We've all seen the news stories about towns and cities across the country having their battles with red-light cameras and the pot of gold (traffic ticket revenue) they're supposed to bring in.
Now it looks like more legal battles are making municipalities reconsider whether they should chase the easy money or actually require real police officers to witness driver infractions before issuing tickets.
Rest assured, the police are under pressure to ensure healthy cash flow, but, police surveyed by Edmunds.com identified what they prioritize and their tips may help you avoid the most common driving mistakes that draw their attention...
1. Speeding. (No kidding.) In the Edmunds survey, every cop surveyed listed stopping speeding drivers as a main priority. So why do police officers key in on speeders? Well, issuing speeding tickets has a huge impact on safety. For every 100 extra speeding citations given in a month, there are 14.3 fewer crashes and 5.6 fewer injuries.
Point is, if your need for speed gets the better of you, be prepared to put your money where your lead foot is — a whopping 34 million speeding tickets are handed out each year in the U.S.
Attentive drivers know how fast they're going. Inattentive drivers get what they deserve.
2. Distracted driving. The police officers surveyed say their main reasons for giving distracted-driving tickets include illegal texting and driving or other dangerous cell phone use. And with good reason, too. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a stunning 40 percent of U.S. teens admit to having been in a car while the driver used a cell phone in an endangering way. We don’t know about you, but it seems this phenomenon can’t get enough police intervention.
3. Equipment offenses are easy bait for tickets because they’re so simple to spot. A police officer doesn’t have to make any judgments about the situation. Rather, he or she can simply see that something isn’t up to code and make a move. According to the cops surveyed, the most glaring violation (pun intended) was illegal window tints. Following that were burned-out lights, broken windshields, and expired license plate tags.
(Think about it; this is what police would call the 'low hanging fruit.' If you make it easy for them, what do you think they'll do?)
4. Tailgating and Improper Lane Changes. These 2 violations ranked as equally important on the Edmunds study. Both are reckless maneuvers that cops said they monitor closely. One police officer even qualified exactly what he thinks is considered a dangerous lane change: cutting someone off or moving without looking.
Using the left lane for cruising instead of passing, driving too slowly, and squealing your tires are also high on the list.
True, you can’t control what other people will do on the road. But you can control yourself. So next time you notice you’re about to fall into one of these habits, think about the repercussions. Safe driving is good for you and everyone else on the road.
Of course, understanding the financial blow that bad driving delivers can help too...
Impact of moving violations on insurance rates