Like other states, having a driver’s license is considered a privilege by the state of New York. A driver makes certain agreements with the state when getting one, the least of which is following all the rules of the road. Failing to do so could result in traffic tickets, and points are added to a driver’s license for most moving violations.

If a motorist reaches 11 or more points within a certain amount of time, his or her driver’s license could be suspended. For this reason, it is a good idea not to simply pay a traffic ticket. For some violations, it is possible to participate in New York’s Point and Insurance Reduction Program — better known as a motor vehicle accident prevention course or defensive driving course.

Successful completion of one of the state’s approved 320-minute courses could subtract four points from a motorist’s license. This course does not remove any points or tickets from a person’s driving record; rather, it merely allows for the subtraction of those points in order to avoid reaching the number of points for a suspension. It could also help keep insurance premiums from increasing. This could be a viable option for someone who is not facing a mandatory license suspension.

Of course, some traffic tickets could also result in criminal penalties, and participating in the PIRP will not help with that. Amherst residents facing serious repercussions for moving violations may fare better by discussing the situation with an attorney. A thorough evaluation of the circumstances could reveal a course of action to achieve the best possible outcome.