When you get pulled over by the police, many things might run through your head. Anger, anxiety and even embarrassment are common. That is why many people simply pay the fine to handle the ticket, so they do not have to worry about it any more than they have to.
However, paying a fine does not make all of the consequences of a traffic violation disappear. A traffic offense could leave points on your record. And if those points add up, you might face more consequences than you expected.
What is the point system for traffic violations?
Tennessee’s Department of Safety (DOS) assigns points on someone’s driving record for every citation they receive. Everyone starts with zero points on their record, and each traffic violation could add anywhere between one or eight points.
The DOS specifies different points for all violations, including:
- Disobeying traffic laws (Four points)
- Driving recklessly (Six points)
- Passing a stopped school bus (Eight points)
Fortunately, these points do not count against you after two years. However, it is critical that all Tennesseans understand the risk they face regarding the point system.
Too many points could lead to a suspended license
If you accumulate 12 points within one year, the DOS will suspend your license. And building up those points is often easier than it sounds. Even excessive speeding, which is three points, would only require four speeding tickets before your license is suspended.
And reinstating a suspended license is often not an easy task.
The points on your driving record have more of an impact than you might think
Many people might get initially upset about a ticket, but in the long run, they think it is not such a big deal. They are common, after all.
However, disregarding traffic citations and the point system can cause several issues for your future. According to Business Insider:
- Your insurance premiums could increase significantly
- Serious offenses could impact your ability to travel or obtain aid for education
- Employment options could decrease
Traffic offenses can have a much larger effect than many people believe. That is why it is critical for you to understand all of the risks that traffic violations entail. They are anything but simple, and you must challenge tickets to preserve your driving record and protect your rights.