As a new driver, there are many rules and regulations you need to learn. To get the hang of them all, you’ll need to pay close attention while taking your drivers ed course, do your own research, and listen to your driving instructors. If you fail to follow the rules and regulations of the road, you could be in for an expensive lesson. In this article, we will look at eight of the most common traffic violations in California. By learning each of these, you should be able to avoid them and stay safe on the road. 

Traffic Violation #1: Speeding Ticket

In California, speeding tickets are no laughing matter. Depending on how fast you were going, you could face a fine of $100 or more. And if you’re caught speeding in a school zone or construction zone, the penalties are even harsher (up to double their normal rate). 

If you’re caught going more than 20MPH over the speed limit, you could end up having your license suspended. So if you value your driving privileges, it’s best to obey the posted speed limits. Otherwise, you might end up with a costly ticket – or worse. 

Traffic Violation #2: Cell Phone Ticket 

In the state of California, it is illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving. If you are caught breaking this law, the authorities will issue you a cell phone ticket. This ticket comes with a base fine of $20 for a first offense, and increases to $50 for each subsequent offense. In addition, your cell phone ticket will add one point to your driving record. If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, you may be subject to license suspension. Accordingly, it is important to take cell phone tickets seriously and avoid using your phone while behind the wheel.

Traffic Violation #3: Red Light/Stop Sign Violation

Stop signs and red lights are important traffic signals that help to keep drivers safe. However, far too many drivers choose to ignore these signals, putting themselves and others at risk. A red light violation occurs when a driver runs a red light or fails to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. This can easily cause accidents, as other drivers may not be expecting the car to enter the intersection. 

In some cases, running a red light or a stop sign can also result in a ticket from the police. Drivers who choose to disobey traffic signals should know the risks they are taking. Not only could you cause an accident, but you could also end up with a costly fine.

Traffic Violation #4: Tailgating

Many people see tailgating as a harmless way to express their frustration with the driver in front of them. However, tailgating is actually against the law in most states, and for good reason. When you tailgate, you are following the car in front of you too closely. This makes it difficult to stop in time if they have to brake suddenly. This can lead to rear-end collisions, which can be serious or even fatal. Additionally, tailgating can escalate a situation if the driver in front of you becomes angry and tries to retaliate. If you want to stay safe on the roads, it’s best to give the car in front of you a little extra space.

Traffic Violation #5: Unsafe Lane Change

An unsafe lane change is any kind of maneuver that puts other drivers at risk. This can include everything from failing to check your blind spot to cutting off another driver while merging. Not only is this incredibly rude, but it’s also against the law in most states. The reason for this is that unsafe lane changes can easily lead to accidents. By definition, they involve making a sudden move without giving other drivers enough time to react. This can cause rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and even multi-car pileups. In the worst cases, it can even result in fatalities. So if you’re ever tempted to make an unsafe lane change, just remember that it’s not worth the risk.

Traffic Violation #6: Reckless Driving

When most people think of reckless driving, they envision a speeding car weaving in and out of traffic. While this is certainly one type of reckless driving, it is far from the only way to put others in danger on the road. Reckless driving can also include things like running red lights, making illegal turns, or even tailgating. Basically, anything that puts yourself or others at risk can be considered reckless driving. And while it may not seem like a big deal to roll through a stop sign or go a few miles over the speed limit, it only takes a split second for an accident to happen. So next time you’re behind the wheel, make sure to drive responsibly and keep yourself and others safe.

Traffic Violation #7: Hit and Run

A hit-and-run car accident is when a driver collides with another vehicle or pedestrian, causing damage or injury, and leaves the scene without providing their contact information. This type of accident is a crime in most jurisdictions, as it can be difficult for the victim to receive compensation for their damages. 

In some cases, hit-and-run accidents can also get classified as felonies. This is most common if the victim suffers serious injuries or dies as a result of the collision. If you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to report the incident to the police as soon as possible so that they can try to identify the responsible party.

Traffic Violation #8: HOV/Carpool Violation

If you carpool in California, there are a few rules you need to follow. First, all carpool lanes must have at least two people in the vehicle (though some areas require more – check the posted signs before using the lane to ensure compliance). Second, vehicles must move at a speed of at least 55MPH in order to use the carpool lane to avoid impeding traffic. Finally, drivers are (sometimes) only allowed to use the carpool lane during designated hours (again, check all signs to ensure compliance before venturing into the carpool lane). If you violate any of these rules, you could be subject to a fine. So, if you’re driving solo in the carpool lane during rush hour, be prepared to pay up.

What to do if you get a ticket & how to dispute it

If you’ve been pulled over and issued a traffic ticket in California, you have a few options for how to handle it. You can either pay the fine or dispute the ticket. If you choose to pay the fine, you can do so online, by mail, or in person at the court listed on your ticket. If you want to dispute the ticket, you’ll need to appear in court on the date listed on your ticket. At that time, you’ll have the opportunity to present your case and argue about why you shouldn’t have to pay the fine. However, if the judge disagrees with you, you’ll be required to pay the fine plus any additional fees for the use of their time in court. So, if you’re not sure whether you have a strong case, it may be better to just pay the fine. Whatever you decide, make sure you take care of the ticket within the timeframe specified on your ticket, or you may face additional penalties.