Traffic Ticket

Getting a traffic ticket can be a real pain. It’s not only costly, it can go on your driving record, increase your monthly insurance rate, and in some severe cases, cause you to lose your license. 

By driving defensively, understanding local traffic laws, and paying attention, you should be able to avoid a ticket – but sometimes things just happen. 

We will go over what to do if you ever receive a traffic ticket in the state of Virginia. 

What Types Of Traffic Tickets Are There?

Different traffic violations hold different consequences. Traffic tickets are assigned a number of points that will be added to your driving record. The more points that go on your driving record, the worse off your driving record is. Get 12 points added to your license in just one year or 18 points in two years and you will have to take Virginia’s mandatory driver improvement course. 

Virginia has three tiers in regard to point violations. 3-point, 4-point and 6-point. 

Let’s take a look at what each point violation tier means:

3-Point

In Virginia, a 3-point traffic violation refers to a violation that results in the assessment of three demerit points on a driver’s record. The points are accumulated based on the severity of the offense. Common traffic violations and their associated demerit points can vary, but some examples of 3-point violations in Virginia might include certain speeding offenses, failure to yield, or running a red light.

4-Point

Common traffic violations that carry 4 demerit points in Virginia can include more significant offenses, such as aggressive driving, reckless driving, unsafe passing, failure to stop or yield, following too closely, and certain types of speeding violations. 

6-Point

Traffic violations that carry 6 demerit points in Virginia include certain reckless driving offenses, which can vary in nature but often involve extremely dangerous driving behavior. 

Reckless driving charges in Virginia can result from actions such as excessive speeding, racing, aggressive driving, drinking and driving, manslaughter, hit and runs, driving on a suspended license or other behaviors that pose a significant risk to public safety.

What To Do If You Receive A Traffic Ticket In Virginia

Virginia’s points system means that you don’t actually get your traffic citation erased; instead, the points you receive for safe driving are applied toward the demerit points you would have otherwise accrued from the penalty.

A Virginia driver’s improvement course can give you five safe driver credit points, which you can use to almost negate a three- or four-point traffic citation. You can use the leftover points to lessen the impact of any other tickets.

Once you get a ticket, you are going to want to take the driver’s improvement safe driver course in order to have points removed from your record. To do this, you will have to choose a reason as to why you are taking the course. In Virginia, there are 7 different reasons to take the course that are approved by the state. 

You will then have to find a course and enroll. The course must be approved by the state of Virginia. Anyone over the age of 20 is able to take an online course. 

Once you complete the course, you must present the certification to the Virginia Department Of Motor Vehicles. You will then receive your driver credit points. 

So while the actual traffic ticket isn’t being ‘dismissed’, you are able to wipe away the points that were added to your driving record due to the ticket – by taking a driver safety course.