You might think that receiving a traffic ticket is just an annoyance. Perhaps you were only going 10 miles over the speed limit, so pay it and forget it.
However, in the state of North Carolina, a ticket for a traffic violation, such as speeding, not only affects your driving record but also your insurance rates.
License points can accumulate
The Department of Motor Vehicles adds points to your driving record for a traffic violation such as speeding. If you accumulate 12 points in three years’ time, the DM can suspend your driver’s license. You can expect a suspension of 60 days for the first offense or six months for a second offense.
Insurance points and rates
The points assessed by your auto insurance company are all about your level of risk. The company can deny you coverage or raise your rate significantly. Under the North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Plan, even a single point can trigger a rate increase of 30%. If you face a reckless driving charge, your rate could rise to 80% and if you have a DWI conviction, the increase could be as much as 340%.
Best way to proceed
If you receive a ticket, you could pay it at the courthouse or go online to payticket.org. However, neither option will prevent the addition of points to your driving record or points your insurance company can apply to your account along with the subsequent rise in rates. Remember that you have rights, and a well-conceived defense strategy will protect those rights. It is a matter of preserving your driving privileges and keeping your insurance rates as low as possible.