Moving and non-moving violations

Moving and non-moving violations

Can you guess what is the difference between a moving violation and a non-moving violation? Let’s find out!

Every year, millions of traffic tickets are issued across the United States. 

A fine (or a traffic ticket) is a penalty of money issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist who has violated state or local traffic laws. 

The average fine in the USA costs around $150, but in some states, a driver can be fined up to $2000. Due to the exorbitant fees charged by each state, the traffic ticket system is an industry that generates billions of dollars each year.


But what are the types of traffic tickets in the US?

Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit or running a red light, and a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation or a vehicle modification infraction.

But let’s look at them more in detail.

Moving violations 

A moving violation is a type of traffic infraction that occurs whenever a vehicle in motion violates a traffic law.

The most common moving violations include:

  • driving over the posted speed limit
  • failing to stop completely at a stop sign or a red light,
  • not stopping for a school bus or a pedestrian
  • making an illegal turn
  • failing to yield the right of way
  • failing to wear a seat belt
  • hitting a parked or moving vehicle.

Depending on the seriousness and frequency of the moving violation, a driver may have his/her license suspended or permanently revoked. Some violations such as driving under the influence (DUI), reckless or dangerous driving, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it and vehicular homicide are classified as felonies / criminal offenses. In these cases, offenders are subject to criminal prosecution.

Non-moving violations

A non-moving violation is a traffic infraction that violates the law but is not necessarily tied to the manner in which the motor vehicle is driven.

These include:

  • paperwork violations which involve expired car insurance, registration, and inspection,
  • parking violations, such as illegal parking in a no-parking zone, 
  • equipment violations which involve vehicle maintenance and vehicle modifications such as excessive muffler noise,  non-working headlights or tail lights, missing license plate, etc.

Unlike moving violations, a parking ticket is issued against the vehicle and not the driver and it is fined at a much lower rate than a moving violation. Also, your vehicle can be towed and then impounded if you don’t pay your parking ticket.

The most common non-moving violations include:

  • parking too close to a fire hydrant,
  • parking in a no-parking zone.
  • parking in front of an expired meter,
  • parking in a handicapped space without DMV authorized disabled plate or placard.
  • expired car registration or inspection.

Some curious facts about speeding tickets in the USA 

Let’s have a look at some curious facts about speeding tickets in the United States

  • one in every six drivers receive a speeding ticket each year,
  • the age group who receives the most speeding tickets is those who are between 17 and 24,
  • men get more speeding tickets than women,
  • according to the National Motorists Association, the top ten states that issue the most speeding tickets are: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in that order.

In any case,  most fines are issued due to parking violations.

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