State point systems
In most states, when a driver is ticketed for a moving violation such as speeding, running a red light, unsafe lane change, and so on, he or she gains points on their driving record.
In someone isn’t careful and they accumulate points during a short period of time, they can lose their driving privileges.
Points systems vary from state to state but the majority work one of two ways:
System 1: Ordinary moving violations are one point however, some violations such as excessive speed can acquire two points. Typically a driver’s license is suspended when a driver receives four points in a year, six points in two years, or eight in three years.
System 2: Two points are added for minor violations such as an illegal turn or speeding. Three or more points are added for more serious violations such as running a red light. A license can be suspended if the driver accumulates 12 points in three years.
Points can also be assessed for a driver who is found at fault in an accident.
Points and insurance rates
Insurance companies regularly review driving records and can raise premiums if a driver accumulates a certain number of points. Typically, the number of points depends upon a driver’s state and insurance company.
Often an insurer will allow one moving violation every 3 to 5 years. Anything beyond that will most certainly raise premiums and definitely so if the driver is found at fault for an accident.
Rates generally will go up twenty to thirty percent depending upon the number of points and/or the severity of an accident.
Avoiding and removing points
There are several ways to avoid or remove points:
- Contest the ticket
- Traffic school
- Defensive driving classes