If you’re a job-seeking individual looking to secure the career of your dreams, then you know that you should prepare your resume to accurately reflect your talents and education. You’ve checked and reviewed your resume so many times that you could practically recite it by heart. You have amazing interview skills. And you’re confident that you’d pass an employee’s background check with flying colors.
But if you’re not reviewing your driving records, you’re not only putting your resume at risk – you’re undermining your chances of even getting hired for a job.
Job seekers understand that information contained in criminal records can ruin the chances of securing gainful employment. However, many job seekers are unaware that employers also check driving records as part of an extensive background check. This is done to determine a person’s overall character, including their ability to handle responsibility and deadlines, as well as follow legal requirements. This means that something as simple as an unpaid speeding fine can wreak havoc on your chances of landing that dream job.
It’s a move that makes sense: with the job market oversaturated with qualified prospective employees, companies are looking for more information to paint a better picture of why one individual should be preferred to another. This means that driving records that reveal speeding infractions, unpaid parking tickets, and DUI offenses can help an employer dismiss a potential hire. When this information shows up on a DMV report, the employer can safely assume that the prospective employee is unable to handle responsibility and legal requirements in a safe manner. What’s more, if your driving records reveal that you don’t pay your tickets and fines, this tells employers that you’re irresponsible with money.
They may be invalid assumptions, but it a job market that heavily favors employers, it’s an assumption that employers can afford to make.
This is why it’s critical for job-seeking individuals to use services like 4SafeDrivers.com, as it allows them to gain access to the same driving records that employers are looking at. This makes it possible for you to review your driving record to see if any information is misrepresented. For example, if your MVR report shows that you have an unpaid parking ticket that you’ve actually paid, you can contact the DMV to have this immediately removed.
When it comes to landing your dream career, don’t take any chances – review your driving records with 4SafeDrivers.com today.
The legality of flashing your lights to warn other drivers of upcoming speed traps is a hotly contested topic.
It’s a common sight on the road. You’re driving along when you notice an oncoming car flashing their lights at you as they pass. You know that this means that there are police up ahead and you react by slowing down to avoid a speeding ticket. Is this legal? Based on recent court rulings, it appears that this type of communication is allowed.
A man in Florida who was recently ticketed for this behaviour decided to sue the County Sheriff’s Office for violating his civil rights. The judge ruled that the driver was exercising his right to free speech when he flashed his lights to warn another driver of an upcoming speed trap. The judge further stated that this type of communication is protected by the First Amendment and the driver was therefore acting legally. The man won his case and the County police are now being told that they should not issue tickets to drivers for flashing their lights in this manner.
It’s an interesting question. Regarding this case, Judge Alan Dickey stated, “If the goal of the traffic law is to promote safety and not to raise revenue, then why wouldn’t we want everyone who sees a law enforcement officer with a radar gun in his hand, blinking his lights to slow down all those other cars?”. In other words, Judge Dickey feels that the result of this activity will be to slow drivers down, and that will result in safer driving. Therefore, he feels that the outcome is positive.
However, not everyone agrees with this sentiment. Rich Roberts, a spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, thinks that flashing your headlights interferes with laws that are designed to make driving safe. “Warning oncoming traffic that there are law enforcement officers ahead allows a speeder to slow down until he passes the officers – and then he starts speeding again,” Roberts said.
In the past, drivers in New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee have challenged similar tickets that they have received for warning other motorists by honking their horn or flashing their headlights, and the courts have similarly determined that this activity is protected under the First Amendment.
Currently, it appears that police officers are no longer issuing tickets for flashing headlights to warn other drivers of speed traps, but the future legality of this activity is uncertain.
Driving while distracted is the cause of many serious and often fatal accidents every year. However, this is still a common practice for many drivers which is resulting in more and more cities and states legislating a ban on this activity. There are many types of distractions that can cause danger, such as talking or texting on a cell phone, grooming, watching videos, or adjusting a cd player or radio.
What seems like the worst thing in the world happens. You are driving down the road,
see those flashing lights behind you, and moments later you are handed a citation. This
citation details your requirements for resolving the ticket, which include the option to pay
at the appropriate location or attend a court date that will determine whether you are
guilty or not. Read the rest of this entry »
So many drivers ignore the importance of a seat belt – therefore often ignore the
seatbelt laws that are in effect in every state of the United States. Seat belt laws are
there to keep you safe, and without a great history of fatalities and injuries on roadways
that are related to the failure to put on a seatbelt, these laws would not exist.
Often times, drivers are under the false assumption that officers will not pull them over
just for their seatbelt being off – therefore, as long as they aren’t doing anything else
wrong, they feel they are safe from a ticket. This is a big myth that is completely wrong.
Officers will stop you just for not having your safety belt on, regardless of your speed or
any other factors. You could be driving up to par and with all other laws in regards, but if
you aren’t strapped in, you are committing a crime and will be stopped and ticketed.
A seat belt ticket may seem like no big deal, but the more you receive tickets, the more
money is coming out of your pocket and the more your driver record is affected. Why
even risk a perfect driving record for the failure to wear a seatbelt.
Statistics show that you are at a 20 times higher risk of injury or death just by not
wearing your seat belt when you get in your vehicle. Whether the driver or passenger
in the front or the back, the seatbelt is very important as it gives you the safety that you
need in the event of an accident. Without your seatbelt, there are several scenarios that
can occur, including:
Ejection from the vehicle
Impact with the windshield
Impact with other objects in the vehicle
Unconsciousness which impairs your ability to react
At the same time, you are responsible for those who are in the vehicle with you.
Whether a friend who is an adult or a family member who is a minor, their failure to wear
a seatbelt is reflected on you as you get the ticket and the fine and when it comes to
children, you can get a great deal of fines together. In fact, you can get several different
tickets if you have a minor in the vehicle who is improperly restrained by a safety belt,
as you are the responsible party and put them at a great risk by driving while they are
not in a seat belt.
When teen drivers are seeking their privilege to get on the road, they aren’t really thinking of the many dangers that they are taking on before them. Getting their license is all they think about, and the laws and rules are often the last thing on their minds. However, there are laws that are imposed on teen drivers that are much stricter than those for adults, ensuring that the many factors of teen driving mistakes and irresponsibility are taken into account before they are permitted to drive.
In New Jersey, there is a law mandating that all teen drivers under the age of 18 are only permitted to drive when there is no more than one passenger within the vehicle. Why this law is important is because teen drivers are the greatest risk to the roads, and if they have many passengers, not only is their attention diverted, but they are also putting many more lives at risk.
Sadly, a 17 year old driver, Casey Brenner, with 7 passengers within the vehicle recently crashed an SUV causing the death of the driver as well as 3 other passengers. This sad tragedy has brought much attention to this significant law to prohibit driving under 18 with more than one passenger present in the vehicle.
When first obtaining a license in New Jersey, until the age of 18, a restricted license is obtained, which prohibits more than one passenger in the vehicle during operation. However, disregarding this law, the young driver became another statistic in teen driving, and another lesson as to why the Graduated Driver’s License Law is so important, and even bringing question to any gaps or issues with the law that could be allowing more and more teens to become and help create new fatalities on the roadways.
The Graduated Driver’s License Law is now getting some great attention, making sure that the story of these teens doesn’t continue, although it is becoming a struggle to maintain accordance with this law by new teens anxious to get on the road and transport their pals around.
One lesson, however, that is learned through the incident is that these laws are created for a reason, therefore should be a main consideration before getting a license and behind the wheel. For these teens, there are no second chances, but for other teens in New Jersey, and throughout the U.S. as well, the chance is now to make the right decision and ensure that they too do not become a statistic of the road.
Virginia has recently introduced a hefty speeding ticket fine of $3550 or more based on the amount over the limit that a driver is ticketed for. This creates a great challenge for those motorists in the state that are common to speeding tickets and gives a great reason for drivers to be a lot more careful in watching their speed. This is a law that may seem a bit crude and outrageous, but it is creating safer streets, motivating drivers to slow down and follow the limits that are posted.
These fees are seen in hefty tax increases that are assessed to drivers of VA that are convicted of speeding in the state. This gives concern to these drivers, but the main method of avoiding such horrendous taxing on their yearly taxes is to avoid speeding, always follow the traffic laws, and maintain a quality driving record.
Even driving 15 MPH over the legal limit when driving on an interstate highway can bring 6 points on a license, with fines up to $2,500, with a year in jail possible and $1,050 assessed in taxes. This alone brings speeding over the limit by merely 15 MPH to a cost of $3,550 and a possible jail sentence. For drivers that are driving 20 miles or more over the speed limit, there is a charge of reckless driving, which is for all those motorists driving 80 MPH or more. While 80 may not seem to be a high speed, if you are in a zone that doesn’t permit 80, you are likely going to jail for reckless driving. You will also have to pay $350 for 3 years following with fees that can go well over $3000 in total.
This is a law that is gaining a great deal of attention as drivers are wondering whether it is even constitutional to gain such a great revenue from tickets alone. Why should motorists have to pay nearly $4,000 for going merely 15 MPH, with yearly assessed taxes as well? Well, the reason is to keep speeders off the roadways and keep those drivers that are following the rules safe. It is to encourage those who think they will get away with speeding to not even try as there can be great penalties for doing so – so much that it could affect your lifestyle for years afterwards. With the new fines and penalties imposed, drivers are thinking twice about putting the pedal to the metal.
Imagine: It’s a rather common day and you’re running around town, knocking errands off your to-do list when all of a sudden, you see an array of bright, flashing lights as you stroll through one of the same intersections you drive through every day.
You think to yourself, “I don’t think we were expecting a lightening storm!” and then you realize that you probably set off the flashes at a red light camera. Paranoid, you go online to do some research about how long it takes for them to send you a ticket, and how much it’s going to cost you.
You wait and wait and about a week later, you get a fancy $500 notice in the mail with several pictures of you with the surprised “flash” face as you made your way into the intersection, only milliseconds after it had turned red. How can this be? You were sure you didn’t run that light!
Sound familiar? If you drive in one of the 70+ cities in California that operate red light camera systems, it’s very likely that you have experienced a similar situation, or know someone who has. Red light cameras bring millions of dollars in every year to the cities and camera companies. There are many different conspiracy theories on them, but we’ve got the inside scoop on exactly how they’re run, and how you can avoid the headache of a ticket.
A Brief History
The first red light camera systems began as early as the 1960’s and are said to have been introduced into the United States by the 1980’s. Currently, red light camera systems are run in 25 states across the US. Fines generated by citations differ from state to state, but are as high as $500 in California. Supporters of the systems uphold that the cameras are designed to reduce the number of accidents at selected intersections, but some studies contradict that claim. Opponents argue that the systems are run as a revenue generator and have little to no affect on accident reduction. It’s an on-going debate as to whether red light cameras violate constitutional laws protecting the public.
How They Work
If you haven’t already figured out, red light cameras are designed to capture photos of red light runners. More specifically, they’re installed at specified intersections to capture red light runners turning right without stopping completely (or making illegal right hand turns), turning left on red, or going straight through the intersection on a red. The cameras are placed on the corners of the intersection and are activated by induction loop sensors embedded under the road which create a magnetic field around the entrance to the intersection. When a vehicle enters the magnetic field at a speed in which it detects that you will run the light, it causes the camera systems to activate and begin recording the incident. Pictures are taken of the vehicle entering and leaving the intersection, and of the driver’s face and the vehicle’s license plate.
The photos are gathered by the police department and are then reviewed by an officer. If the officer determines that the driver did apparently commit a violation, they will send the ticket to the owner on the vehicle’s registration and file it with the courthouse to follow up. In California, the police department must issue the ticket within 15 days of the date of violation. The California court system allows defendants to contest the alleged violation in a court trial or trial by written declaration (trial by mail).
Many argue that the officer who issues the ticket and testifies in court to a disputed case is not the proper person to present the photographic evidence, since he or she is not an expert in the camera systems.
The company that owns and operates the cameras contracts with the city to operate a ticket-based red light camera program. In California, cities are bound by a vast multitude of rules and regulations when operating a red light camera program.
For example, when installing a new red light camera at an intersection, the program must follow a 30 day warning period at that intersection before issuing actual citations to violators. The city must also make proper public announcements when installing cameras at new approaches and intersections. The law requires for there to be proper signs placed at each intersection’s approach, even if the intersection has a camera at only one approach, or for the city to have proper signs at each city entrance, indicating the use of red light camera systems within the city.
If the city is not in full compliance with each regulation, their red light camera program might be deemed illegal by the judge, as has been in the case of many cities, such as Napa in 2011 when the judge deemed that the “cost neutrality” clause in the cities’ contract with the camera company was unconstitutional.
How to Avoid Them
Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid a red light camera ticket is to come to a complete stop before the limit line before the light turns red.
It’s very common for drivers who are making a right on red (which is legal in California, unless otherwise noted) to slow down, look, and turn if no one else is coming.
California vehicle code 21453(a) stats that a driver “shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection.” Red light cameras are designed to capture drivers who turn right without completely stopping before the limit line.
A huge percentage of red light tickets that are issued are for this violation, and cost as much as if the driver blew straight through the light.
Opponents use this information to support their claim that red light cameras are simply revenue generators, arguing that making a right on red without stopping completely is not as dangerous as blowing straight through the light. Legislators in the past have tried to pass laws that separate the two incidences into two separate violations, with right on reds being less expensive than runners driving straight through the light. As it stands, the two incidences result in the same fine, and the same violation.
If You Get a Ticket
Although California’s red light camera ticket fines are debatably expensive, the California court system does make it fairly easy to contest a ticket through a trial by written declaration. This option allows drivers to contest their case through the mail, and gives drivers who are found guilty a second option to fight it in court through a trial de novo.
Many people who have received red light camera tickets have decided to contest their ticket, not because they didn’t think they ran the light, but because they simply couldn’t afford the high fines and insurance hikes from the potential point placed on their record.
Many feel that the cameras are unconstitutional and violate their rights as citizens with being recorded on camera. Until the vast majority of lawmakers and government authorities can agree that this is the case, red light camera systems will continue to be a multi-million dollar revenue source for cities.
Sara Schoonover is Vice President of Ticket Kick a California company that helps drivers get red light camera tickets and other traffic tickets dismissed by helping drivers through the trial by written declaration process. The company, which formally launched in 2010 after providing similar services since 2006, is the leading company in this space and growing rapidly.
September 21, 2011
Got a traffic ticket? Thinking about just paying it and taking traffic school? Think again. In July, California Assembly Bill 2499 went into affect, changing the scene in the courtroom of who may be able to attend traffic school to keep their driving record clean. Lets start with the basics, and go into how this new law can affect you as a driver.
What is traffic school?
Traffic school is a government regulated program designed to teach people how to become safer drivers. When you get a traffic ticket, the court might make a deal with you: take a traffic school course and they’ll keep a point off of your record. The point system is a way for the DMV and insurance companies to determine how risky you are on the road. Three points in 3 years on your record could mean suspension of your driver’s license, and insurance hikes of 20% or more, not to mention unhappy letters from the DMV.
What is the new law all about?
Before AB 2499 went into effect, the judges were allowed to grant traffic school to just about anyone at their discretion. The new law prohibits judges to approve traffic school unless the driver meets specific eligibility requirements outlined in the law as follows: Only non commercial drivers who have not previously attended traffic school in the last 18 months may be allowed to attend. Once you take traffic school, you will not be granted it again if you get another ticket within 18 months. Period.
This rule goes for drivers who get more than one ticket in more than one county or courthouse. The California court system now has a more solid way of communicating with each-other on who has or hasn’t attended. You simply cannot fall through the cracks of the court anymore. Fighting it may seem more appealing now.
The term “clean driving record” no longer applies with traffic school
It used to be that when you attended traffic school, you obtained a ticket dismissal on your driving record as if it never existed. Now, a violation will still appear on your record as “confidential,” but not as a point. The only way to actually keep your record clean if you get a ticket is to try to fight it and have it completely dismissed within the court’s records.
A comparison analysis of what a ticket could cost you
Lets look at a few options you have when you get a traffic ticket and what could be the related costs in terms of traffic school:
Plead guilty, pay the fine, accept the point.
California imparts some of the highest fines associated with traffic tickets. The average speeding ticket fines in California can be anywhere from $250-$400. The all-too popular redlight cameratickets cost about $500. Then there’s the insurance rates. One insurance company said that they automatically raise rates 20% if they see two tickets within three years or for a suspension due to any unresolved tickets. That’s hundreds of dollars more per year in insurance hikes. Yikes!
Plead guilty, pay the fine, attend traffic school.
If you choose to request traffic school and are approved, you’d be looking at paying your ticket fine, paying the court’s traffic school fee (generally another $60), and then paying the actual traffic school. You’d be saving money in any future insurance hikes but you’d be looking at initially forking out close to $1,000 depending on your violation, and using up your traffic school option for the next year and a half.
Plead not guilty, fight the ticket
The California court system makes it fairly easy to contest a traffic ticket through a trial by written declaration (trial by mail). If you fight your ticket and win, not only do you save on the ticket fines, but you eliminate the need to attend traffic school therefore saving those related costs. If you fight your ticket and lose, you’re back to square one and can then resort to traffic school.
Some estimates say that over 16 million traffic tickets are given out in California every year. Many people still choose the route of paying their ticket and attending traffic school. For many, it may seem like the easiest way, but now with stricter restrictions on traffic school eligibility, and with the high ticket fines that most people simply cannot afford in today’s economy, many are re-thinking pleading guilty and actually trying to beat traffic tickets.
Sara Schoonover is Vice President of of Ticket Kick, a California company that helps drivers get red light cameratickets and other traffic tickets dismissed by helping drivers through the trial by written declaration process. The company, which formally launched in 2010 after providing similar services since 2006, is the leading company in this space and growing rapidly.
Saving gas is one of the most sought after practices that exist today, but not many people can tell you how to really get the most for the money you spend in gas. A lot of people will blame their vehicles for loss of gas too fast or low MPG’s, but in many cases it is actually the fault of the driver more so than anything else. So, how can you make sure that $20 gets you where you are planning to go efficiently?
Take Your Time
You don’t have to drive like your grandmother who is scared to approach other drivers, but you should be taking a bit of time when driving, as mashing down the gas can suck every drop out of the gas tank before you get halfway there. So many people forget that patience is a virtue, and proceed to rush everywhere they go, often looking at the gas hand wondering why it is going much quicker than it should. However, if you take your time driving and follow a speed that is less gas heavy, you can be sure that you will save a great deal more gas.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Maintaining your vehicle is not only wise, it is necessary to keep your vehicle’s MPG’s higher. If you aren’t changing the oil, checking the other fluids, maintaining proper tire tread and balance, and performing other maintenance tasks, you will find that your vehicle burns through gas much quicker. In most cases, the higher consumption of gas can be attributed to some sort of issue with the vehicle that could have been caught with simple maintenance and prevented from causing great costs to you.
Keep a More Economic Vehicle
Driving those big engine vehicles just doesn’t work with gas anymore and can be a definite way to watch your pockets slim down for gas. Getting an economical vehicle today is a must if you want to save the most gas – even if you just have a small vehicle for big runs and keep the vehicle you really want for fun. It is the practice of today and most drivers are finding out how important it is to give in and get a vehicle that can achieve more MPG’s much easier.
Keeping your eye on the fuel is only natural these days as gas reaches $5 and more in some states. As people are seeking a way to cut down their gas prices, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure the vehicle you do have is burning gas more efficiently, and the vehicle that you are looking for is able to offer the MPG’s that you want. After all, why should you be spending all your hard earned money from work trying to pay for gas to get to work, when you could easily put some of that money aside and still keep the trip you always have? Short of getting on a bike or trusting your feet for the trip, getting ahold of wiser gas saving tips is necessary.