Auto insurance rates are high enough in California without adding a string of driving infractions to the mix. In order to keep your record as clean as possible, be aware of the following top 10 reasons for getting a traffic ticket in CA.
1. Speeding Infraction
Unless you are an extremely careful driver, you’ve probably found yourself hoping for leniency on a couple of occasions as you pulled over knowing that you were guilty of speeding. Unfortunately, explaining that everybody else was doing it doesn’t hold up too well in court.
2. Expired Tags
Getting pulled over for expired tags is often a surprise to the driver, but that won’t stop the officer from writing a traffic ticket. Thankfully, these are non-moving violations that should not impact your auto insurance rate.
3. Suspended License
While there is no good reason to knowingly drive on a suspended license, a license is sometimes suspended without the knowledge of the driver. This is particularly common if the street address on the license is not current, as notice of the driving suspension may have been sent to an incorrect address. Explain your case to the officer and plan on doing the same to a judge.
4. Running a Stop Light
Of all of the top 10 reasons for getting a traffic ticket in CA, this one has the most drivers calling foul. The automatic sensors at many intersections have sent out tickets that seem more like a case of “gotcha!” than a true driving infraction.
5. Failure to Come to a Complete Stop
This one is probably the most frustrating of the top ten reasons for getting a traffic ticket in CA. Police officers occasionally stake out certain four way intersections just waiting for someone to slowly but safely roll through a stop sign. Good luck arguing your way out of this ticket; it’s easier to just swallow your pride and pay it.
6. Improper Equipment
It is dangerous to operate a vehicle that does not have functioning headlights and turn signals. Tickets for improper equipment violations can be pretty expensive, so be sure to check your vehicle from time to time.
7. Illegal U-turn
If you make illegal U-turns, you already know that you are balancing that possibility of getting a ticket with the convenience of an easy U-turn. Officers will sometimes let drivers off with a warning if you were driving safely.
8. Insurance Violation
Driving without auto insurance is not only illegal, it is extremely irresponsible. If you get a traffic violation for getting caught driving without insurance, consider yourself lucky that it didn’t happen at the scene of an accident.
9. Driving Without a License
Almost everyone has flown out the door for a quick errand without taking their wallet or purse with them on a few occasions, but you are technically required to carry one everywhere you drive. If you happen to get pulled over without your driver’s license on your person, it can take up more of the officer’s time to confirm that you are who you say you are and that you have a valid driver’s license. Most offers will let you off with a warning, but you can expect a citation if you catch one in a bad mood.
10. Driving Under the Influence
Although the dangers of drunk driving are well known to every adult, nearly everyone knows a few friends and family who have paid the high financial costs of getting pulled over under the influence. Of all of the top 10 reasons for getting a traffic ticket, this is the most serious.