Moving violations are a violation of traffic laws that take place while you are driving your vehicle (vehicles in motion). Do not confuse it with non-moving violations, such as a parking ticket penalty. Read this WheelZine write-up to know how moving violations can hamper you financially.
“Failing to stop at a red light is by any definition a moving violation. Lack of assessing penalty points is in irreconcilable conflict with state law.”
― Ted House, St. Charles County Circuit Judge
A moving violation is a violation of the law while driving your vehicle, and is quite similar to a traffic violation. These include offenses like speeding beyond permissible limit, taking wrong turns, and drunk driving. These offenses are punishable under the law, and you will be fined as well. The more serious your violation, the heftier the fine.
It is not surprising that these incidents affect your insurance rates too. A recurrence of such incidents and payments can set you back financially. Let us try to understand how moving violations can do just that in the paragraphs below.
Types of Moving Violations
Exceeding permissible speed limit
- If you are wondering whether a speeding ticket is a moving violation, the answer is affirmative.
- Every street or road has a specified speed limit for safety purposes, and by traffic laws, one is expected to drive within that limit.
- Driving very fast (some do it for the thrill of it, believe me) and risking one’s life as well as others’ is a straightforward offense.
Driving illegally in a carpool lane
- Carpool lanes, also called HOV (High Vehicle Occupancy) lanes, can be found on many state highways.
- You are ideally permitted to drive on those lanes if, and only if, there is more than one occupant in the car.
- If you fail to do so, you will be committing a carpool violation. This type of violation varies according to state jurisdiction.
Not using a seat belt
- A seat belt violation is fairly common.
- According to the law, occupants of the front seats of a vehicle have to obligatorily wear a seat belt for safety.
- If they do not, they are violating the law and are punishable under the same.
Talking on the phone while driving
- Using a smartphone while driving, or for that matter, using any device while driving can lead to fatal accidents.
- If you are more concerned about texting or accessing your mobile rather than the traffic on the road, accidents are bound to occur, and you will be putting your as well as others’ lives in jeopardy.
Frequent lane changing
- You need to maintain lane discipline while driving.
- Changing lanes frequently without proper signals is bound to cause accidents.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Is there an explanation or justification needed for this violation?
- You must be aware of DUI (Driving Under Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), which are registered criminal offenses.
- Driving a vehicle after alcohol or drug consumption is putting your and others lives in jeopardy.
Jumping a traffic light
- Jumping a red light or the stop sign can lead to accidents.
- Even if the roads are empty, when the signal says ‘stop’, you need to stop.
Not carrying a license
- A license is a legal proof that you are a good, safe driver who knows and obeys traffic rules.
- Carrying a license is a legal requirement, not doing so is a violation and will invite a fine.
- This violation is similar to the speed limit violation.
- Driving in a reckless manner, crossing the speed limit, risking the safety of others on the road, etc., are all violations.
Not indicating while turning
- Switch on the appropriate indicator while turning.
- This is how the driver behind you will understand where you are going and according steer his/her vehicle.
- If you do not indicate, the chances of a collision are pretty high.
- Worse still, if you give the wrong indication (giving a left-turn indication and turning right instead), an accident is definitely bound to happen.
Not stopping for a school bus
- This can be a very serious violation.
- While driving if you see a school bus parked or trying to pull over, you are expected to stop or drive very cautiously.
- If you watch children getting out of or getting in the bus, you definitely need to stop; if you carry on speeding, you will be putting the lives of innocent children at risk.
Crossing over the median
- Crossing over the central divider or median is a violation and can lead to accidents.
Not stopping at a crosswalk
- A vehicle is supposed to stop at a crosswalk when pedestrians walk by.
- If a speeding car/truck does not stop at the pedestrian crossing, it is a clear violation of the law.
- Racing on bikes or cars on the streets is illegal.
- This kind of abominable behavior leads to accidents and collisions.
Not maintaining an ACDA (Assured Clear Distance Ahead)
- The law specifies a safe distance that needs to be maintained between two vehicles on the road.
- If this distance is not maintained, it is considered a violation.
Driving beyond the conditions of the license
- Your license may state some conditions or rules which do not allow a person to drive.
- You will be violating the law if you do not adhere to the licensing conditions.
Trying to dangerously pass another vehicle
- This kind of driving may again lead to excessive speeding and cause accidents.
- Death due to the driver’s negligence is termed as vehicular manslaughter.
- Needless to say, this is a criminal offense.
- A moving violation is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable under the law. Drunk driving definitely is a moving violation.
- You will be caught by the traffic police and fined heavily, depending on the type and nature of violation.
- Factors, like causing accidents, injuring people, or damaging public property, etc., are considered while issuing fines.
- A speeding ticket is one way penalizing violating drivers. In fact, certain governments use them to increase revenue and curb errant driving.
- Depending on your violation, you may be ordered to retake your license test, perhaps attend safe driving lessons, even pay additional taxes.
- In worst cases, you may have to surrender your license too. And later, if the law permits, you can retake your driving test or reapply for your license. All this requires money (which could have been avoided), and this is how moving violations can eat into your finances.
- Moving violation ticket costs vary from one state to another.
- A general range for citation fines is between USD 25 to USD 1,000.
- If you drive fast in the presence of a school bus or a construction site, depending on your speed, you may be fined between USD 150 to USD 600.
- For exceeding the permissible speed limit, you may be fined between USD 130 to USD 400.
- Violations regarding your license may be fined for more than USD 100.
- Violating a signal may cost you more than USD 250.
- If you do not furnish relevant papers and documents on request (if you are caught by the police), you may have to pay around USD 10.
- Not wearing your seat belt may attract a fine of more than USD 200.
- Not stopping at a crosswalk may set you back by more than USD 60 (if no one is hurt).
- If you injure or kill someone, the violation is fairly serious, you may have to pay a heavy fine along with other penalties, and this is completely at the judge’s discretion.
Insurance and Related Factors
- Every time you are involved in a moving violation, you will have points stacked up against your driving record.
- When the number of points exceed a specified limit, your car insurance rates will begin to get affected.
- Your driving record is a major factor that is considered when determining your car insurance coverage and premium.
- If you have a clean driving record, your insurance rates may be reduced by your insurer.
- If you have number of violations against your name, your insurance rates will increase.
- This will result in major expenses; not only will you be paying your fine/s, but will also have to pay extra for insurance.
- Though, this varies with every state and insurance provider.
- As a general rule, the more points against you record, the higher your insurance rates will be.
- After a certain number of violations, your license may be revoked, your vehicle insurance may increase dramatically, and you may find yourself footing huge bills and expenses.
Moving violations and their resultant consequences can be time-consuming, expensive, and a legal mess. They not only affect you financially, but to an extent, they affect your reputation too. Isn’t it better to abide by the law instead of getting into the complicated aftermath of violating the same?