There are movie tickets, and then there are traffic tickets. Unlike the former, the latter got nothing to do with munching popcorn, but only the gnashing of teeth the more you receive them. You see, most of the traffic tickets attract points on your driving record. For example, you can severely be penalized if you gather too many points within 18 months.
Despite this, some drivers do not think much about traffic tickets. You should do your best to avoid traffic tickets if you want to preserve your reputation as a safe driver. Your driving record matters, and you get to understand this when you accumulate too many points. As we are going to find out, distracted driving is the cause of some traffic violations. So it is for good reason that we have always emphasized focused driving.
The Less Talked-About Consequences of Traffic Tickets
Everyone talks about the fines, but that is not all. Apart from paying fines for each traffic ticket, your insurance rates will start to go up the more points you gain from your traffic tickets. Your insurance company will start to consider you a high risk; hence it will charge more if it must insure you.
Something else: the more traffic tickets you accumulate, the more you increase your chances of losing your driving license in New York. Now, if driving is your career or source of livelihood, losing your driving license is as good as summary dismissal from your job.
To get your license back, you will have to take a driving fresher course on top of paying the license reinstatement fee. Meanwhile, you will have to find other ways to commute. You will have to use public transportation or walk, yet you own a car!
Finally, you could be jailed depending on the magnitude of your traffic offense, so it is not always about tickets and fines.
Why did the NYDMV form the Driver Violation Point System?
The NYDMV formed the Driver Violation Point System to identify and monitor high-risk drivers with the aim of taking action against their continued disregard of the traffic rules.
In other words, the system is meant to keep the New York roads safe for other road users by discouraging reckless drivers from committing offenses that could result in accidents.
Can Good Drivers Get A Traffic Ticket?
Now, the truth is that at some point or another, you will receive a traffic ticket if you stay for long in your driving career, no matter how careful you are on the road. The problem here is not with getting a traffic ticket once in a blue moon, but getting them frequently because it shows you are a reckless driver.
So, which are the most common traffic tickets in New York and the points they attract?
Instant gratification is a modern disease: we want everything to happen in a flash. We want to get to our destinations in a second, the risks notwithstanding. Speeding is one of the commonest traffic tickets in NY.
Speeding is a traffic offense and usually attracts a fine and 3-11 points depending on how fast you were driving above the speed limit versus the particular area’s speed guidelines. You can be jailed for speeding, though such a scenario is rare.
2. Using A Cell Phone Or Other Electronic Device While Driving
Distracted drivers are more likely to cause accidents than focused ones, and cell phone use while driving tops the list of types of in-car distractions. Using a cell phone while driving is a traffic offense, according to VTL §1225(c) & (d).
Apart from the fines, you will gain 5 points on your driving license if caught using your cell phone while driving in NY. Note that driving too slowly can be dangerous as well, so try to stick to the posted speed limit. In other words, you can get a ticket for driving too slowly.
3. Driving Uninspected Car
You are not supposed to drive an uninspected vehicle. It is common knowledge, but that has not prevented many drivers from going against this regulation, so it is one of the common traffic tickets in NY.
While it does not attract points, it comes with a considerable fine.
4. Disregarding a Traffic Sign
Can you imagine what would happen in the next ten minutes in New York if all drivers suddenly stopped obeying the traffic signs, like the one-way signs, stop signs, or green lights? It would be a catastrophe. You should always obey the traffic sign, marking, or signal meant to warn, regulate, or guide traffic failure to which you gain two points apart from the fine if caught.
5. Failure To Yield the Right of Way
The right of way is a traffic rule, not just some optional act you do when you feel like it. You should learn all the right of way situations and practice them. You may have gotten away with this offense more than once, but if the law finally catches up with you, 3 points will be added to your record.
Thanks to poor weather conditions like dust storms, snowstorms, or rain, you may find yourself tailgating even when you did not intend to. Anyway, tailgating will attract 4 points if you are caught.
It also helps to have in mind the expected weather conditions for each area you are driving through. Additionally, know the school zones, work zones, etc., so that you can slow down at each point even without reading a speed limit sign. You are not always going to see a speed limit sign, are you?
Traffic Violations and the Points Each Attracts
|1. Speeding||3 points for driving 1-10 MPH above the limit.|
4 points for driving 11-20 MPH above the limit.
6 points for driving 21-30 MPH.
8 points for driving 31-40 MPH.
11 points for driving over 40 MPH.
|2. Using cell phone/electronic device while driving.||5 points|
|3. Driving an uninspected car||0 points.|
|4. Disregarding a traffic sign||2 points|
|5. Failure to yield the right of way||3 points|
|6. Tailgating||4 points|
You can always reduce your chances of receiving a traffic ticket by simply obeying the traffic rules and regulations. There are no two ways about it. Get familiar with the bends or stretches of the roads in New York and the speed limits for each area so that you can adjust accordingly.