Getting a traffic ticket can affect you for years with hikes in your car insurance on top of steep fines. If you receive a traffic citation you have two options. You can pay the ticket or you can consider hiring an experienced traffic ticket lawyer who knows the court system and traffic laws to help you contest your ticket.
If you receive a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, Boston Traffic Ticket Attorney Steven J. Topazio, www.topaziolaw.com, knows that the 2 points you will receive from a speeding ticket can raise your insurance premiums 30 percent and is reason alone to fight for a dismissal.
By paying the ticket you are admitting that you are responsible and you not only will have to pay the associated fines that go along with the ticket but will also receive a “surchargeable event” on your driving record that will do two things. First it will result in your insurance premiums going up and second it will serve as a moving violation which could be the basis to suspend your driver’s license.
It’s never fun getting caught by the police or having to deal with the traffic ticket. Paying, although at times quite costly, might appear at first to be easier than contesting the ticket, but in the long run a single ticket will cost you thousands in increased insurance premiums over the next several years as a result of the points you will also receive. Points have to do with the cost of your auto insurance whereas the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is more concerned with the number of moving violations and surchargeable events which may cause your driver’s license or right to operate a motor vehicle to be suspended. The focus of this article will be on the point system as a collateral consequence to being found responsible to a moving violation that you might receive after paying your speeding ticket.
Massachusetts Point System:
Massachusetts is one of those states where auto insurance rates are set by the government by linking insurance rates to insurance companies selling auto insurance in Massachusetts due to our state’s Safe Driver’s Insurance Plan (SDIP). The SDIP allows insurance companies to issue surcharges or discounts on insurance premiums based on your driving record. The Merit Rating Board (MRB) is responsible for administering the SDIP pursuant to 211 CMR 134.00.
When fighting a ticket, it is important to understand the point system. Even a partial victory can prevent points from being assessed against you, and is reason alone to consult with an experienced traffic lawyer. If handled correctly, points can be avoided even with the first speeding ticket you receive. If the first minor traffic law violation you receive (such as a speeding ticket) is within the 5 years immediately preceding the Policy Effective Date as determined by the Surcharge Date and it is the first traffic law violation in the 5-year period you will not receive points if the disposition of the violation was for a non-criminal violation under M.G.L. c. 90C.
Multiple violations on a single ticket:
A first time operator may receive multiple violations in a single ticket (speeding, marked lane violation, and failure to keep right, for example) yet all arising from the same incident. In this situation, if you have two or more surchargeable incidents, all of which arose from the same incident, the MRB will assign Surcharge Points to the surchargeable incident with the greatest number of Surcharge Points unless you challenge the ticket and can be found not responsible on two of the three violations. This is another valuable reason to consult with a lawyer and the reason Boston Traffic Ticket Attorney Steven J. Topazio www.topaziolaw.com offers free consultations.
Now that I have thoroughly confused you, what this all means is that if you rack up a lot of tickets, you will also rack up a lot of points. Points will penalize you by causing your auto insurance premiums to go up. Let’s say you have an insurance policy that costs you $1500.00 per year and you receive a speeding ticket. If you pay the ticket or are found responsible you will be given 2 points which will increase your insurance premiums 30 percent for up to six years. The insurance increase will cost you an additional $450 per year. In other words, bad drivers will be charged more for their auto insurance and safe drivers will be charged less. If you are a safe driver and maintain a clean driving record you can reduce your auto insurance costs and keep your premiums low.
The number of Surcharge Points assigned to each surchargeable incident in the 6-year Policy Period is as follows:
○ Minor Traffic Law Violation 2 points
○ Minor At-Fault Accident 3 points
○ Major At-Fault Accident 4 points
○ Major Traffic Law Violation 5 points
How Points are calculated:
If you have been driving for less than six years, each point makes your premium in four areas of coverage (bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury coverage and collision coverage) increase by 7.5 percent per point.
If you have been driving for more than six years, each point increases your premium in these same four areas by 15 percent per point.
As you can see, if you get a speeding ticket which carries 2 points, your insurance premium will increase by 30 percent on these four parts of your auto insurance policy, which can result in thousands of dollars in increased insurance premiums.
If you’re unsure on how to proceed, visit Boston Traffic Attorney Steven J. Topazio at http://www.topaziolaw.com/criminal-practice-areas/traffic-violations for a free consultation.