Getting a ticket is never fun. In fact, it’s often downright scary. That’s why preventing this situation from happening to you in the first place is ideal. A big key to prevention is knowledge, so staying up on your state laws will help keep you out of trouble.
Let’s face it, traffic laws are confusing. You could be ticketed for everything from the tiniest mechanical issue to driving completely recklessly.
Here are 25 things you might not realize can put a citation in your hand.
- Having headlights that are any other color but white
- In many states, you are not allowed to hang anything from your rear-view mirror that obstructs the driver’s view (even small things like air fresheners can get you in trouble!)
- Using your horn when it is not reasonably necessary
- Unsafe lane changes. Changing lanes without looking or weaving in and out of lanes can definitely get you in trouble
- Wearing a headset or earplugs that cover both ears
- Smoking in your car with a minor passenger is against the law in some states
- Any video screens being used for entertainment purposes must be behind and out of the driver’s visible area
- Your car alarm cannot sound like a siren
- A left-hand side mirror (driver’s side) is always required and must be able to reflect a distance no less than 200 feet to the rear
- Having any device in your car that changes traffic lights
- Although radar detectors are legal, any radar jamming device is not
- Playing your music too loudly (in California, if your music can be heard more than 50 feet outside your car, you can be cited)
- All passenger cars must have both a front and rear bumper
- Fog lamp colors must be in the color spectrum between white and yellow
- Two windshield wipers are typically required. Vehicles manufactured with a single wiper that meet the requirements for area covered are an exception
- Having too much window tinting. Most states have rules restricting the amount of tinting you are allowed to have on your windshield and other windows
- Tail lights that are burnt out or not working properly is a ticketable offense
- Your fuel spout must be covered at all times with the original cap, or with a cover made of non-combustible material
- Modifying the exhaust system of a motor vehicle that amplifies the sound and exceeding restricted noise level limits can get you in trouble
- Lowered vehicles (“Lowriders”) can be as low to the ground as desired, as long as no part of the car, including the frame, sits below the lowest part of the wheel rims
- Civilian vehicles cannot be painted in such a way that they resemble a law enforcement vehicle
- In 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, both rear and front license plates are required
- Most states have restrictions on the maximum frame height for cars and trucks, so be cautious when lifting your vehicle
- If your car was made after 1979, your brake lights must be red. The lights on vehicles older than 1979 must be either red or yellow
- Having an unsecured load on your vehicle, such as trucks hauling materials that are not sufficiently tied down, will get you pulled over
So, how’d you do? Were you aware that most of the issues above could spell trouble? Keep in mind that some of these laws are state-specific. But above all, obey the rules, avoid being a senseless driver, and you’ll save yourself the stress and hassle of an annoying traffic ticket.