Top 7 Driving Tips to Avoid Tickets
What happens when you get a ticket for an infraction that happened while you are driving?
Well, if you are really lucky, the ticket will be merely a warning, and you can go along on your merry way. But you may end up with a fine, and if this happens, you will have a certain amount of time in which to pay your fine. It is pretty wise to pay the fine. If you do not, at the very least, there are going to be higher dollar amounts added to it, until it is not affordable for you to pay, and you will need to ask for a payment plan. Or you may even find that there will be a warrant issued against you, and you will have to appear in court to explain why you did not pay the fine.
Another option is to not pay the fine, but appear in court on a specific date to argue the charge and try to have it deleted from your record, and you will not have to pay any fines at all if you win your case (remember, this is rarely the case, and it is often difficult to refute the information that has been recorded by the police officer who was involved in the traffic stop). It is usually a whole lot quicker and easier to just pay the fine, unless you are certain without a doubt that you can prove your case in front of a judge.
The best way to avoid paying traffic tickets is to just avoid getting them in the first place. The best way to do this is by practicing being a safe driver who is always paying attention to the road ahead and concentrating on nothing but driving safely.
How To Avoid Getting Traffic Tickets
Drive within the posted speed limit
Even if you are only going a couple of kilometres above the posted speed limit, you are risking getting a speeding ticket. Most of the time, this is not going to happen, but it is not a chance you want to take. Always drive a couple of kilometres below the posted speed limit, and you will not have to worry about getting speeding tickets. To ensure that you are going below the speed limit, if your vehicle has one, use the cruise control and set the speed at between two and five kilometres less than the allowed speed for the road you are driving on.
Always come to a complete stop
If you are approaching a red light or a stop sign, make sure that you come to a complete stop. A roll stop just doesn’t cut it, and you can get a ticket for running a stop sign or light, even if you believe you have stopped. A good rule of thumb to follow is to come to a complete stop, then wait until the count of three before pulling away.
Always use your turn signals
If you are going to make a left or a right turn, either onto a road, a parking lot or anywhere else, you must put on the proper turn signal. You can and will receive traffic tickets for not doing this, because you are not following safe driving practices, and the ticket is going to be a reminder to do so in the future, or you will continue to get tickets.
Be careful where you park
If you are going to park your car, make sure that you find a place where it is legal for you to park. When using metered spaces, you need to put enough change in the meter for the amount of time you plan to be away from your vehicle. There are some streets where you may only park on one side, or where there may only be limited times for parking. Make sure that you always check for parking signs and know the rules before leaving your vehicle. You don’t want to come back to find that it has been towed away because you were parked illegally. Not only will you have the parking ticket to pay for, you will also be responsible for towing and impound fees.
Keep your vehicle properly maintained
If your vehicle is not in the greatest of shape, you could be facing certain fines if you are pulled over. For example, you must be sure that your exhaust is working properly and not too noisy, or you may receive a ticket for the noise. If there are problems with brakes and other safety features, even your signal lights, you may receive a fine. You may also be required to report to the nearest police station once the repairs are made to show proof that they have been done (sometimes when you do this, the fine is erased). Find a good mechanic.
Be extra careful in school zones
If you are going more than the posted speed limit in a school zone, and during school hours, you will not only receive a ticket, your fine could be double of what you would normally have to pay for a speeding ticket. Usually, speed limits in school zones are reduced in the mornings before classes begin, during lunch hour, and for an hour or two after school. Make sure that you follow the rules, and reduce your speed when school is in session.
Don’t be silly
A lot of people think that it is funny to do silly things when they are behind the wheel of their cars, such as doing donuts in parking lots and other little tricks that can be extremely dangerous. If you do this and you are caught, you will get ticketed, and the fines will probably be pretty heavy. Remember, driving is a responsibility, not a privilege, and you should always take it seriously.
If you are a safe driver and are doing your absolute best to follow the rules of the road, you should never have to worry about getting traffic tickets. If you do get one, pay it as soon as possible, and do your best not to get any more and risk losing your driver’s license altogether.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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