them

    3. If you are in a group of cars speeding (like doing 80 in a 65)–dont be the first or last car.

    4. Dont try to drive like you are skiing slalom by repeatedly changing lanes weaving around cars passing them. Even if yo u were only a few miles over they would pull you over.

  9. @DJP: Good rules to follow. Here’s a couple more that come to mind…

    1. Keep your eyes ahead down the road on a highway… if you see a bunch of people’s brake lights… often a tip that there’s a cop on the side of the road.

    2. Speed traps are typically at the end of a long decline on an interstate… they never sit going up a hill…. so be more aware when going downhill.

    Of course, as you suggest, best not to go over approx 10% more than the limit.

    Safe travels to all…

  10. Last year, I got a $248 speeding ticket on I-10 in West Texas for supposedly going 10 miles over the speed limit. I wasn’t in a big hurry and was consciously keeping it to less than 10 miles over the speed limit to “avoid trouble.”

    If you drive enough miles, you’ll eventually get a ticket like this. It does suck that the fines are pretty high and your insurance rate will go up for a few years if it’s reported.

Comments are closed.