Why NOT to Drive over speed limit in US ? Ticket, License, Insurance impact ?
Many of the people who aspire to come to US or are already in US, think of the fancy roads in America and think, ‘I am going to drive crazy and race in my BMW…’. Yes you can, but the only thing is, there might be some dire consequences financially and may be more. I will try to explain some facts and why you should NOT drive over speed limit.
I was very excited about driving after I came to US and during my first road trip, I was way too excited to get home early, I was driving at 86 Miles/ Hour. Guess what, all my excitement came to end after cop car came behind me and turned lights on. You are supposed to slow down and pull your car on to the ramp if you see a cop car with lights on behind you. Thank god, I remembered that at least. I was pulled over and the cop gave me a ticket ( also called traffic citation or just fine receipt in layman terms) I ended up paying $400 dollar for just one ticket. That’s a lot of money and I also got 6 demerit points. Demerit points are assessed to drivers when they are caught driving violating the traffic rules.
Ticket & Demerit points:
Luckily the cop who got me was nice and let me go by citation. In some states, they can arrest you if you are driving over 20 miles/ hr. Every state has its own rules. Bottom line, you can get arrested too. The demerit points determine the intensity of traffic violation. It varies by state. Here is a sample of Wisconsin Point System for reference
License Issues & Suspension :
Typically, your license will be suspended if you get 12 points or more within an year. Again, it depends on the state. Some have even stricter rules, In Georgia, if you accumulate 15 points in 2 years, they can suspend your driving license. They can suspend your license for citations in other states too. In some states like Wisconsin, where there is probationary license for the first three years for new residents, the points are doubled second time you do a traffic violation. Your traffic violation record stays for up to 5 years based on state. Be careful, do not get to a situation where you have your license suspended. You will not be able to go anywhere.
Impact of Ticket on Insurance :
In general, if you get a traffic citation or ticket, your insurance premium goes up. Based on your traffic record, typically using demerit points, the insurance companies assess that you are a risky driver violating traffic rules. They charge you more premium because they think you will cause damage to the car, property or public. This premium kills you in the long run. Lets say premium goes up by $20 a month, that is $240 dollars a year. The traffic citation records stay for two to three years or more. So, your net loss is $480 dollars or $720 dollars. You may find luck sometimes when you switch insurance companies or talk to them after one year. The perception is, all the demerit points are national and it is communicated to all states. In all reality, it is very unclear. Some states are connected and some or not. But, whole point is, your citation will increase your insurance premium very much.
Overall, my advice, I learnt NOT to speed the hard way by spending $400 dollars and getting a 6 demerit points and going through lot of other pain. I know it is very tempting to drive fast, but it hurts to pay fine… Hopefully you do not speed and do the same mistake after reading this…
Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/laserstars/
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