Texas Point SystemJanuary 22, 2011 | in Helping You Drive Safely
Oops, there is a “Public Safety Officer” or “Texas State Trooper” with flashing lights behind you. Here’s what to do:
- Slow down immediately, put on your blinker, and pull over as soon as it is safe.
- Breathe deeply and calm down from the initial adrenalin surge of realizing you’re being pulled over.
- Stay in your car unless instructed otherwise.
- Follow all instructions exactly.
- Move slowly and keep your hands visible. Quick moves can be misinterpreted as a threat.
- Be absurdly polite. If you sound almost normal, you are not being polite enough.
- Sign the ticket. This is not an admission of guilt, just an acknowledgment that you received the ticket (like signing for a package). And besides, if you don’t sign, the officer has to arrest you.
Once you have the ticket, you have 10 days to decide how to respond to it. The responsibility for telling the court what you are going to do is yours―you must contact them. (They’ve already contacted you, in a way, by issuing the ticket). Usually instructions are on the back of your ticket.
You may request for the option of ticket dismissal by taking Texas’ first state approved online driver safety course, DefensiveDriving.com.
You should opt to dismiss traffic tickets so they do not go on your driver record and you keep your point at a minimum.
The basic point system in Texas is simple:
- Any moving violation: 2 points
- Any moving violation resulting in an accident: 3 points
If you accumulate six points on your license, be prepared to pay a violation surcharge (see below).