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When you don’t follow the rules of the road

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Unfortunately, traffic violations are a common occurrence. Whether it’s changes lanes without using a blinker, running a stop sign or speeding — everyone is guilty of violating a traffic law and one time or another. Though some traffic violations are far worse than others, it’s best to abide by the rules of the road. By doing so, you avoid car accidents, traffic mishaps and encounters with the police. You’ll also avoid such questions as these:

• What is a traffic ticket? A traffic ticket is essentially a summons issued to a person who has violated one or more traffic laws. The ticket is either given by a police officer or another authorized government official. If you are given a ticket, you may be required to appear in court before a judge depending on the severity of the violation.

• What should I do after I receive a ticket? If you have been given a ticket for a traffic violation in which you are guilty of, it might be best to just pay the fine. For instance, if you were caught speeding and you were, in fact, speeding. If you are certain that you are innocent of the violation, jot down some notes regarding the time and place of the incident as well as the circumstance involved. Then you can argue the ticket in court. This decision should be based upon all of the factors regarding the traffic ticket in question.

• What happens when I receive “points” on my license? Many states have a point system in which they assign a point value to each traffic violation. The greater the violation, the greater the point value. For example, speeding would carry a higher point value than running a stop sign. If you accumulate too many points on your license within a given time frame, you may lose all driving privileges and your driver’s license could very well be suspended.

• If I go to traffic school, can I have the “points” removed? Some states offer educational classes to help reduce future traffic violations. An educated driver is often a safe driver, so some states will let people plead guilty to minor traffic violations, pay the fine and go to traffic school. Traffic school us usually a six to 10 hour program on driving safety and traffic laws. After completing the course successfully and providing proof f completion to the local Department of Motor Vehicles, the violation and “points” are subsequently removed from your driving record.

• Who has access to your driving record? The local Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement agencies have immediate access to your driving record. Employers, attorneys and insurance companies also have clearance to view your record for legal intense and purposes.

• How long do violations stay on your driving record? Unless your driving record is expunged by a court order, offenses will stay on your record permanently. However, your insurance company may only pay attention to violations that occurred within recent years if you’re lucky.

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