DES MOINES, Iowa, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many Americans plan to celebrate spring break with a good, old-fashioned road trip. Whether you're traveling across the country or across state lines, don't let the good times take a bad turn by getting a traffic ticket. Here are three rules to follow as you get ready for your spring break road adventure:
- Know the laws of the state you're visiting. Each state has its own rules and penalties for driving issues, especially when it comes to texting or using a cell phone. Avoid surprises by checking out state specific laws regarding distracted driving. Visit: www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/state-laws.html.
- Make sure your license, registration and insurance are up-to-date. If you get into a fender bender, the last thing you want to find out is that you aren't traveling with proof of insurance – or that it expired right before you left. Make sure your insurance, registration, license plates and inspection stickers are current before you go.
- Be polite and courteous to the officer if you are stopped. If you are pulled over, remain calm, listen to what the officer asks, do not give more than a direct response and be cooperative. The officer may be willing to let you go with a warning if you're polite and your record is clean. If you're difficult, the officer could add additional charges. In some cases, the officer will indicate on the citation whether you were polite or rude.
"If you do get a ticket, you have a few options," says Ann Cosimano, General Counsel for ARAG®, the top performing legal insurance designed around a credentialed attorney network."Generally, if you do not want to contest the ticket, you'll simply pay the traffic ticket by following the instructions which are usually located on the ticket itself or by contacting the clerk of court." Most offenses don't require a court appearance, although some offenses may require an appearance such as driving with a revoked license or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If you don't appear for your court date, don't pay the ticket, or don't hire an attorney to handle the ticket for you, your license may be suspended.
"If you want to contest the ticket," says Cosimano, "you still have options. One is to hire an attorney who can attempt to negotiate for a lesser offense. The other is to attend traffic court yourself and try to negotiate a lower plea or have the charge dismissed." The court may require you to return at a later date to either produce documents and/or complete a driver's education course in order to dismiss or reduce your charges.
Another good resource when traveling can be a legal plan that provides access to a nationwide network of attorneys and legal resources. These types of plans, which are offered by providers like ARAG, are usually offered through employers or organizations, although some options are available to individuals. To find out more about how legal plans work, visit www.ARAGgroup.com.
ARAG® (www.ARAGgroup.com) is a leader in legal insurance. It provides people with affordable and reliable legal counsel for everyday life matters.
ARAG is the world's largest privately owned legal insurance enterprise. The company has an international premium base of nearly $2 billion and protects 15.5 million individuals and their families – worldwide. We give you the freedom and control to embrace life's opportunities.
ARAG's North American headquarters are based in Des Moines, Iowa. We've earned the prestigious Center of Excellence Award for six consecutive years (2007-2012) and have been awarded a Top 100 and Top 20 Call Center (2010-2011). ARAG team members voted ARAG a Best Places to Work in Insurance (2009-2013).
For more news and information about ARAG visit ARAGgroup.com.