What Is a Moving Violation?

Leonardo Castro
June 8, 2020

A moving violation is a traffic violation that occurs when a vehicle is in motion. As opposed to non-moving violations, moving violations are more serious because they can harm others. According to the Princeton Survey Research, 1 in 5 Americans have received a ticket for a moving violation, with speeding tickets being the most common type of moving violations which accounts for about 66 percent of all moving violation.

Examples of Moving Violations:

  1. Exceeding speed limit
  2. Running a red light
  3. Running a stop sign
  4. Failing to use turn signals
  5. Driving under the influence (DUI)
  6. Texting or using phone while driving
  7. Not using a seat belt
  8. Driving without a valid license

What Happens If I Get a Moving Violation?

Many of these violations don’t result in jail time but there can be other consequences such as infractions. Obviously major moving violations can result in a more severe punishment. They can also be very costly.

Many states have a point system in which they add up all the times that a driver commits a moving violation. The more serious the violation, the more points that get added to the person’s record. Depending on the state of residence, the amount of points could result in suspension of a driver's license.

For example, the state of California has a system that penalizes 1-2 points for every traffic ticket, 2 points for reckless driving , and 1 for accidents. If you receive 4 or more points in 12 months, your license may be suspended for 12 months.

A point on your record might not seem like a big deal because you have a few strikes left but in reality just one point could heavily affect your car insurance rate.These points can increase your car insurance premium because insurers ask for your driving record to determine your cost of premium each time you renew or buy a new policy.

How Much Does a Moving Violation Increase Your Insurance?

When we have a moving violation insurance companies tend to increase your insurance premium because you are seen more as a risk to other drivers. You are more likely to be at fault in an accident. Depending on the offense, insurance companies can raise your insurance premium. Here are some common moving violations and how much they may raise insurance prices.

  1. Reckless driving raises insurance by 22 percent
  2. DUI first offense raises insurance by 19 percent
  3. Driving without a license or permit raises insurance by 18 percent
  4. Speeding 30 mph over the limit raises insurance by 15 percent
  5. Failure to stop raises insurance by 15 percent
  6. Improper turn raises insurance by 14 percent
  7. Improper passing raises insurance by 14 percent
  8. Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit raises insurance by 12 percent
  9. Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit raises insurance by 11 percent
  10. Seat belt infractions raises insurance by 3 percent

How Long Does a Moving Violation Affect My Car Insurance?

How long a moving violation will affect your car insurance depends on the state you live in. In California, most points will stay on your driver record for 39 months (3 years, 3 months). Points for more serious offenses, such as hit-and-run or a DUI, will stay on your record for 13 years.

Usually when a moving violation is removed from a driving record it won’t affect your car insurance premium any longer. Some insurance companies may only look back at your record for two years while others may go farther back. Major violations such as DUI can be placed on your record for a very long period of time.

How to Avoid an Increase of Insurance from a Moving Violation?

Some insurance companies may offer a violation and accident forgiveness program which is designed to protect you against a rate increase in case of a minor violation. This program is a little extra money but it can help insure that the insurance company continues to charge you around the same amount without increasing.

To simply avoid an increase in insurance premium from a moving violation would be to avoid a moving violation. Drive safety and know the rules to avoid having the police stop you for a possible infraction.

There is also something else you can do to remove points and minor offenses from your license, before your insurer finds out: take a driver’s safety course or a defensive driver class right away. You can find lots of classes near you or simply take an online course, which should only take you a couple of hours to complete. It’s not much effort and can prevent a rate hike.

How to Keep Rates Low Even After Receiving a Moving Violation?

There are a few things though to make sure you’re paying as little as possible. If possible, try to contest your ticket in order to keep it off your record. If the court rules in favor of you then that violation will never appear on your record and won’t increase your insurance premium.

As mentioned above, taking a course may rid your record of some points and stop your insurance company from raising your rates. If you still have points on your license after taking the classes, compare auto insurance rates to see who will offer you better rates. Ask the insurance agent if they offer any discounts such as being an alumni of a group/organization which can help lower out of pocket expenses.

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