Moving Violations

          A moving violation is issued when you break a law that is in effect for moving vehicles. Treat moving violations with the seriousness and respect they deserve. After all, if you received a citation for a moving violation, a law enforcement officer noticed your driving behavior and felt it was bad enough to pull you over and go through the entire traffic stop process.

            Moving violations come with multiple consequences. First off, and most obvious, you get pulled over. With any luck, you may get off with just a warning – more on that in a bit. If, however, you receive a citation, the parade of consequences begins:

  • If you are under the age of eighteen and accumulate six points against your record within twelve months, you can be restricted to driving to or from work only. This is for one full year! On top of that, if you hold a Learner’s License, your ability to obtain a Class E license gets pushed back. If you are careless enough to accumulate even more points, this “Business Only” restriction increases by ninety days for each additional point you amass.
  • If you are, in fact, a young driver and your parents discover that you received a citation, will they pull your driving privileges or access to a vehicle? Remember that parental consent form they signed.
  • Moving violations most certainly go into your official driving record on file at the DMV.
  • Multiple violations over a short time span can also cause you to have your license suspended. You will get the details of this in just a bit.
  • Then there’s the hit to your pocketbook. You may incur a seatbelt violation that will set you back somewhere around $30 – $60 if a child is not properly buckled up. Don’t scoff at that amount – a moving violation is a moving violation. For illegal use of a mobile device, you’ll be out $50, $100, or $150 depending on if you have a first, second, or third offense.
  • More serious violations can set you back in the hundreds of dollars. In Florida, if you are caught speeding by 50 mph or more over the limit, you’ll incur a $1,000 fine. For a second offense? $2,500! For “lesser” speeding violations, if there is such a thing, you could incur anything from a warning to a $250 fine, plus points, of course. If you damage property or hurt someone – badly – your financial costs can be staggering.
  • It is possible to get multiple violations. Sadly, if you are in a reckless mood, you can easily speed and cross solid lines or change lanes without signaling. Something like this really drives home the idea of “it all add$ up.”

         With Florida’s point system, a citation will likely add points to your driving record. The number of points you accumulate can cause your auto insurance rates to go up. In the most severe cases, you can lose your driving privileges for some predefined period. This is especially true if you rack up a certain number of points within a specified time frame. If you accumulate twelve points within twelve months, you’ll receive a thirty day suspension. Eighteen points within eighteen months is a three month suspension. Twenty four points within thirty six months is a one year suspension. How do you think that will affect your lifestyle? Here is a summary of common moving violations that will cause you to have points assessed against your driving record:




Speeding less than 15 mph above posted limit


Speeding at 16 mph or more over posted limit


Speeding resulting in a crash


Leaving the scene of a crash with $60 or more
in property damage


Texting while driving


Texting occurred in a school zone




Texting results in a crash
Total 9 for text/crash and 12 for text/crash/school zone


Traffic light/sign violation


Passing stopped school bus


Passing stopped school bus results in serious injury/death


Reckless driving


Driving during restricted hours


Use of handheld device in work zone or school zone/crossing

Police officers, like good drivers, are not perfect. Sometimes, you may be cited for a moving violation, but you honestly feel you are in the right. If this is the case – really the case – and you’re not just trying to escape the associated consequences of a citation by claiming innocence – then you have options. Usually, there is a process for disputing a citation outlined somewhere on the ticket you get. Read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Be aware that there is usually a date by which you must submit an application for an appeal. Expect to pay the fine or file an appeal to the citation within thirty days. Don’t miss that deadline. Also, note that there may be costs incurred for the appeal process; in some states, you’ll pay those costs whether you win or lose your appeal. So, if you plan to appeal a citation, be absolutely sure you are innocent of the alleged violation. Otherwise, you’ll endure yet another consequence of a moving violation: paying for a losing appeal.

The best way to avoid the headaches and red tape associated with moving violations and fines and lost time is to simply obey the law. Be attentive at all times when operating a vehicle. And keep that vehicle well maintained. Remember, you can be stopped and cited for broken tail lights and signals or cracked windshields. While these are equipment violations, a citation will still cost you. If you do not have the problem corrected and are stopped again for the same offense, the consequences may get stiffer.

Remember, it’s in the name

 …  a moving violation is when you break a traffic law while your vehicle is “in motion.”

Consider this partial list of common moving violations:

  • Failing to signal when changing lanes.
  • Crossing over solid lines including the line that denotes the shoulder of the road.
  • Speeding or driving too far under the speed limit.
  • Failure to yield to other vehicles.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians who are within a crosswalk.
  • Rolling through a stop sign, or worse, running it.
  • Failure to use seat belts. This may include you, your passengers, and especially young children.
  • Failure to obey the instructions of a police officer.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus displaying flashing red lights.
  • Failure to observe the “Move Over” law.
  • Carrying an unsecured load on your vehicle.
  • Operating with obstructed vision – stickers on the rear window; items piled high in the rear of the vehicle that block your view.
  • Putting your vehicle in neutral to roll along, usually downhill. This may seem silly, but if you suddenly need to accelerate to avoid a hazard and forget you are in neutral, you’ve got a problem.

           As you probably know, this list is quite a bit longer. By the way, did you notice a word that showed up quite often? Yes, “failure.” This gets back to the idea of ignoring traffic laws and rules of the road. Failure implies you are not doing something you should be doing.

        Black on Orange? Those signs designate work zones. What is typically posted in and around work zones?   FINES DOUBLED  This same increase in penalties is applied to school zones as well.

            Some final numbers: According to Travel Safety Facts, Florida 2015 – 2019 published by the NHTSA, there are roughly seven hundred to eight hundred alcohol-related (BAL of at least 0.08) fatalities a year. There are around three hundred speed related deaths. Again, this is every year. When is enough, enough? Consequences don’t get worse than the loss of a life.

       While what we are about to present might seem unnecessary to you, the information is actually extremely important. Give it the consideration it deserves.

          At some point in your driving career, you may be pulled over by law enforcement. If this is ever the case, there are guidelines of proper behavior you should stick to. This is important.  Miscommunication or misunderstandings between drivers and law enforcement can turn into a very serious problem very quickly. If you see flashing lights behind you, pull to the side of the road when safe and after signaling. Remember, you always do this for any emergency vehicles approaching from behind. If the officer passes you by, they are responding to a call, and you can recover from that pit you might feel in your stomach. If the officer pulls in behind you, then take the next several minutes of what happens very seriously.

  • Immediately upon pulling over, turn off your engine.
  • Before the officer arrives at your vehicle, roll down your window completely.
  • If it is after dark, turn on your interior lights. That way, the officer can see inside of your vehicle.
  • Keep both of your hands on the steering wheel and in plain sight.
  • Do not make any sudden moves. Don’t reach for any paperwork until instructed to do so.
  • Instruct any passengers to keep their hands visible and not to make any sudden or unexpected moves.
  • Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so.
  • Immediately inform the officer if there are any firearms in the vehicle.
  • Wait patiently after you provide the officer with your paperwork. Do not make any movement that can be deemed as suspicious or threatening.
  • At the completion of the stop, signal and be on your way when instructed to do so by the officer.
  • DO NOT ARGUE! You may politely offer that you did not think you violated whatever law you are accused of breaking. But arguing or refusing to cooperate will raise a level of suspicion (rightfully so) in the officer. They are trained to wonder if your anger is a cover-up for a more serious offense.

Score! I got off with a warning!

            No score! You were still pulled over by a police officer. Something about your driving caused them to do that. Consider yourself lucky if you get off with a warning. That does not mean you should not correct your behavior. Most warnings will be verbal and will probably not show up on your driving record. If you receive a written warning, that might not be the case. Regardless, consider what you did to get pulled over. Avoid that behavior in the future. If you are pulled over by a local law enforcement officer, what do you think might happen if that same officer pulls you over for the same offense yet a second time? We can be talking about anything from a tail light you did not have repaired to your rolling through another stop sign. Do you think the officer will be as lenient the second time around? Warnings, both written and verbal, parking tickets, and moving violations are all big deals. Never let anyone get you to think differently.

Tranducir or Translate »