The reason you must pass an exam to obtain a driver’s license is simple: driving is an enormous responsibility. In theory, if people know the laws, they will be able to obey those laws. But for whatever reason, some of the most popular traffic citations are issued for some of the most obvious offenses. If you’re guilty of any of the following, be warned—you’re much more likely to get pulled over!
Speeding is by far the most frequently-issued traffic citation. Everyone, at some point or another, is guilty of speeding. In fact, most people are habitual speeders, in the sense that they go over the speed limit every single time they get behind the wheel, whether they intend to or not.
At times, it may seem like the posted limit is ridiculously slow, but it’s posted for a reason. Speeding isn’t worth the danger to yourself or those around you, and it’s certainly not worth the hundreds of dollars in citations!
DISOBEYING STOP AND YIELD SIGNS
“Failure to stop” is a ticket that can seem like a bit like a “gotcha!” Even if you slow down to 1 MPH, you can still be cited for not fully stopping. It does seem like there’s a world of difference between that and just blowing through a stop sign without even tapping your brakes, but they are both just as illegal, and both just as ticketable.
NOT HAVING INSURANCE
Driving with no auto insurance is a common reason for citations. And while insurance may be an expensive thing to buy, it’s really smart to have. And of course, as with all the examples above, it’s illegal not to have it. If you have a junky car and you really don’t care if it gets scratched up, it’s understandable that you don’t want to bother with an expensive insurance policy. But what if you totaled someone else’s car? You could basically end up buying a brand new car that you’ll never even get to drive! It’s not worth the risk.
FAILURE TO DISPLAY INSPECTION CERTIFICATE
If you aren’t displaying your inspection certificate, you either forgot it, or you don’t have it. If you simply forgot to display it, you might be in the clear, and a polite letter could get you off with a slap on the wrist. But if you’re driving a car that did not pass inspection, you’re going to get dinged. Just like auto insurance, you need it.
PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLES
This one’s a no brainer, for safety’s sake, but still it somehow happens. Spacing out is understandable—briefly—but when you’re behind the wheel, you must yield to all emergency vehicles. If you see lights, pull over. If you hear sirens, pull over. Heck, if you see everyone else on the road start to pull over, you might want to pull over.
Further down the list are minor violations, such as “failure to wear a seat belt.” Though minor, they are still just as ticketable. Of course, if you’re lucky, you can take a seat belt safety course, or even a Texas defensive driving course that covers a much broader scope of driving safety, but it’s much easier to learn—and obey—the rules of the road the first time.