Many people here in Amherst and elsewhere do not consider speeding, running a stop sign or some other driving violation as serious infractions. After all, you probably will not end up in the back of a police car for most traffic tickets, so they may not seem that serious. The problem with this theory is that they could result in a suspended license, increased insurance rates and problems at work, among other things.

Each traffic ticket you ignore, whether received here in Amherst or somewhere else in New York, will add an average of three to five points to your license. If you receive enough points within around 18 months, you lose your license for a predetermined amount of time, or it could be revoked. This could make it difficult for you to get to work, run errands and engage in activities with family and friends. If you drive for a living, you could lose your job. Your insurance company could consider you a “high risk” driver as well and increase your rates.

As you can see, you may want to take every traffic ticket more seriously. You have the right to challenge the ticket, which could result in a dismissal or at least a reduction in the fines you must pay and the points on your license. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to continue driving for work if that is part of your job duties. Before you simply pay the fine and put it out of your mind, it might be worthwhile to find out what other options you could have.

Traffic tickets may seem like more of a nuisance than anything else, but as indicated above, they could have detrimental effects on your life. For this reason, you could take the time to figure out whether you have another avenue available. If you already know that you have points on your license from previous infractions that you paid instead of fighting, taking action now could keep you from losing your ability to drive for some time.