Moving violation

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A car driving past a stop sign without stopping, a common form of moving violation USMC-03597.jpg
A car driving past a stop sign without stopping, a common form of moving violation

A moving violation is any violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term "moving" distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, [1] such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving vehicle insurance, registration, and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations. The United States Department of State makes reference to moving violations in its enforcement guidance. [2]



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A van operating as an unlicensed bus crossing a solid yellow line. Such a violation would be considered relatively minor.
A car traveling on opposite lanes, facing opposing traffic. Such a violation would be considered major.

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle's owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Moving violations are usually classified as infractions or misdemeanors, but serious violations such as hit and run, driving under the influence, and road rage can be considered felonies.


Moving violation convictions typically result in fines and demerit points assessed to the license of the driver. As a driver accumulates points, they may be required to attend defensive driving lessons, re-take their driving test, pay additional taxes, or even surrender their license. Additionally, moving violations often increase insurance premiums. [3] Drivers with more points on their driving record often must pay more for car insurance than drivers with fewer.

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising. For example, a local government that is suffering a budget shortfall may ticket more aggressively within its jurisdiction to increase revenue. [4] [5] [6]

In the United States, citation fines can vary widely between jurisdictions for the same behavior, usually between $25 and $1,000. In countries such as Finland however, they are specific proportions of the violator's income, and fines in excess of $100,000 can be assessed to wealthy individuals. In Canada, each province is individual in how they treat similar behavior and each violation usually includes a set fine and demerit points against the driver's license. For example, a speeding ticket in Ontario of 50+ km over is 6 demerit points against the driver's license with the approximate fine calculated as (km over x 9.75) x 1.25, as well it carries a one-week automatic license suspension and car impoundment. In Manitoba speeding in excess of 49 km is 10 demerit points and a fine of 672 dollars and a Serious Offence Licence Suspension.

Examples of moving violations

A hatchback carrying an excessive amount of cargo, secured to the vehicle using duct tape Duct-tape Moving Van from behind.jpg
A hatchback carrying an excessive amount of cargo, secured to the vehicle using duct tape

More serious moving violations include:

Moving violations and driving records

Exactly how long moving violations stay on a driving record depends on jurisdictional laws; for example, in New York, minor moving violations can stay on a driving record abstract for a maximum of four years. [7] Whereas minor moving violations tend to stay on a person's abstract for only a few years, some serious moving violations are classified as criminal offenses that result in a criminal record that may be maintained for life.

See also

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  1. Conlon, Joe (Winter 2015). "A Missouri Citizen's Guide to Red Light Camera". Missouri Law Review. 80 (1): 5.
  2. "OFM Enforcement of Moving Violations". United States Department of State . Office of Foreign Missions . Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  3. Palumbo, Aimee; Pfeiffer, Melissa; Metzger, Kristina; Curry, Allison (December 2019). "Driver licensing, motor-vehicle crashes, and moving violations among older adults". Journal of Safety Research. 71: 87–93. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2019.09.019. PMC   8928098 . PMID   31862048. S2CID   209433677.
  4. "Dallas' sheriff hopes patrol merger is the ticket to more revenue | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News". Archived from the original on 2009-03-25.
  5. "Sheriff cuts jail freebies like pickles and ketchup | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27.
  6. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. McNight, A. James (1988). "Special Report 218: Transportation in an Aging Society" (PDF). Transportation Research Board. National Research Council. p. 114. Retrieved 1 October 2021.