When Amherst residents receive a New York driver’s license, they may quickly review the points system for the state. Failing to closely scrutinize these rules could end up being a mistake. Drivers who receive traffic tickets for what they consider minor infractions could end up receiving word that their licenses are suspended, and they may not know why.

Here in New York, it only takes 11 points on a license within 18 months for a license to be suspended. Every traffic ticket is assigned a certain amount of points, and they can add up quicker than a driver realizes. For instance, speeding, which is a common traffic law violation, could result in anywhere from three to 11 points assessed on an individual’s license depending on the number of miles over the speed limit he or she was driving at the time a police officer issued the ticket. Driving just one to 10 miles over equals three points, and it only goes up from there. In some instances, a driver could accumulate 11 points in one incident, which would mean an immediate suspension of driving privileges.

For example, tailgating (four points), failing to stop for a school bus (five points) and changing lanes unsafely (three points) within 18 months puts the point total at 12, which means a license suspension. If an Amherst resident ignores these tickets by simply paying them and forgetting about them, they could be in for a rude awakening when the letter outlining the suspension comes in the mail. For this reason, drivers ought to consider fighting these infractions. Due to New York’s close proximity to Canada, traffic tickets issued in that country could also count against the license of a driver here in this state.

Perhaps it is clearer now why people decide to take steps to keep these points off their licenses. It may seem like an inconvenience to do so, but a license suspension would be much more inconvenient. Taking action in the short-term to keep points from traffic tickets off their licenses could help eliminate the possibility of not be able to drive for months or longer.