What Are Common Types of Traffic Violations That Your Firm Handles?
In Washington State, the most common traffic infractions given to drivers are speeding tickets. Next are accident tickets such as following too closely, driving too fast for conditions, improper lane usage, and failure to yield. In addition, there is new emphasis throughout the state on issuing cellphone tickets.
In 2018, 738,746 traffic infractions were issued to drivers in Washington State, a slight increase from the previous year when 710,067 tickets were issued. Most were speeding infractions and tickets related to freeway accidents.
What Is the Current Law on Cellphone Usage While Driving in Washington State?
It now is illegal for drivers to hold their cellphones while driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light.
Until 2017, two related laws were on the books. One stated that drivers couldn’t hold their cellphones to their ears; the other said drivers couldn’t write, read or send text messages.
Citing concerns with distracted driving and traffic safety, the Washington State Legislature enacted the current law, making it a traffic violation for drivers of motor vehicles to hold a cellphone in their hand. An exception exists for reporting an emergency. A first offense in Washington is $136, and a second or subsequent offense now costs $234.
Another significant change with the new law: cellphone violations now are considered moving violations, so they’re reported to insurance companies. Therefore, it’s imperative to fight these tickets to keep one’s insurance rates affordable.
What Are Camera Tickets? How Can Someone Defend Against Camera Tickets?
Camera tickets are not reported to the Washington Department of Licensing, so they don’t appear in driving abstracts or affect insurance rates.
But they can be costly.
Cameras generally are mounted at intersections. If a motorist doesn’t come to a complete stop, or runs a red light, the result is a $125 fine. Other cameras, usually placed in school zones, monitor speed. School-zone ticket fines typically are doubled. In addition, school buses now are equipped with cameras. If a school bus extends its “stop” sign and a motorist passes the bus anyway, a $411 ticket may be issued.
In most circumstances, it doesn’t make sense to hire a traffic ticket attorney for these tickets, because they don’t affect insurance rates and an attorney likely will charge more than the ticket cost.
The current law on camera tickets says the registered owner of the vehicle is presumed guilty unless
“the registered owner states, under oath, in a written statement or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner.”
So, if the ticketed owner was not the driver of the vehicle, these tickets can be successfully challenged by submitting an affidavit of non-driving.
For more information on Common Traffic Violations in Washington, a case evaluation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (253) 201-2001 today.
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