How Much Does an Unsafe Lane Change Ticket Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

An unsafe lane change is a term used to describe a vehicle not changing lanes safely.  Most state laws require drivers to change lanes in a manner that would not threaten the safety of other motorists.

In the event you caused an abrupt break for other motorists because of a sudden lane change, changed lanes that has two or more lanes for traffic in the same direction, or changed lanes without the regard for “reasonable safety,” you may be issued a ticket that will result in a fine and points on your license.

Changing lanes by myahya, on Flickr
Changing lanes” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by myahya

How much does an unsafe lane change ticket cost?

The cost of an unsafe lane change ticket will depend on the state you received the ticket.  From our research, the ticket can cost anywhere from $150 to more than $300 on average.

In California, for example, this type of ticket will cost about $130 to $280.  In Texas, for example, an unsafe lane change charge is $160, according to the official state’s website.

In Surprise, Arizona, according to the website, an unsafe lane change violation is $240.

On a forum thread on, a forum member stated he had to pay around $280 for his unsafe lane change ticket.

According to, a ticket for an unsafe lane change can cost anywhere from $167 to $200.

Unsafe lane change ticket overview

An unsafe lane change while driving is considered to be an aggressive driving maneuver in some states.  Other states regard it as a serious moving violation.  According to, you can be pulled over, issued a ticket and be charged with a fee with an unsafe change lane if the driver does the following:  The road had two or more lanes for traffic in the same direction, the lane boundaries were clearly marked and/or you either failed to drive “as nearly as practicable” within the lane or changed lanes without regard for “reasonable safety.”

As most states have its own policy, these violations, if found guilty, will go on your record, and in some states, you may incur points for a certain period of time, which will usually be no more than three.  Refer to this chart to see the average fine, points you may incur, if you need traffic school and the license suspension rate.

What are the extra costs?

Like most traffic violations, once you are issued an unsafe change lane ticket, you have the right to fight against it, especially if you think that you have been unfairly accused of an offense you did not do or are worried that it will add points to your driving record.  You can seek help from an attorney to prove yourself in the court.  As a matter of fact, a significant number of people have won the court over this time of issue; however, fighting over it can be time-consuming and costly.

An unsafe lane change violation can quickly become a reckless driving charge, depending on the circumstances involved.  As your charges multiply, the penalties can increase.

If your ticket results in points being added to your license, then your insurance company could raise the rates of your monthly premiums.

Tips to know:

An unsafe change lane can result in other traffic violations, which can add points to your driving record.  Depending on the state law, you may be required to attend a state-approved defensive driving online course to dismiss the citations added to the record.

With most unsafe lane change charges, drivers without a record may see up to three points added to their record; however, a driver can have up to three points removed from their driver’s record if they have had no tickets for 12 consecutive months. All states will vary in its policies.  To avoid confusion, consider talking with your local courts or an attorney to see what charges you may be facing.

Even if you know you are guilty of making an unsafe lane change, going to court is still a good idea.  If you go and admit fault, but you ask to have the points taken away, you may succeed.  While you will still have to pay for the ticket, you will save yourself from having to deal with higher insurance payments.

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Average Reported Cost: $35

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

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  1. Misty (Cisco ,  Utah) paid $35 and said:

    Improper lane change not using my blinker

    Was it worth it? Yes

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