Know About the Texas Point Based System:
A system, that every driver MUST know.
- 2 points on the ticket, for every ‘moving’ traffic violation.
- 3 points on the ticket, for every violation resulting in an accident.
- A surcharge of $100, if 6 points or more are accumulated on the record, during the first 3 years of driving.
- An additional surcharge of $25 for every point after the first 6.
- 4 moving violations in the first 12 months of driving gets the license suspended.
- 7 moving violations in the first 24 months of driving gets the license suspended.
Is that everything?? The 6 points covering all that the ‘Department Of Public Safety’ (DPS) has to furnish.
NO. There is much more to this. The consequences, the assessment of surcharges, the court fees, the insurance premiums, everything that can be a driver’s worst nightmare. Let us understand the most important basics, that is expected to be known by every driver.
What Is A Moving Violation??
Any violation of the traffic law, that happened while the vehicle was moving. For example, speeding, reckless driving, child set-restraint violation etc. The moving speed in these cases must be greater than 10% of the posted speed, to register the case as that of moving violation. Seat belt convictions do not accumulate any points.
These convictions accumulating points remain on the traffic record for a continuous period of 3 years. There is no way to substitute the cancellation, revocation or suspension of the licenses, that may have resulted due to the moving convictions.
Let us understand this through an example:
Suppose, a license has 8 points accumulated on the driver’s record, in the first year of driving, due to 3 moving violations. It is liable to:
- Every moving violation has its own fine, that is to be paid within a stipulated time. This is irrespective of the surcharge, that starts ticking after the points reach 6.
- $100 surcharge for the first 6 points, and $50 surcharge for the next 2 points. That means, a total of $150 surcharge to be payable to DPS.
- The same amount to be payable to DPS the next year, assuming that there is no additional point. If there is, the extra surcharge is calculated accordingly.
- The increased insurance premiums for sure.
So, taking into consideration all the factors, the amount shed after the first year due to 3 moving violations (8 points) resulted in:
3 times fine + $150 surcharge + Additional Insurance Premium — For the next 3 years !!
And the drivers really know how easily the flick of an action turns into a moving violation.
Convictions Exempted From Points:
But not from the surcharges. There are a few, that may take away all the cash that you may have accumulated for an emergency. Have a glimpse:
- Driving With An Invalid License- $250 per year
- Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibilities- $250 per year
- Driving Without A License- $100 per year
- Driving Under Influence(DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI):
- For the first time- $1000 per year
- For the second offense- $1500 per year cumulative(Pay $1000+$1500 = $2500 per year)
- For the blood alcohol concentration(BAC) > 0.16 units- $2000 per year
So, considering the worst case of a conviction with BAC > 0.16 units, that leads to a total of $6000 to be paid to DPS in 3 years !! The other expenses like the insurance premium and the court expenses etc. are extra.
This can go maddening to any heights.
Where Does The Collected Amount Go??
It is very uniformly utilized for the various causes:
- 50% of the total surcharge amount goes to the Trauma Centers and the county’s emergency medical services.
- 49% of the total surcharge amount goes to the Texas Mobility Fund. It is then used by the Department of Transportation for their highway and Interstate projects.
- 1% of the remaining amount goes to the TEA, where it is used towards the ‘Defensive Driving Program’.
Defensive Driving Course:
This helps a driver have a clean record, and get no points for a new moving violation if any occurs. The old points still stay on the record, but the new ones can be well escaped, if one opts for the course. There can be no better way to not cross the 6-points mark. This course is the Government’s initiative to bring awareness, and is in people’s financial interests, saving the surmounted surcharges, that continue for the 3-years span. Other than this, there is an insurance discount, if the course is completed, and is widely recommended for every driver, experienced or new.