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Traffic violations and driver's license points

When you are cited for not obeying the traffic laws, you accumulate points on your driver's license. The number of points you receive depends on the type of violation. Points range from two for the most minor violations up to five for significant offenses.

Minor traffic violations

You can get two points on your license for any of the following:

  • Violating a restriction on your driver's license
  • Failing to obey someone directing traffic
  • Failing to obey a signal indicating a train is approaching
  • Driving 6 to 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk
  • Driving too fast for road conditions

The majority of traffic violations, including things like improper passing, failing to yield and careless driving, incur three points.

Serious infractions

Four points will be put on your license for these violations:

  • Passing improperly on a hill
  • Failing to comply with a crossing gate or barrier
  • Failing to stop at a railroad crossing
  • Driving 16 to 25 miles per hour over the speed limit
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage only

Five points is the maximum number you can accumulate for one traffic offense. Applicable violations include:

  • Failing to stop for a school bus flashing red lights
  • Driving 26 or more miles per hour over the speed limit

However, there are also situations where your license can be suspended or revoked immediately. These include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, a hit and run, and homicide by vehicle.

The long-term impact

Accumulating points isn't just a numbers game; it can also have a dramatic effect on your insurance premiums. Your insurance provider will interpret points as an increase in the risk that you will cause an accident, so it will raise your premiums.

Points on your license can also lead to Department of Transportation sanctions. As soon as you reach six points for the first time, you will have to take a written exam regarding safe driving practices and other safety issues. If you reach six points a second time, you will have to attend a departmental hearing, and your driver's license may be suspended for 15 days. If you reach six points a third time or at any time have 11 or more points, your license will be suspended.

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