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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Life Arrow to Legal Advisor Home Legal Guide Arrow to Traffic Violations Traffic Violations

Getting a traffic ticket
Common moving violations

• speeding
• driving too slowly
• running a stop sign or red light
• failure to yield
• failure to signal for turns
• failure to use a seat belt
• talking on cell phone while driving *
• failure to use a child safety seat **

* most areas worldwide

** in the U.S. & Canada

First, there's the sudden wail of a siren., red flashing lights just behind you ...

... and there's a traffic cop on your tail, the nightmare scenario of any motorist anywhere in the world.

The first rule of thumb (and easy to advise when you're not in the situation yourself) is - DON'T PANIC. Even if you think you haven't been speeding, or if you didn't run that red light, remain calm.

A cooperative attitude is sure to help. This is especially true with a friendly traffic cop, and even more so with a cop who might have had a fight with their spouse that morning!

Otherwise, debating the finer points of law with a police officer will almost certainly find you in deeper trouble, and possibly lead to other violations he or she might have missed had you only been courteous right from the start.

Really belligerent drivers can find themselves headed for more serious criminal charges, so keep negative comments to yourself, at least until you are back on the road out of range of the officer's hearing.

And who knows? Depending on your traffic record you may get off with just a warning. Otherwise, if you're ticketed for an offense you're sure you did not commit, wait for your day in court to fight it.

Points on your license

In most US jurisdictions, tickets for moving violations are sometimes accompanied by "points" against your driver's license.

Amass enough points and you may become liable for attending driving lessons, retaking your driving test, or even surrendering your license permanently or for a specified period of time.

Car insurance premiums will be higher for drivers with "points" on their record. These points eventually will expire, but it will take years for your insurance costs to return to the level that safer drivers enjoy.

More about traffic tickets & violations around the Web:

There are other things to know if the situation turns serious. You may become subject to search and seizure or, worse, arrest.

Find out more around the Web at expert sites offering tips on what to say, when to pay, how to fight a traffic ticket in court, specific laws governing moving violations, and advice on the possible long-term impact of the charges made against you ...

Speeding Tickets, Traffic Tickets & Your Drivers License - Nolo legal guide with expert tips on what to say, advice on specific situations, how to fight a ticket in court, information on fines & license suspensions with related guides to traffic accidents, search, seizure, and interrogations.

Types of Traffic Tickets - Detailed information on DUI laws & reckless driving, driving without a license or registration, illegal U-turns, mechanical violations, running red lights & stop signs, seat belt violations and speeding, from

State Traffic and Speed Laws - Comprehensive guide to laws in all 50 U.S. states.

The information provided on these pages is intended as reference
only and does not constitute professional legal advice.


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