A traffic ticket, whether a moving violation for speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving or driving on a suspended license, is not an offense to leave untended. You may assume that if you procrastinate in absolving the ticket that it is no big deal. However, not paying traffic fines or paying them late can result in a significant ordeal.

After receiving a ticket, avoid the temptation to procrastinate on taking action. The Bernards Township municipal court has the power to impose costly consequences for unpaid traffic tickets and moving violations.

Penalties for common traffic violations

Points: The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission tracks traffic violations via the point system. The more serious the traffic violation, the more points added to a driver’s record. Points are only assessed for moving violations, not parking tickets. Excessive points on your record can result in a surcharge or possibly license suspension.

Fines and fees: A likely result of unpaid tickets is increased fines and fees. If you don’t pay the ticket on time, the original fee could double or triple from late fees and collection fees. Unpaid tickets can be reported to major credit bureaus or sent to collections which negatively impact your credit score.

Suspended license: The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission may suspend your driving privileges if you sit on your ticket too long. The cost of license restoration is $100.

Depending on the severity of your moving violation or accumulated points on your record, the penalties and consequences you may face may also include jail time, community service, a driver improvement program and more.

What to do if you get a ticket

After you receive a ticket or violation, it may seem like the only option is to pay the ticket and accept the consequences. Depending on your situation, fighting the ticket in court may minimize the penalties you face or even dismiss the violation altogether. However, if left unresolved, assessed fines and fees can mushroom the original cost of a ticket out of proportion.