I-64 northwest of Williamsburg in James City County, Virginia
I’m astounded sometimes when people mention multiple traffic violations.
In 48 years of driving, I’ve had three traffic tickets, one of which was reduced to a warning. I’ve also had a similar small number of warnings.
My first ticket was in 1976 in James City County, Virginia, for speeding. On leave from the Navy, we were visiting my family in Norfolk when we got a phone call that one of Karen’s brothers had died in a car accident, so we had cut the visit short and were heading to northwest Arkansas. Keeping pace with traffic, we got caught up in a coordinated speed trap. A couple of state troopers were set up in the median with a radar on a tripod. Then, just over a small hill were more officers directing offenders’ vehicles, including ours, to the shoulder where other officers were writing tickets.
In most states’ vehicle codes, the following traffic violations will adversely affect your driving record – DMV.org:
- Driving with a suspended license.
- Violation of license restrictions.
- Committing a hit-and-run accident.
- Driving in the bicycle lane or on a sidewalk.
- Ignoring traffic signs and traffic cops.
- Running red lights and stop signs.
- Not pulling to the side for an emergency vehicle.
- Crossing a divided highway.
- Going over the speed limit, or under the minimum speed.
- Speeding in a construction zone.
- Illegal passing.
- Illegal U-turns.
- Not stopping for a school bus.
- Reckless driving.
- Causing another bodily injury through reckless driving.
- Drag racing (aiding or abetting).
- Transporting a person in the bed of an open truck.
- Drinking while driving, DUI, and DWI.
- Disobeying a toll officer.
Later that same day, still in Virginia, I rolled through a stop sign instead of coming to a complete stop. Of course, the state trooper parked nearby pulled us over. He let me off with a warning.
I80 east of North Platte, Nebraska
It was not quite 20 years later that I got my next ticket in August, 1995. We had been visiting family, first in Oregon and, then, in Nebraska and were on our way home to Arkansas on I-80 somewhere east of North Platte, Nebraska. The speed limit had been raised on I-80 from 55 mph to 65 mph about 8 years earlier. However, when the young Nebraska state trooper caught me on radar, I was going about 75 in our Chevy van.
Ironically, the speed limit on I-80 was changed later that same year to 75!
In my next traffic violation, in 2002, I was cited for reckless driving and, possibly, tailgating – I don’t remember. I was heading south out of the small town near us towards the larger city in our area, probably going to work or to the gym. I had turned my head to the left to look at something in the small shopping center I was passing, not realizing that the car ahead of me was slowing to turn in there. I turned my head back, saw the situation and before I had a chance to react….SMASH!… I rear-ended her.
The town marshal was the officer that showed up to investigate. When he gave me the ticket, he said that I could either mail in my fine or go to traffic court. He told me that, if I went to traffic court, he would recommend that I be given a warning instead of getting a fine, which is how I got a traffic ticket reduced to a warning.
The Jeep that I was driving was totaled. A few years later, the road where the accident occurred was widened and now has a turning lane, which makes that stretch of road much safer.
Excessive speeding really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. When I’m driving the car or truck, I usually limit myself to no more than 5 miles per hour over the limit and, even then, a good percentage of the vehicles will pass me when driving on the interstate. When we drive to Little Rock, that might get us to whatever clinic or shops we are going to just a few minutes earlier, if the traffic cooperates. If I need to get there earlier, then I should leave earlier instead of driving faster.
With the motorhome, towing the car, we’re limited to 65 mph according to the manufacturer recommendation. In our case, I’ll actually, most days, only drive 60 mph, especially if there is a headwind or a crosswind. It’s more controllable and, actually, much less stressful than trying to keep up with the traffic.
We’ve never owned a radar detector or other device intended to beat the traffic rules.