Most traffic violations may be just minor infractions. However, some tickets can still have unfavorable consequences.
Traffic violations could result in expensive traffic tickets, higher insurance rates, suspension of your driver’s license, or even worse misdemeanor or felony charges.
So what is the most common traffic violation? You guessed it – speeding.
One of the most commonly issued traffic citations in the United States is exceeding the speed limit. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is responsible for approximately a third of all motor vehicle fatalities over the course of more than two decades.
In 2019 alone, speeding contributed to 26% of all traffic fatalities – that’s 9,478 people.
Speeding goes beyond simply breaking the law, as the consequences can be extensive. Speed limits are put in place to protect everyone on the road, including the offender, the people on the road around them, and the traffic patrol officers.
So whether you’re trying to get to work on time, catch a flight, or rushing to get where you need to go, remember to drive safely.
Avoid that speeding ticket and get to your destination in one piece.
If You Receive a Speeding Ticket, What Happens Next?
The rules and regulations for speeding tickets vary by state. Always read and follow any instructions given by the officer or those written on the traffic citation.
Below are some basic guidelines to help you understand what you need to do when you’re issued a speeding ticket.
Remain calm, collected, and respectful. It never helps to argue with the officer or try to persuade him or her to retract the citation.
Check your information. Make sure your contact information on the ticket is correct, then sign it. Notify the officer if any information is incorrect.
Your copy of the traffic ticket should contain all of the following:
- Your contact and personal information.
- The location of the offense.
- The officer’s name.
- The posted speed limit.
- The speed you were going when the officer first signaled you to pull over.
- A preliminary court date for the offense.
- Instructions on what to do next.
Notify your auto insurance company and pay your speeding ticket. Payment options usually include paying online, by phone, or in person at your local municipal courthouse.
If you have any questions, there should be a number listed on the ticket.
Once you’ve paid your speeding ticket, the violation will show up on your DMV driving record as a ‘point.’ Accumulating too many points on your DMV record may result in a suspended license or an increased car insurance rate. Or worse, they may drop your policy.
Defensive Driving School
While many drivers simply choose to pay the fine on a speeding ticket, you can also attend an approved defensive driving school to avoid the points and other consequences.
In certain areas, the court may allow you to opt-out of paying and attend defensive driving school instead if it’s your first speeding ticket. If defensive driving school is not an option, you have the following options:
- Pay the fine in full before the court date (printed on the ticket).
- Appear in court for a chance at a speeding citation dismissal.
If you choose the second option, know that you may be required to pay other court fees.
Traffic Ticket Dismissal
Getting a speeding ticket does not have to be the worst thing in the world, especially if you know what to do. The first offense is practically harmless if the officer did not cite you for excessive speed or reckless driving.
However, if you feel that you were wrongly or undeservingly issued a speeding citation, then it would be worth the try to fight for its dismissal. You may opt to hire a traffic ticket attorney.
Just be sure to show up prepared. Know everything there is to know about the traffic ticket – from the officer’s paperwork to the kind of device your speed was measured on – and you may have a chance of beating your traffic ticket.
At the end of the day, the best course of action is still to drive safely. So buckle up, stay within the speed limit, and live to drive another day!
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