As new drivers, we are taught traffic laws and violations. But after several years of driving when the act of operating a motor vehicle becomes second nature, what violations have become skewed in our memory and what new laws were created since we studied for that permit so many years ago?
Every driver becomes frustrated once in a while with other motorists whose driving may seem as though they've forgotten simple procedures.
For example, it isn't uncommon for motorists to play a guessing game with other drivers when coming to a four-way stop. And what about that person up ahead who slows down to nearly a stop and then decides to flip the turn signal lever?
How about the driver who stops for a school bus traveling in the opposite direction on a four-lane highway? Is it really necessary to stop in that situation? And which are actual traffic laws versus just being a courteous driver?
In addition to what we learned as teenagers in driver's education class, traffic laws do sometimes change. Just in the past 10 years, it has become a law in Ohio to use headlights while using windshield wipers, to move to the left lane when approaching a service vehicle on the highway and just recently, it is a violation to text on your cell phone while driving, a law which is defined differently for teenagers versus adult drivers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. And according to the "Responsible Driver Handbook," published by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, even after spending years behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, how many of us know everything there is to know about being an expert driver?
Most traffic violations, including most speeding violations, are minor misdemeanors that carry monetary fines and can accrue points on your driver's license. Most minor violations will charge your driving record with two points. However, the more miles per hour over the speed limit charged or the more serious the violation, more points can be charged.
Serious violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless operation of a motor vehicle, will result in as much as six points.
If all violations combined add up to 12 points within a 24-month period, your driver's license will be suspended for six months and will require proof of financial responsibility in the form of a bond or insurance, and a fee of up to $600 before your license can be reinstated.