Fines, License Suspension And Traffic School

Fines and Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets are commonly issued for two kinds of driving violations: moving and non-moving violations. Speeding, failure to comply with traffic signals or signs and making illegal turns are examples of moving violations. Illegally parking your car is an example of a nonmoving violation. Each moving violation carries a specific point penalty, the more points acquired, the more likely you will lose your privilege to operate a motor vehicle.

Traffic Schools – Eligibility, Process and Costs

Once you have received your traffic ticket, if you determine you can not afford the fine or the inclusion of a moving violation on your driving record, you may be eligible to attend traffic school in lieu of having the violation raise your point level and your car insurance.

The courts will usually provide you with a list of certified and state approved traffic schools to choose from.  The court will also give you a deadline to complete the course. In some states, for example, once you and the court have agreed that you will be attending traffic school, you have 60 days to complete the course. Traffic schools are privately run and any questions you have concerning the costs, hours, or locations should be directed to the school you choose to attend. Typically, the material covered in traffic school includes rules of the road and driver safety.

State law may require that traffic schools provide sessions of a predetermined length. In California, for example, all classes must consist of 400 minutes of instruction, excluding time spent registering, on breaks and at lunch. It is illegal to cut the time short. Depending on the state law, a person who offers a Completion Certificate for traffic school to someone who has not attended or completed the required coursework may be found guilty of a crime – in some cases, a felony.

Traffic schools are the main way drivers can avoid points on their driving records and an increase in their car insurance premiums. In order to beat the competition – and to make what is bound to be a dull few hours as painless as possible – traffic schools have come up with various wacky ways to entice clients to attend their classes.

There are 3 ways to complete a traffic school course: At their physical location, online and home study. The most popular of these is to offer a traffic school in which the instructor adds a heavy dose of humor to the class. Others offer free pizza to those who enroll. Still others are more practical and, knowing how much money cited drivers have already paid, emphasize their minimal fees or don’t require payment unless you pass the course. Of course, traffic schools may use a combination of one or more (or none) of these techniques in order to appeal to those looking for a class to attend.

Legal Authority To Suspend Drivers License

The DMV as well as the courts have the legal authority to suspend persons driving privileges for a term of months or years. License suspension is usually the result of a serious driving violation such as, driving under the influence, hit and run, driving with a loaded weapon, and collecting an unusually high number of moving violations such as speeding or making an illegal turn. Based on state law, a predetermined number of point- violations can automatically result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

Suspension Verses Revocation Of Driving Privileges

In most states, a suspension of your driving privileges is considered temporary and is usually for a fixed period of 90 – 120 days.  If you are cited for driving while your license is suspended, you can be subject to having your drivers license suspended for a term of years rather then months. License revocation on the other hand deals with the permanent loss of your driving privileges.

Driving In Other States With A Suspended License

Many of the state motor vehicle agencies now have a database called the National Driver Register (NDR), which provides information on drivers with revoked or suspended driving licenses. They also report drivers to this computerized database who have been convicted of serious traffic violations. Therefore if your license is suspended in one state, it’s likely that another state will not issue you a license until the prior suspension is removed from your driving record as well as the national database.

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