Traffic violations can happen to anyone who drives. Either you are in a hurry and fail to notice the speed limit, or you roll through a stop sign because you did not see anyone else in the intersection. However minor these infractions seem, they can still affect your life for a long time.
Here are some ways minor traffic violations can become more significant issues in Pennsylvania.
By having points add up
Pennsylvania has a point system for drivers. For example, someone caught speeding might get five points on their license, and most of those points will stay on their driving record for a year. During the course of that year, any other minor infractions might cause a driver to go over the limit of six points, at which time they will need to complete a written examination. If a driver accumulates enough points, even if they are all for minor violations, they will find themselves with a suspended license.
By violating the law elsewhere
Minor traffic stops can lead to major trouble if you violate another law during the traffic infraction. For example, if an officer pulls you over for speeding and you have an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, you are now in violation of Pennsylvania’s open container law. The same is true if an officer happens to smell alcohol on your breath or marijuana in the vehicle.
By being aware of how minor traffic violations can escalate, you can keep yourself and your passengers safe and out of trouble.