It’s always best to avoid giving an officer a reason to pull you over. Such common driving behaviors as speeding, aggressive or erratic driving, or violating posted traffic laws are minor violations that will get law enforcement’s attention. However, several defective vehicle violations involve minor mechanical issues. These are simple enough to fix but can lead to unnecessary headaches.
The fines for operating an unsafe vehicle range from $15.00 to $100.00, plus court costs and surcharges. A driver is assessed 2 points to your driver’s license, which may be enough to cause a suspension or raise insurance rates.
Here are some instances of defective vehicle violations:
- Non-working headlight: It is easy to spot a vehicle with one working headlight.
- Broken taillight: Not as easy to spot as a headlight, but an officer can still use it as probable cause for the stop.
- Non-functioning brake light: This is hard for drivers to identify but easy for others to see.
- Expired tags: Driving with expired tags is not easy to see, particularly on a moving vehicle, but officers can quickly run the plate number and know that it’s expired.
- Turn signals: Drivers can often notice if a signal is working by using it at night or dark garage.
- Cracked windshields: This is harder to identify after dark but easy enough for others to see during the day.
- Broken side mirrors: Ones hanging by wires are a road hazard if they fall off.
These can lead to bigger problems
Hopefully, these stops only involve a warning, but law enforcement may eventually send a ticket if the driver fails to confirm that they fixed the violation. Drivers can also show up in traffic court with proof that they fixed the infraction – this often leads to dismissing the case. It’s also worth noting that these relatively innocuous violations are a probable cause that can lead to more serious charges like DUI or possession charges.