The Top 10 Traffic Tickets You Want to Avoid

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Getting a traffic ticket is never a good thing; you’ll have to pay a fine and may see an increase in your insurance rates. But some traffic tickets are particularly important to avoid – they come with hefty fines as well as some of the biggest insurance increases. Change your driving habits, so you don’t wind up with one of these top 10 tickets.

1. Speeding in a school zone

Going over the speed limit is always a bad idea, but it is seen as more serious in a school zone because it endangers the lives of children. This is considered a major offence and will come with a higher fine and likely a greater insurance increase.

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2. Driving while impaired

One of the more serious offences on the road, driving while impaired, is a big ticket, can result in criminal prosecution depending on the situation, and will have a negative impact on your insurance rates. One impaired driving conviction will result in you being classified as a high-risk driver and the loss of your driver’s licence. This ticket is easy to avoid; simply don’t drink and drive.

3. Passing a school bus with red lights flashing

It’s the law that you must stop when you see a school bus with its red lights flashing. When you see the amber lights flash, slow down and prepare to stop. Improperly passing a school bus is a major offence and will mean a significant increase in your insurance rates.

4. Speeding more than 50 km/h over the speed limit

Speeding is always a sure way to get a ticket, but when you are caught going well over the speed limit – 50 km/h or more in most jurisdictions, although it can vary – you are facing a serious offence that will cost you a lot more.

5. Careless driving

This infraction may be one of the easier traffic tickets to fight in court and win, but that doesn’t mean it’s one in which you should ignore. If you fail to beat the ticket, you will pay a hefty fine and see a sizable increase in your car insurance. Practicing safe driving at all times is the best way to avoid a careless driving ticket.

6. Driving while uninsured

Not only is this a considerable ticket, but it’s also a red flag to insurance companies that you don’t take your financial responsibilities seriously. Insurance companies may quote you higher rates when shopping around for coverage after you’ve gotten a ticket for driving uninsured.

7. Using a cell phone while driving

This law is still relatively new in Canada and one of the rules of the road most easily disregarded. But put that phone down; it is not worth the fine or the risk. Getting caught talking or texting without a hands-free device will hurt your insurance rates too.

8. Graduated licensing restrictions violations

When you are in the graduated licensing program, you may not be paying for your own insurance yet, so you might not think about what a ticket can do to rates. When you violate the terms of your current licence status, you will not only face the ticket and the resulting actions in terms of your licence (including possible suspension), but you may also see higher insurance rates in the future.

9. Speeding in a construction zone

Police often crack down on this problem, and you will find the ticket is relatively high if you get caught going too fast in a construction zone. Slow down when you see the signs and cones ahead to avoid a ticket as well as an insurance rate hike.

10. Failure or refusal to take a breathalyzer

Failing to do or refusing a breathalyzer is almost as serious as getting a driving while under the influence (DUI) ticket. It will seriously hurt your wallet and can lead to potential criminal charges. When pulled over, always cooperate with the police and drive sober, so you have no reason to fear the breathalyzer.

Remember that traffic tickets stay on your driving record for three years from the date of conviction. That could potentially mean higher car insurance quotes for three years. Drive safely and be mindful of the above violations.