Did you know that the fine for running a red light in San Diego County is $446? Sometimes, the cost of the ticket can be greater than the fine amount. If you get a ticket for running a red light, your auto insurance premium will increase for three years. While the actual dollar amount of the increase can vary, depending on your insurance carrier, the increase is usually in the ballpark of 10% to 20%.
So in terms of going to traffic school or not, let’s do the math.
Let’s assume that your annual premium is $1,000, the fine is $446, and you’ll have a $60 court fee.
Not attending traffic school
If this is your first ticket or your first at-fault accident in three years, you will be looking at the following breakdown:
Insurance increase over three years (10%) $300
If this is your second ticket or if you have had previous at-fault accidents in three years, your premium can increase by 20%, and you’ll lose your California Good Driver* discount (which is another 20%). In addition, many insurance carriers may cancel your policy, as they only insure “Good Drivers.” So you’re looking at the following breakdown:
Fine $ 446
Insurance increase over three years (40%) $1,200
Attending traffic school
Court traffic school fee $ 60
Traffic school (online) $ 20
As you can see, the answer is a clear YES! It is absolutely worth attending traffic school.
We always encourage clients to attend traffic school if possible. In addition to the savings on your auto insurance rate, attending traffic school may also allow you to keep your Good Driver status, which will be useful in the event that you get another ticket that does not allow you to attend traffic school or if you have an at-fault accident within three years.
For auto insurance in San Diego, please call our Carlsbad office at (760) 795-2002; for Riverside auto insurance rates, please call our Temecula office at (951) 296-6833.
*Good Driver discount criteria: licensed to drive a motor vehicle for the previous three years, has not had more than one violation point during the previous three years, and was not a driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident which resulted in death or in total loss or damage exceeding $500, and was principally at fault.