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If you’re like the majority of drivers in the U.S., you’ve probably been pulled over for a traffic violation at least once in your driving career. It happens to the best of us. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2011, almost half (42%) of all face-to-face contacts between police and U.S. citizens were because of traffic violations. About half of those resulted in a traffic ticket. These tickets then begin to put points on your license.

Most people probably don’t think anything of these points, or even forget they are there because they aren’t effecting them day by day. On the contrary, they act as a way for the DMV to identify and penalize high-risk drivers. Points on your license could even lead to surcharges, court fines, and a number of other fees. The fee amounts are directly correlated to the number of points you’ve accumulated. If you receive 11 points in an 18-month period, you could face license suspension.

Not only do these points lead to driving penalties, but they will most likely have an effect on your insurance as well. Your premium is calculated based on the slightest indication of risk and could increase by as much as 22% for a single reckless driving ticket—the equivalent of five points on your driver’s license.

If reading all of this makes you never want to sit in the driver’s seat of your car again, hold on. Don’t throw in the towel yet. There just so happen to be a few ways to diminish the points you’ve received. Of course, the best way is to avoid gaining points altogether, but life happens and sometimes it’s inescapable.

First of all, realize that safety violations are extremely dangerous and, as a result, carry three points each. This is meant to make the driver understand the gravity of the situation and restrain from repeating the offense in the future. According to FindLaw, such violations include things like driver and passenger seat belts, and children’s car seats. In about half of the U.S. states, seat belt laws are considered “primary,” meaning a law enforcement officer is allowed to pull you over for violation. In other states, seat belt laws are considered “secondary,” meaning the police officer is required to pull you over for a different law abuse (such as speeding) before he/she can issue a ticket for a seatbelt violation.

According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, seatbelt laws are“primary enforcement laws” in New York.New York was also the first state to enact a mandatory seat belt law in 1984. The law then became effective in 1985. Increasing seat belt and child safety seat use is the most effective way to reduce crash-related injuries and fatalities. Because of this, authorities have issued the statewide, zero tolerance Click It…Or Ticket enforcement effort to increase safety in New York.

As for the rest of the points, there are three relatively easy ways to remove them from your driver’s license. First, there is always to option to wait it out. On DMV.org, they explain that points are like splinters. They are annoying and bothersome, but over time, they are finally removed. Similarly, each state in the U.S. has a predetermined period of time until points start to fall off your record. As long as you aren’t accumulating any new ones, your numbers will go down. In New York, this allotted time is 18 months. After that, your points will be erased and your record will be clean again, as long as you don’t accumulate any new points during those 18 months.

Another way to get rid of points is to attend driving school. Various companies like Drive Rite Academy offer lessons and courses that can help eliminate the points from your record. Once you get a ticket, you can enroll in one of these classes and start working off your points. Drive Rite offers non-stop five hour driving lessons and single lessons that can provide a good refresher for your driving education. Some of their driving instructors also offer eight-hour classes that can easily eliminate up to two points from your driving record.

One of the best ways to reduce points is by signing up for an NYC defensive driving course. These courses will not only help reduce your points, but also your insurance rate. These instructors focus on teaching accident-preventing techniques that can help keep you and your family safe and point-free. Whether you have points or not, an NYC defensive driving course is a smart idea and is strictly for your benefit. Drive Rite Academy is one of the most affordable driving schools in Brooklyn, New York, looking out for your physical and economic well being.