Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedThe 7 Most Frequent Traffic Citations

As we go about our busy lives, we often get distracted. However, these seven common traffic citations will bring you back to the real world really quick. 

#1 — Speeding Tickets

Speeding is the number one traffic violation across the country. It is one of the most expensive traffic fines in California, which has one of the highest speeding ticket fines in the USA. If you check online for which state has the costliest speeding fine, you will get a lot of misinformation.

The top article by a writer on Yahoo obviously didn’t dig into how much the fine really costs. They put CA at #45 and say, “While residents of Los Angeles might dream of the day when traffic clears up enough to make speeding even remotely possible, they should know that they’re looking at fines of $35 to $100, depending on how fast they end up going.”  

While $35 to $100 is correct on the surface, that is merely the base fine for speeding less than 100 mph. What’s more, I-5 between LAX and SF produces more 100+ mph speeding tickets than anywhere in CA. Plus, if convicted, those speeding ticket fines typically are between $850 and $2,500. They fail to include the 10 county and state fees, penalties, and surcharges, which makes the fine five to seven times more than the base fine.

Plus, a speeding ticket could raise your auto insurance premium for up to seven years. The average increase is $692 per year for less than 100 mph.

#2 — Failure to Stop at a Red Light or Stop Sign

There are two types of red light tickets, camera-enforced and law enforcement (LEO) enforced. The camera-enforced red light fine is around $500, whereas the LEO-enforced ticket is about $238. Failure to stop at a stop sign is also around $238. These infractions will get assessed one negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) point if convicted, which could raise your insurance by an average $692 per year.

#3 — Unsafe Lane Change or Illegal U-Turn

According to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22107Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals warns, No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal…” Furthermore, the signal must be given 100 feet before the turn. This violation is an infraction with a possible fine of around $238, depending on the CA county.

#4 — Using a Hand-Held Device while Driving 

This traffic citation is rather inexpensive in CA. The base fine is $20 for a first conviction and $50 for each subsequent violation. However, once the ten surcharges are added to fund court construction, DNA testing, and others, it will cost nearly $150 for a first offense and $260 for subsequent offenses. For commercial drivers, on top of the state fine, there is an FMCSA civil penalty of $2,750 that is rarely assessed. 

#5 — Traffic Citation for Not Wearing a Seatbelt

There are several levels of traffic violation fines for not wearing a safety belt, depending on age. Parents who fail to ensure their children are strapped in or are in the right car seat or booster seat often pay much more than for themselves.

The typical first-offense fine for not restraining your child is around $500; whereas, a second offense could cost around $800. These fines are per child or incident.

#6 — No Proof of Insurance

Although you can use a cellphone to prove you have auto insurance, many motorists still get a traffic citation when the LEO asks, “Can I see your license, registration, and proof of insurance?” If you do have car insurance but couldn’t find it when asked, it is a correctable ticket. Take your proof of insurance to the police department where you were issued the citation, get the LEO to sign the back of your ticket, and pay the admin fee to the court clerk.

However, if you did not have auto insurance, you should discuss your options with a traffic attorney.

#7 — Reckless Driving

Although this is a traffic citation, it is typically a misdemeanor crime. Some judges consider it a “wobbler.” According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), “in California, some infractions are technically in between a misdemeanor and an infraction. These infractions are known as “wobbler infractions” and include reckless driving, disturbing the peace, and an exhibition of speed.”

If you are found guilty of reckless driving, you could be sentenced to between five and 90 days in the county jail, a fine of $1,000, or both.

How to Avoid a Traffic Citation

It is crucial when you are driving to keep your mind on the task at hand. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of vehicular crashes and traffic citations. If you are cited as even partially responsible for a collision in CA, you will be assessed at least one NOTS point, which your insurance provider will use to assign you to a higher risk and increased premiums.

Use these measures to avoid traffic citations and accidents:

  1. Know and obey the speed limit and other laws 
  2. Keep your eyes on the road, obey stop signs, and traffic control devices
  3. Use your blinker and only make U-turns where authorized
  4. Only use hands-free communication devices while driving
  5. Make sure everyone is properly restrained by safety belt or child restraint
  6. Carry your proof of insurance, license, and registration
  7. Drive safely

If you keep those tips in the front of your mind while driving, you can avoid the seven most frequent traffic citations. However, if you get cited, get help.

Where to Get Help for a Tulare County Traffic Citation 

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We are traffic law attorneys who help drivers who wish to fight a traffic citation in Porterville and Visalia Traffic Courts. We offer a flat fee to resolve your ticket regardless of how many court appearances we must make.



The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf

The articleMost Expensive States to Get a Speeding Ticket

CVC Section 22107Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals

Cornell Law School’s LII webpage, wobbler definition provided by Nolo Plain-English Dictionary

Share To: