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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Traffic Tickets, Suspension and Driver Responsibility in Texas

Texas Defensive Driving Course
Ask anywhere: traffic tickets, suspension and driver responsibility are some of the most searched items related to driving. Getting a driver's license in Texas is a big enough feat. An even bigger challenge then, is keeping your driving record clean.

The words above are commonly-searched for one reason: individuals want a clean driving record and need to figure out the steps to make that happen. Let's try and break down the processes for each in a more generic way that applies to most counties in Texas.

Traffic Tickets: what to do?

If you drive careful enough, you'll manage to avoid tickets. But once you've been issued a traffic ticket in Texas, you only have 10 days to respond to it. The two options are to either pay it, or you can request to have your traffic ticket dismissed by completing a Texas driving safety course.

Paying the fine is essentially admitting to the court that you are guilty, contact your local court to find out how you could settle the fine. They usually take personal checks, cash, debit cards or credit cards. It varies from county-to-county.

Depending on the reason for the ticket, sometimes, there's an option for taking a defensive driving course. This is a way of dismissing the ticket --- by taking the course, you effectively remove up to four points on your driving record and you may even get discounts on your insurance. If the driver has been going 25 MPH over the posted limit, a driver safety course option will not be available.

Suspended license: what to do?

If a driver has been caught driving irresponsibly multiple times, the driver's license can get suspended. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be informed of the suspension. If driving is essential for that driver’s education or livelihood, they should contact their local district court for the requirements on a restricted license.

Driver Responsibility Program: what is it?

Much like New York: life is harder for bad drivers in Texas. Their driver responsibility program helps enforce their safe driving policies. For a driver with over 6 points on their driving record, there will be an annual fee to be paid for up to 3 years. This could be an additional $100 a year or up to $2000 a year, depending on the number of points and severity of driving offense.

Okay, now that you know what tickets, suspensions and driving responsibility is about in Texas: what can you do to avoid them? Simple --- and this is easier said than done --- be a safe driver.

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