A Brief Introduction to Massachusetts Traffic Fines
Massachusetts traffic fines work on a graduated system, which means that they increase and increase according to what the court system considers their severity. This means that Massachusetts traffic fines can be incredibly heavy and damaging for those inflicted with them, as well as incredibly confusing. Thankfully, a little explanation can make the Massachusetts traffic fine system much easier to understand.
A Sampling of Massachusetts Traffic Fines
This is just a sampling of the Massachusetts traffic fines that a person may have to deal with. For a more complete listing, find the complete schedule of Massachusetts traffic fines, available on the website of the Massachusetts state court system, here: https://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/districtcourt/cmviassess.pdf.
• Regular Speeding: $50 base fee, plus mandatory $50 donation a head injury fund, plus an additional $10 for every m.p.h. driven in excess of 10 m.p.h. over the speeding limit. That means that someone driving 60 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone would pay $200 in Massachusetts traffic fines.
• Speeding in a Construction Zone: $100 base fee, plus mandatory $50 donation a head injury fund, plus an additional $20 for every m.p.h. driven in excess of 10 m.p.h. over the speeding limit. That means that someone driving 60 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. construction zone would pay $350 in Massachusetts traffic fines.
• Improper Turning: First offense $35; second offense $75; third offense: $150.
• Failure to Stop for a School Bus: First offense $250; second offense $1000; third offense: $2000.
• Failure to Stop at a Red Light Traffic Signal: First offense $100; subsequent offenses: $150.
• Ignoring a Stop Sign: First offense $100; subsequent offenses: $150.
• Crosswalk violation: $150.
• Safety Glasses Violation: First offense $35; second offense $75; third offense: $150.
Massachusetts Disciplinary Point System
In addition to Massachusetts traffic fines, drivers have to worry about the disciplinary point system. This was designed as a collaboration between insurance companies and the state government to insure that at-risk drivers pay more for their insurance than drivers who have never committed a moving violation. The way this works is that when a driver is assigned a Massachusetts traffic fine, they are also assigned a number of points that go along with the fine. The more points you’ve accumulated on your license, the more your insurance will cost.
Thankfully, an individual’s first non-criminal traffic violation does not have points assigned to it. Afterwards, insurance costs will greatly increase as points are gained. The schedule for points is:
• Major traffic violation (such as DUI): 5 Points
• Major at-fault accident (such as a claim over $2,000): 4 Points
• Minor at-fault accident (claim of $500 to $2,000): 3 Points
• Minor traffic violation (such as speeding): 2 Points
Thankfully, points do eventually disappear from your record, thus lowering your insurance premiums, but only very slowly. After three years of a clean record, your license points are only erased at a rate of one point per safe year.