How Much Does a Following Closely Ticket Cost?
Following Too Closely, also known as tailgating, is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. In New York, particularly, it violates section 1129(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law which states that a “vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” According to the law, a driver following another vehicle has a duty to keep a safe distance. As a general rule, this reasonable distance is measured at two car lengths.
How much does it cost?
- On the average, the first offense of a “following too closely” traffic violation will be around $85 to $300 depending on the state you received the ticket, your driving record, and the trial judge.
- New York has one of the highest sets of highest traffic fines in the country. Moreover, for every traffic violation, car insurance rates will increase accordingly.
- According to SpeedingTickethq.com, the 1st offense of ‘Following too closely’ will be around $85 to $265; 2nd Offense: $85-$415 and 3rd Offense could run to $85-$565.
- On the official site of Fairfaxcounty.gov, when a motor vehicle is following another more closely than is reasonable or prudent, it is considered a “Following too closely” violation and is fined $92. $30 is the basic fine and $62 is for the processing fee.
- The City of New Orleans puts in the same category the following violations: following too closely, improper starting/ backing, no registration, red light, stop sign, title transfer and no title, driving against traffic, failure to obey officer’s signal, and failure to yield. Each of these imposes a traffic violation fee of $212.
What is going to be included?
- Any driver convicted of this traffic violation law will have this on his driver’s record. Depending on the states, a points system may be used. A ticket of this type will usually be one or two points on a driving record.
What are the extra costs?
- Aside from the assessed fine, there are processing fees and court surcharges and costs for traffic violations, as permitted by laws of the state.
- Getting multiple traffic violation tickets over a short period will shoot up ticket prices, even if each ticket is given for a different offense.
- In New Orleans, violations that fall under a State Statute cost $20 more. These types of hidden fees may be charged in other states as well.
- If the ticket follows through, your insurance premiums will more than likely go up. The insurance company usually gives discounts to safe drivers; the reason for this is that safe drivers are less likely to get into accidents, and no accidents means no money needed from insurance. Once you receive one or two tickets or have an accident, your insurance company will probably charge more since you are more of a liability.
Tips to know:
- It is best to keep in mind to be at least one car lengths behind the car in front of you, except in select situations when this is not possible.
- There are circumstances wherein the traffic charges can be dismissed if the officer did not file the ticket within 5 business days from when it occurred. If the affidavit is defective and the officer only based it on hearsay, meaning he was not able to witness it for himself, you could have a better chance of getting the ticket waived.
- If there are procedural lapses on the part of the officer and if you have a clean driving record, the court may dismiss the charge without a hearing.
- If you area able, try to get a court hearing rather than just paying the ticket through the mail or over the phone. If you appear before a judge and give an explanation of what happened, many positive things can happen. The officer may not show up at the court hearing, which means the ticket is thrown out completely. If the officer does show up, you can fight the ticket by trying to get out of it completely; if you succeed, the ticket will be thrown out. Lastly, you can simply admit the fault of the ticket and ask for no points to be put on your record. This means that you will have to pay the full amount for the ticket, but your driving record will not show any offenses. This means that your insurance company will not increase your premiums. Even if you go and end up paying and having your driving record marred, you will not lose anything by trying.
How can I save money?
- Try to have your citation dismissed through procedural errors on the part of the prosecuting office, if there are any committed. ExpertLaw.com has a guide on how to successfully fight a ticket like this one.