There are various scenarios where motorists may be cited traffic tickets while behind the wheel. While each state has specific driving laws, this article will focus on the state of California. The three categories of tickets that you can expect to get in California if you violate traffic laws are parking tickets, infraction traffic tickets, and misdemeanor traffic tickets. There are instances when motorists commit these violations while driving a motor vehicle, but there are also violations that can be committed even if you are outside of the vehicle, the vehicle is stationary and you are not on the road. Read on to know what these are.
Here are some scenarios you can receive a traffic ticket when not behind the wheel.
Parking tickets do not involve jail time or extensive fines, but you will be required to pay the cost of the ticket to the agency handing parking violations in the area where the violation occurred. In California, you can be cited a parking ticket if you park in prohibited areas such as in front of fire hydrants or driveways, double parking or parking in a handicapped zone. Other instances when you may get a parking ticket when not in your vehicle include parking at a meter without paying, parking too close to an intersection, and parking on the sidewalk.
The cost of a ticket increases the longer it remains unpaid, so it is best to pay your tickets as soon as they are issued. Five or more unpaid tickets make your car eligible to be booted or towed. Non-payment of parking tickets can result in non-renewal of your driver’s license.
Tickets issued for correctible violations are called fix-it tickets and are issued for cars that have broken equipment such as broken head or tail lights. Driver’s license violations and car registration violations, such as not having your driver’s license or registration with you when the police asked for them, also make you liable for a traffic ticket.
Expired tags are one of the most common non-moving violations among motorists. An officer may find out that you have an expired tag if the car is seen parked improperly or in a prohibited area, and the officer did to the cursory search that revealed that your license plates have expired. Expired tags are a correctible violation which means that you can easily correct it by paying the registration fee and getting proof that updated tags are being processed and on their way. In California, you will need to go to the police station to have an officer certify your proof for you. After this, you may be required to appear before the judge. If you have corrected the violation, the judge will likely dismiss the case but you may have to pay a small dismissal fee or pay the required fine.
Another type of correctible violation that exposes you to tickets and fines is when you are driving with no auto insurance. Car insurance is a requirement for every motorist and you can get a ticket if an officer finds out, even if your car was not on the road at the time. For example, you may have figured in a minor mishap while your car was stationary and the responding officer finds out that your insurance has lapsed. He or she is bound by California law to issue a ticket for this violation. The same is true even if you do have current insurance for your car but you failed to provide proof of insurance when the officer asked for it. You may face stiffer penalties if this violation was caught at the scene of an accident that you were involved in.
Failure to Release Liability
In some cases, car owners who sold their cars find out that they are receiving tickets for violations incurred by cars that were sold to someone else. This could be because the car is still registered under their name. If you sell an old car, it is important to update DMV records with the name and address of the new owner. This is done by filing a Release of Liability with the DMV and Declaration of Non-Ownership to ensure that the DMV gets updated information about the new owner of the car. This is the only way to avoid being held responsible for any traffic violations committed by third parties using a car you no longer own.
California has comprehensive laws that ensure safe roads for motorists and pedestrians. The instances above show that you do not need to be inside a car to be liable for a traffic ticket, so it is important to make sure that your car is in good shape and your paperwork is current before you hit the road.