What Drivers Need to Know about Points and Moving Violations
May 6, 2015
In most systems, higher points are associated with rewards or something positive. However, they have negative connotations when they are associated with moving violations. After being ticketed for a moving violation in nearly any state, a driver receives points on his or her license. Some examples of moving violations include running red lights, illegal towing, not signaling when making lane changes and other violations of driving rules.
How Points Accumulate
Most people only think about the fine associated with the ticket for the moving violation. However, the financial impact spans much further when points are involved. More points lead to a higher insurance premium and possibly the loss of driving privileges after multiple citations. The following are some examples of point assessment in some states:
One base point is assessed for a basic moving violation. If the person is excessively speeding on top of this, there may be an additional point added. For basic violations, drivers can accumulate four points over one year, six points over two years or eight points over three years before their licenses are suspended.
Two base points are assessed for minor offenses. Some examples of minor offenses include making illegal turns and breaking the speed limit. If a driver runs a red light or does something more serious, the point total may be three to five points. When drivers accumulate 12 points in a three-year time period, license suspension is invoked.
What To Do After Receiving A Ticket
After getting a ticket, look on the front of the ticket for the vehicle code violation number. Ask the local Department of Motor Vehicles about the number of points associated with that vehicle code violation number and how many points already exist on an individual license. Some insurers may raise premiums for one point or more. Insurers can raise the rates of annual premiums by 20 percent to 30 percent. However, some insurers allow one moving violation every few years without penalties.
If the ticket seems unfair or was wrongly issued, contest it in court. This is especially important for people who have already had multiple moving violations. Fortunately, there are ticket attorneys who can help with the dispute process for an affordable cost. Their fees are usually less than the cost of very high premiums or arranging for regular alternate transportation because of a suspended license. One common alternative option for taking a point is to attend traffic school. Attorneys usually manage to arrange deals that include this. Driving education courses, defensive driving classes and other educational opportunities can also help drivers remove existing points on their licenses. The fees for these classes are usually well worth their numbers in comparison with the cost of increased insurance rates.
As a rule, insurance companies avoid dealing with risky drivers or charge them large amounts of money to be insured. It is better to practice safe driving, learn the rules of the road and make conscientious driving a habit. To learn more about taking points off of a license or how to improve auto insurance rates, discuss concerns with an agent.