Moving violations are traffic violations that occur when the vehicle is in motion. This is different from non-moving violations, which are offenses that are committed while the vehicle is not in motion. Typical non-moving violations are parking infractions such as illegally parking and letting parking meters expire.
Every state has different laws regarding moving violations. Generally, the following offenses are considered moving violations and can result in a traffic ticket:
- Speeding; some states will charge higher fines if the driver was over the speed limit by a large margin
- Running a red light
- Failing to yield the right of way to school buses or emergency vehicles
- Disobeying traffic signs such as a yield or stop sign
- Trying to elude a police officer.
Many states have points systems that keep track of a driver’s record and add demerit points every time a traffic violation occurs. The value of the points is higher for more serious offenses. Drivers who reach a certain amount of points can face penalties such as a suspended license.
Drivers who have a high number of moving violations on their driving records can be considered high risk drivers by their insurance companies and could pay higher than average premiums. Some might even be dropped altogether if their company feels their driving is too dangerous.
In some states, drivers are allowed to take defensive driving or other types of traffic education schools to help improve their driving record and, more importantly, to remind them of the traffic laws.
Drivers who receive tickets for moving violations should consult an attorney who specializes in traffic law if they wish to contest the ticket. Navigating the court system can be confusing, so the defendant has a higher chance of successfully contesting their ticket with the help of a legal professional.