Driving is an activity that puts you at risk for injury, as well as everyone near you. People can make bad decisions at the wheel that cause expensive property damage for others or that cause injury or even death.
Most people don’t spend much energy worrying about the risk involved in driving. They make decisions like exceeding the speed limit without considering the safety implications such decisions might have.
In addition to encouraging safe driving habits by creating laws in driver’s education programs based on statistical and historical risks associated with driving, the state also punishes those who break driving laws.
Citations alone don’t deter bad driving
When a police officer in New York sees someone traveling the wrong way on a one-way street, exceeding the speed limit or otherwise breaking the rules of the road, they will initiate a traffic stop, speak with the driver and typically issue a citation for the traffic violation.
That citation or ticket usually carries a monetary value that the driver must pay. Additionally, New York assesses demerit points for most moving offenses on someone’s driving record. These points help ensure that those who repeatedly drive unsafely can’t keep endangering others.
How does the New York point system work?
Anytime an officer cites a driver in New York, whether they have a New York state license or are a visitor from another state, that driver will have to pay a fine. The state also assesses points against their license. Those points will affect that person’s license for 18 months after the date of the offense.
Infractions carry a differing number of points, with 11 points being sufficient for the state to suspend someone’s license. Many offenses only carry two or three points, but reckless driving means five points, while exceeding the speed limit by 40 miles per hour or more carries 11 points and means an immediate license suspension even if someone has a perfect driving record.
Fighting a ticket is a means of protecting your license
The tickets issued by an officer may only cost a few hundred dollars, but they have consequences beyond the immediate financial expense. There will be the point added to your license to consider, as well as the increase in your insurance costs.
Even if you don’t call your insurance provider to advise them of your ticket, when you renew your policy, they will likely check your driving record and increase what they charge you to reflect those new points added to your license.
Defending against a traffic ticket means that you don’t have to pay the fee or have additional points on your license that might affect your driving privileges.