When you were a teenager did you ever stop to wonder why was that your dad had an apoplexy when you drve a measly fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit? It was probably because, along with a healthy respect for the well being of their kid and their car, they had a healthy fear of watching their auto insurance premiums go flying up even higher than they already were. (Hey, insuring teenage drivers is not cheap!)
All joking besides, even a traffic violation as minor as a speeding ticket can have a devastating impact on your auto insurance premiums-and really, do not you have better things to do with your money than spend it on your auto insurance?
· A single speeding ticket can raise your auto insurance premiums by as much as $ 900 over the course of 3 years.
· Even a minor traffic violation will stay on your record for up to 5 years, and some stay on for even longer than that.
· It's entirely up to the discretion of your auto insurance provider to determine whether or not your first liability will have an effect on your insurance premiums.
In order for a traffic violation to affect your auto insurance premiums, however, you have to be persuaded of the liability by a court, either by appearing before a judge and having him formally pronounce your guilt or by "confessing" by mailing in the payment for your ticket and skipping your fifteen minutes of fame in court. An officer writing a ticket is not sufficient to raise your rates. This offers you the unique opportunity to do one of two things:
1) Fight the ticket. If you feel that you really were innocent (ie the car in front of you was speeding and the officer took you over instead, or if the officer wrote you a ticket for a DUI and failed to test you properly) and you have witnesses to back you up you may be able to fight the ticket and get a judge to throw it out. If a judge decides that you did not do it, you did not do it. It's as simple as that.
2) Ask for driving school. Everyone makes mistakes, and it's easy to commit a simple traffic violation through a moment of inattention or a blind panic over being late for work. That's why the court often offers you the alternative of attending driving school for your first offense. After you complete the class (which usually consist of two interminable days of feeling like you've been transported back to driver's education, although the instructors are usually more entertaining than your high school teachers ever were) you get to start with a clean slate.
If you can convince a judge to either throw out your ticket or send you to driving school your auto insurance premiums will never be affected and you'll have the chance to start over again without a ticket or a conviction hanging over your head.