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article imageEverything you need to know about getting out of ticket trouble

June is a bad month for drivers being slapped with tickets. In fact, more people drive home with a ticket in June than any other month. So knowing what to do after you get a ticket is important, as drivers could face demerit points and hiked insurance rates.
June is known as a high-ticket month due to people venturing on highways to visit their cottages or embarking on road trips. Also, June is when many rookie police officers are given their first assignments, and traffic duty is often a new officer’s first responsibility.
Like any good soldier entering a fight, drivers battling their tickets in court need ammunition. “Get evidence,” advises Tammy Ezer, director of marketing for InsuranceHotline.com, a free online insurance rate comparison service. Ezer recommends taking photos of, say, that tree branch covering the stop-sign you didn’t see. Prove the ticket wasn’t your fault and you could win in court and avoid getting stung by points being added to your record.
And keep in mind, securing a court date can take as long as a year. Ezer says switching insurance companies won’t delay the inevitable; that company will still see that ticket on record.
She adds insurance companies often don’t check every person they’re insuring every year, so a ticketed driver can slip through the cracks with just one infraction. Loyalty counts here, Ezer says. Your long-time insurance company is less likely to comb through your activity. “But by going to a new insurance company, you’ll have to face some due diligence and that company will be sure to check your driving record.”
If you end up in court, Ezer says you can plead it down to decrease your fine or take points off. Predicting what can happen with rates and points can be dicey, she notes, especially when it comes to speeding tickets. With infractions where the driver is speeding over the posted limit, insurance rates may not be affected but demerit points can still be added to driving records.
Ticketed drivers can work with their broker to discuss the best route to take, since “brokers work for you, not the insurance company,” Ezer says. She also recommends doing an insurance-rate comparison online when your driving record is bruised by a conviction in order to find a firm that can give you a better rate.
As obvious as this may seem, it’s never a good idea to ignore a traffic ticket. Your license could be suspended. By following Ezer’s advice, you could position yourself favourably so you won’t be stung too badly by steep fines or increased insurance rates.
More about Car insurance, Insurance Hotline, Tickets, Fines
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