You can divide all traffic tickets into two categories – moving violations and non-moving violations. The former category covers any violation that occurs while the car is moving, and the latter covers any violations that occur when the car isn’t moving, such as parking in a restricted area.
If you’ve recently received a moving violation, here are seven facts you should know.
Moving Violations Cover a Wide Range of Actions
There are many different types of moving violations ranging from minor violations to serious violations. For example, failing to use your turn signal when turning or switching lanes would generally be a minor moving violation. Driving under the influence or racing would be more severe and involve harsher punishments.
Some violations can vary in terms of severity. Speeding is a good example. Going five to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is usually minor, but speeding in a school zone or going 30 miles per hour over the speed limit is more serious.
Your Insurance Premiums Will Likely Increase
Moving violations will usually affect your auto insurance premiums, although the nature of the violation, your driving record and your insurance carrier all play a part here. If it’s your first violation and it was a minor offense, your insurance carrier may let it slide.
The severity of the violation determines how much your rates increase if your carrier does choose to increase them.
Tickets Are Valid Even with Minor Errors
There are all kinds of myths floating around about how you can get out of a ticket, and most of them are completely inaccurate. Don’t believe the rumor that any error on a ticket invalidates it. If the officer makes a typo, the court isn’t going to let you off because of that. And refusing to sign the ticket won’t make a difference, either.
The Officer Doesn’t Always Need to Appear in Court
Another myth you’ll hear often is that if you go to court and the officer doesn’t show, then the court drops your ticket. But no, you probably shouldn’t expect any get out of jail free cards here.
Only certain areas require officers to appear in court when a driver contests a ticket. In those that do, officers will usually clear time to show up, and if they can’t make it, the court could just reschedule proceedings.
Most States Share Data on Tickets
You can run, but you can’t hide. If you expect to get a clean slate when you move to a new state, think again. Most states are in the Driver’s License Compact, meaning they’re all sharing info about tickets with each other. And even the select few states that aren’t members will still often share ticket info. The occasional violation may get lost in the cracks, but for the most part, your driving record will follow you no matter which state you’re in.
Traffic School May Be Available to Avoid a Premium Increase
No one wants their insurance premiums to go up, and fortunately, there is often a way around it. Many courts will give you the option of completing traffic school. If you do so, you can send your certificate of completion to your insurance carrier and avoid a premium increase.
Traffic school is typically available in person or online, but you will likely only qualify if you haven’t had many moving violations before.
There Aren’t Any Excuses for Speeding
Drivers have come up with plenty of excuses for speeding, but the law is very clear on this. If you exceed the speed limit, then you’re guilty of speeding. It doesn’t matter if you were driving with the flow of traffic or if you were only speeding because you needed to pass somebody. You’ll need another defense if you’re planning to contest a speeding ticket.
There’s plenty of misinformation out there regarding moving violations. Now that you’ve read the seven facts above, you should have a better understanding of how those violations work.