Everyone gets traffic tickets, so there is no need to worry about them, right? Wrong. This optimistic thinking can get you into trouble. Traffic tickets may seem small, but they can easily become major problems if you do not take care of them right away.

Traffic tickets have more impact than you may think. When you brush them off, you set yourself up for larger penalties later on.

Why traffic tickets matter

Each infraction gives you points on your record, with more severe traffic violations being worth more points. For example, following too closely is worth three points, whereas major speeding comes with five points and a 15-day suspension of your driver’s license. The addition of points results in serious consequences from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

How the Pennsylvania point system works

Once you reach six points, you are subject to disciplinary action by the state. The first time, you will have to pass a written driving safety test within 30 days to keep your license and lose two points off your record. If you fail, you will not get your license back until you pass the test.

If you reach six points again, you will have to attend a hearing to determine the penalty: lose your license for 15 days, take a driving test or not have to do anything. If you do not show up to the hearing, you will automatically face a license suspension for 60 days.

Reaching six points a third time means another hearing with harsher penalties. Getting up to 11 points on your record leads to a license suspension, the length of which depends on past suspensions.

Other consequences

Losing driving privileges is an inconvenience at best. You may lose your employment if you cannot find transportation to work, and paying off tickets is costly. Accumulation of traffic tickets, especially for dangerous offenses, can affect future legal proceedings if you face criminal charges. What may seem like just a minor ticket can quickly build into something bigger.