What To Do If You Get A Speeding Ticket
Receiving your first speeding ticket is not only an emotional experience; it can also be a financial burden. Different states and municipalities have their own unique rules and regulations regarding speeding tickets. Although you should always follow any instructions you read on the citation or are given by the officer, the following basic instructions will give you an understanding of what you need to do after being issued a traffic citation.
How to Proceed
As soon as you become aware that the patrol officer is going to issue you a speeding ticket, remain calm and respectful. Never argue with the officer or attempt to persuade him or her to recant the citation.
The officer will ask you to sign a paper copy of the ticket.
After you sign, the officer will present you with a copy of the ticket for your records. On this ticket will appear your contact and personal information, the location of your offense, the officer’s name, the posted speed limit, the speed you were going when the officer first signaled you to pull over, and a preliminary court date for the offense. If any of your contact information is incorrect, notify the officer so that he or she can make the proper changes.
The officer may give you verbal instructions on what you need to do to handle the citation or he may refer you to instructions on the piece of paper. Even if the officer does not explain to you what you need to do next, the information should appear somewhere on the ticket.
After you have safely arrived at your destination, read over the instructions. There should be a contact number listed on the ticket that you can call if you have any questions.
If the speeding ticket is your first, you may be allowed to attend defensive driving school in exchange for the fine. You can call your local municipal courthouse to find out more information about enrolling. This possibility is only available in certain areas.
If you are unable or not allowed to attend defensive driving school, you have two options. The first option is to pay the fine in full before the court date that is printed on the ticket. The second option is to appear in court to see if you can get the citation dismissed. If you choose to appear in court for your speeding ticket, be aware that you may be required to pay court costs.
You may need to notify your automobile insurance company after being issued a speeding ticket. In many cases, your automobile insurance rate may increase after one or more speeding tickets. In the worst case scenario, an automobile insurance company may drop your policy if you are issued several speeding tickets in a short period of time.
Remember that speeding tickets are completely preventable. If you drive at or below the posted speed limit all of the time, you will never have to worry about the hassle of a speeding ticket.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Driving-Tests.org. He has been writing for beginner US drivers for several years.
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