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Why driving past a red light is a bad idea

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Traffic Offenses Blog Post, Trucking And Transportation |

Traffic lights not only help control traffic flow in intersections, but they also help prevent collisions.

But while an important fixture on busy streets and highways, there are times when traffic lights continue to operate even when traffic flow isn’t too heavy. As a trucker, you may be tempted to drive through an intersection at a red light if there’s no other car waiting. You’re carrying cargo and have a deadline to beat, so what’s wrong if you drive past a red light on an empty street?

However, you could face sanctions and penalties for driving past a red light, even when no other cars are around an intersection.

What happens when you drive past a red light?

If you drive past a red light, a law enforcement officer that has observed the violation can detain or arrest you. Once the officer pulls you over, you could be cited for a traffic infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $350.

After receiving a ticket for your violation, you’ll have to decide whether to plead guilty or not to the infraction. If you plead guilty, you’ll have to pay the fine and the violation goes to your driving record. Failing to obey traffic lights is a conviction on record for three years.

In addition, a court will report the infraction to Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which assigns you four demerit points that last two years on record. These points can add up over multiple violations, and enough points could lead to a license suspension.

Challenging a traffic ticket

You can choose to plead not guilty to the infraction. Your case then goes to court, and you must explain why you’re not guilty before a judge. This is easier said than done; there’s no jury to appeal to, and you’ll have to face the penalties if you lose your case.

If you want to avoid having a traffic infraction on your driving record and paying a fine, consider the help of a legal professional. An attorney can drastically improve your chances in court, and the professional will protect your rights during the entire procedure.