Motorcycles are still motor vehicles, like any other car. So, if you want to ride it on a public road, you have to follow the rules as much, if not more than, anyone else. If you don’t, the police might stop you, or worse, you might cause a wreck. In either case, the offense might have to go on your driving record. When they do, that could lead to numerous penalties, which might prove extremely costly in the wrong situations. Let’s take a look at just a few of the penalties that might arise from a bad driving record.
Georgia will charge a variety of penalties if a driving offense is your fault. These might vary, but they could prove equally challenging to face.
Penalty 1: Tickets & Fines
Getting a traffic ticket usually means you have to pay a fine. The amount you have to pay will vary based on numerous factors, like the severity of an offense. Fines often increase if you commit numerous offenses in a certain time frame. The offense will also appear on your driving record.
You can contest or appeal the ticket, or you can simply pay the fine outright. If you pay outright, you accept guilt for the offense. Contesting the ticket is your appeal. However, if you are found guilty, then you will still pay the ticket cost.
Penalty 2: License Points
After being found guilty of a traffic offense, state law dictates that a certain number of license points be added to your driver’s license. An offense might add from 1 – 6 points to the license, and more severe offenses, like passing a stopped school bus, usually merit the addition of more points. These points will stay on your license and record for a number of years, though you can eventually request their removal.
Penalty 3: Suspensions
Habitual offenses might lead to a driver’s license suspension. Accumulating more than 15 points in a 24-month period will also trigger a suspension. During this time, your license is not valid, and you are not allowed to drive.
Operating your motorcycle during a license suspension is a further violation of the law. However, in certain cases, you will receive a license restriction. Rather than a full suspension, a restriction limits where and when you can use your bike. Eventually, you can receive your full driving privileges back.
Penalty 4: SR-22s
Some severe traffic violations, like DUIs, will trigger an SR-22 penalty. The SR-22 is a form that you request from your motorcycle insurance company. It verifies that you carry adequate motorcycle insurance. The SR-22 form links your insurance policy and your driving record, and if your policy ever expires, then you could lose your driving privileges.
Penalty 5: Higher Insurance Rates
One of the most apparent ways that a driving violation will affect you is by triggering an increase in your motorcycle insurance costs. Your insurer will more than likely use your driving record to help evaluate your risks to them. Bikers with more risks will therefore usually pay more for their policies. Sometimes, if you have very severe driving risks, then your insurer might even refuse to cover you any longer. You then might have to look for a different motorcycle policy.
So, what can you do about keeping a clean driving record?
It sounds simple, but to avoid penalties on your driving record, you should focus on the rules of the road. There are things like speed limits, stop lights and light rules that you have to obey. As a motorcyclist, you might even have additional requirements—like the requirement to wear a helmet—that other drivers might not face.
The more you can avoid driving penalties, the better your record will look to potential insurers. That might equal a lot of money saved in the long run.