Traffic violations are a significant concern for both drivers and the authorities in Virginia. These violations can result in various consequences and may even impact insurance rates.
Virginia employs a point system that assigns demerit points for various traffic infractions to ensure road safety and discourage reckless driving.
Understanding the point system
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles uses a point system to track and penalize traffic violations. When a driver commits certain offenses, the court adds demerit points to the driving record. These points serve as a way to measure a driver’s adherence to traffic laws and safe driving practices. Accumulating too many points within a specific timeframe can lead to consequences such as fines or the requirement to attend a driver improvement clinic.
Point values for common violations
Different traffic violations carry varying point values, depending on their severity. For instance, the VDMV states that minor infractions, such as speeding 1-9 miles over the speed limit, failing to obey highway lane markings or not wearing a seatbelt, can lead to three assessment points.
More serious violations, such as reckless driving or passing a school bus unlawfully, can result in six demerit points. Accumulating 18 points within a year, or 24 points within two years, can result in driver’s license suspension.
Preventing point accumulation
To avoid point accumulation, drivers should make a conscious effort to follow all traffic rules and regulations. Staying within the speed limit, using turn signals correctly and yielding the right-of-way are simple ways to prevent unnecessary points on one’s driving record. Being aware of school zones, pedestrian crossings and high-traffic areas can also contribute to safer driving practices.
Drivers should not just brush off traffic violation tickets, even for minor offenses, as convictions can have long-term consequences, especially if multiple violations are on record.