Common Traffic Tickets Regarding Accidents and Insurance

Everyone knows that speeding or running a red light or stop sign can result in being pulled over and given a traffic ticket for your momentary lapse in judgment. But did you know there are literally hundreds of California Vehicle Code sections you can violate every single time you get in your car? And some, even, that you don’t even require you to be driving? Here is some information on the most common accident and insurance traffic violations.

Proof of insurance

You are required to carry proof that the vehicle you are driving is insured. Anytime you are questioned by an officer for proof of insurance, you must produce it or you may be cited. However, an officer may not pull you over simply for the purpose of asking if you are insured. There are two ways to be cited for breaking this law:

  • If you have insurance but no proof – If you actually do have insurance but merely weren’t carrying the card with you when you were pulled over, this is relatively easy to have dismissed by giving a copy of your current insurance policy or card to the court clerk. Don’t forget to do this, however, as failing to provide proof of insurance is punishable by a fine of over $1,700!
  • If you didn’t have insurance when you were cited – If you are cited for violating this section and you simply do not have insurance, you have a big problem. Fines are extremely expensive for this infraction and if you have no proof that you do have insurance, there is not much you can do. However, if the vehicle you are driving is insured by someone else, such as your employer, it is possible to get this sort of violation dismissed. Never give wrong information to an officer about your insurance. This crime is a misdemeanor and is punishable by an even larger fine and up to five days in jail.

Mandatory Reporting of Certain Accidents

In any accident involving personal injury or damage of at least $750, all drivers must file an accident report and provide evidence of insurance. Failing to do so can result in the suspension of your license for one year. In fact, even if you are driving someone else’s vehicle, you must comply with this section.

Exchange of Information at Accidents

Even if the accident in which you were involved is very minor and less than $750 worth of damage is involved, you are still required by law to exchange information with other drivers involved. If you fail to disclose your name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle identification number, or insurance information, you can be found guilty of an infraction with another hefty fine. However, it is important to realize that this violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you’ve been cited for one of the many violations dealing with accidents and insurance, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in fines, an increase in your car insurance premiums, and even a suspension of your license. With a skilled criminal defense attorney experienced in defending traffic tickets, like those at Wallin & Klarich, however, you can fight your traffic ticket and win. Often, these sorts of tickets can be reduced to much less expensive violations or even completely dismissed.

Study Shows Traffic Fatalities Drop in States With Legal Medical Cards

A new study was published recently showing that states with legalized medical marijuana actually have fewer fatal auto accidents. It appears that this may be because marijuana users often substitute the drug in lieu of drinking alcohol.

At this point in time 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana for various debilitating conditions. In the study the years 1992-2009 government data were used looking at traffic deaths in the 13 states that have passed medical marijuana and put in place legalization laws during those years. The data was obtained from the national household survey on drug use along with the national Highway traffic safety administration.

Interestingly, when looking at traffic deaths over that time, in the states who have medical marijuana legalized versus those that didn’t, the study found that fatalities in car wrecks dropped by 9% in those states with legal marijuana for medicinal use. In looking further at the data the decrease was attributed largely to a reduction in drunk driving. In those states that have legalized medical marijuana rate of fatalities from car crashes due to our call dropped by 12% in crashes with high levels of alcohol drinking dropped by 14%.

The authors of the study noted that the overall reduction in traffic fatalities was similar to that seen when the minimum drinking age in the US was raised to 21. Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 5 and 34. So this data is especially intriguing in light of that as a significant amount of medical marijuana users are in the upper echelon of that age range.

In line with other studies the researchers also found that there was no increase in marijuana consumption by teenagers in states that legalized marijuana for medical use. One of the important things to come out of study is it shows that driving under the influence of marijuana is much safer than driving inebriated on alcohol. It is unclear if driving while stoned leads to impairment, however, driving under the influence of alcohol has definitely been shown to significantly deteriorate driving skills.

Being under the influence of alcohol at times increases recklessness and creates a false sense of confidence. When people are stoned they often realize it and don’t have these issues. More marijuana smokers are likely to do so at home or in a private setting rather than out at a public event.

Road Traffic Accidents Are Becoming Common

A road traffic accident is an accident involving one or more vehicles on a public roadway. Although the most common type of vehicle involved in this kind of accident are cars and other motor vehicles, bicycles, animal powered vehicles, and pedestrians might also be involved. Injuries resulting from a road traffic accident can be severe and sometimes fatal. The average American will be involved in at least two road traffic accidents in their lifetime. Children and the elderly are in the most danger during a road traffic accident.

If you are involved in a road traffic accident, you are required to stop your vehicle and offer assistance to any others involved. Although moving off the road is advisable, in many states it is illegal to move the car from the scene of the accident. In many cases if there are no injuries and the cars can still be driven, law enforcement will not report to the scene of the crime, and you will be required to exchange information and report the incident to your insurance company yourself. When taking information, be sure to take the driver’s license number, the name, the address, the telephone number, and the license plate number from the other driver. Also make sure you take their insurance information as well. Never admit fault immediately following an accident, as it could cause you to be named as the guilty party when you are not.

Defensive driving and being aware of the road are the best tools to prevent an accident, but if you are involved in one, knowing what to do afterwards could save you lots of valuable time and money.

Colorado Auto Insurance Laws and Car Insurance Requirements

Colorado auto insurance laws have been enforced over the years to ensure the safety of all road users in the state. State law stipulates that all drivers are required to have the minimum insurance on any vehicle they operate and provide proof of insurance at specific times. Failure to comply can result in a range of penalties including a fine, license suspension and community service.

Because of the utmost importance attached to road safety, Colorado auto insurance requirements necessitate proof of insurance before you can register your car. If you are unable to provide proof, not only will you be prevented from registering your car, you will also be subject to the same penalties that you would face for failure to provide proof at the site of an accident or during a routine traffic stop.

Colorado insurance laws require all drivers to carry the minimum coverage. In Colorado, this includes $25,000 for injury to one person, $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person and at least $15,000 property damage maximum for one accident. This is the minimum required but the state also recommends that drivers increase their liability coverage, including “med pay” coverage. This covers the medical expenses of anybody involved in an accident no matter who was deemed at fault.

Although “med pay” coverage is not required, insurance companies are required to offer drivers this option. Since Colorado changed its status from a “no fault” state in 2003, it is prudent to be covered for any eventuality. This is especially true in light of the fact that it can take a long time to establish blame in most accident cases. Often, litigation can take a number of years to conclude.

Colorado auto insurance requirements stipulate that all drivers must provide proof of insurance coverage at the time they register their car, whenever they are pulled over for a traffic stop or at the scene of any accident. Disclosing false information on an auto insurance form is against the law and can leave drivers open to perjury charges.

First time offenders who fail to produce proof of auto insurance will be fined $500 and have 4 points attached to their driving record. This in turn can cause their insurance premiums to rise. A second offense carries a $1,000 fine and a 4 month suspension of your driver’s license. A third or subsequent offense also results in a $1,000 fine along with an eight month suspension of your license and a compulsory period of 40 hours of community service.

Colorado auto insurance laws may seem harsh but this is a reflection of the extent to which the state is committed towards enforcing road safety. Having proper insurance coverage can help to mitigate expenses and to ensure that everyone involved in any accident receives proper care. This is in the best interest of all Colorado residents and explains why the laws are so comprehensive and rigorously enforced.

Road safety has a direct bearing on everyone, so make sure you adhere to the local laws when you take to the roads in Colorado. A valid insurance policy will give you peace of mind behind the wheel, knowing that no matter what happens you won’t be leaving anything to chance.

Regulations for Interrupting the Flow of Traffic for Building Work

In any urban area, a major or minor construction site by the roadside can invariably lead to traffic congestion in that particular area. In transportation parlance, congestion usually refers to a condition where there are more vehicles at particular stretch of the road than is usually permitted or encountered.

Excessive vehicles choke the smooth flow of traffic, force drivers to idle unnecessarily, lead to erratic driving and often result in accidents. Therefore, construction sites usually have several mandatory signs that seek to provide a semblance of order to the surrounding chaos and regulate the traffic somewhat.

Importance of Proper Mandatory Signage

As it is our urban roads are crammed with vehicles at all hours with little respite in traffic load. On top of that, a construction site on an arterial route leaves little room for organised traffic movement and management.

Delays caused by construction zones are cited by travellers as one of the most prevalent and frustrating conditions they encounter while driving. This is because any construction activity by the roadside invariably reduces the width of available road, forces unexpected road diversions and even enforces temporary roadblocks.

Apart from the drivers, pedestrian and workers are also affected by the confusion that reigns in a construction site. In fact, statistics reveal that each year almost ninety three people are injured and about ten of them die due to accidents involving vehicular traffic around a construction site.

To tackle the situation, mandatory symbols are put up at strategic points around the site. Mandatory signage can make a significant difference to the way traffic moves around a construction site.

When the appropriate signs are placed at vantage positions, they provide clear guidance to motorists on the path to be taken so as to lessen congestion. They also separate the available lanes to check haphazard movement of vehicles, optimise the available road space and ensure safe movement of vehicles even at night.

Mandatory signage therefore imposes lane discipline and ensures safe movement of traffic around construction areas.

Ensure Vehicular Safety at Construction Sites

Any kind of interruption in the normal flow of traffic on a road adjacent to a construction area can be dangerous for everybody around.

To ensure safety, the law requires you to organise the work area in such a way that pedestrians, workers, drivers and vehicles can move around without coming in each others’ way. Standard mandatory signs that are understood by all must be installed at strategic points to help drivers select the most appropriate lane.

Suitable barricades must be erected to restrict unnecessary movement of general public which can further deteriorate the traffic condition. Such barricades must have devices to make them visible at night or during stormy weather.

Apart from the motors moving on the road, vehicles also include such heavy-duty trucks, excavators, site dumpers etc that move in and out of the site and cause more traffic congestion. As much as possible, restrict the movement of such additional heavy-duty vehicles to weekends or at night when the normal traffic is less.

Prepare a traffic management plan for the site that is in compliance with legal requirements of your local authorities. Obtain all necessary permission required for temporary closure or detour of roads or pavements.

Fighting Traffic Tickets – How to Contest Your Speeding Tickets

Have you ever received a ticket while decelerating after passing a vehicle on the highway?

The province of Quebec issues a staggering amount of traffic tickets to its drivers. In 2008-2009, police issued an average of 825,000 tickets. In 2007 over one million tickets were issued. The majority of tickets and demerit points issued in Quebec are for speeding. Male drivers are more likely to receive traffic fines and make up nearly 73% of all drivers to receive tickets. Some of these drivers may have obviously deserved a ticket, but again, drivers can be caught off guard, accused unfairly and receive an unjustified fine.

In 2008-2009 nearly 10,500 sanctions were imposed for accumulating 15 demerit points. During the same years, nearly 19,000 sanctions were imposed for accumulating 4 demerit points. This can mean losing your driver’s license for 3 to 12 months. In many cases, losing the ability to drive can also mean losing a job. When searching for legal representation make sure your agent/lawyer has an excellent track record for getting traffic fines dismissed or reduced and retaining a clean driving record. Further more, make sure your firm consists of experienced lawyers that appear in court on your behalf and in most cases save you the hassle of appearing in court as well as saving you hundreds of dollars in traffic fines and demerit points.

Should you attend traffic court to contest a ticket? In the majority of cases, you don’t have to. Most clients are looking for a withdrawal of the charge or a plea for a lesser charge. That may often be done without going to Court. In other cases, your representative may have no other choice but to go to trial, in which case your presence will be required.

Demerit points are entered on the record of drivers who commit certain offences under the Highway Safety Code or under a municipal by-law, provincial or federal statute or regulation concerning road safety. Here are some offences:

  • Driving at a speed too great for weather or road conditions – 2
  • Tailgating – 2
  • Accelerating when being passed – 2
  • Passing a bicycle too closely in a travel lane – 2
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians and cyclists at an intersection – 2
  • Failure to yield to oncoming traffic – 2
  • Sudden braking without cause – 2
  • Failure to stop before turning right at a red traffic light (where permitted) -3
  • Failure to wear a seat belt – 3
  • Failure to wear a helmet (motorcycles, mopeds & motorized scooters) – 3

Fortunately your are not alone in the fight to your traffic ticket.  law firm representing clients charged with traffic violations and criminal charges related to driving, who wish to keep their good driving record and low insurance premiums. We provide effective and affordable legal services to all residents and non-residents of the Province of Quebec, Ontario and the state of New York.