No one ever gets behind the wheel expecting to be pulled over, but it’s important to teach teen drivers about how best to deal with the possibility. Inexperienced drivers, in particular, are prone to breaking laws of which they aren’t yet aware. Here are the top three lessons that every teen should learn when it comes to driving tickets.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
It goes without saying that if you practise good driving habits, you diminish your chances of receiving a driving ticket in the first place. Your teen is sure to pick up on your own driving behaviour, and quite possibly emulate those habits when he or she gets behind the wheel. Be vocal and specific about the importance of following the law—it’s never too early to do so.
When it comes time for your teens to practise driving, encourage them to be aware of their surroundings. Ask questions about the speed regulations, what effects the weather conditions might be having on the drive, and so forth. Above all, make it clear that if they don’t follow the rules, they’ll have to shoulder responsibility for the consequences.
You Can’t Ignore It
Driving tickets don’t just go away on their own. Failing to complete whatever the ticket requires carries some serious consequences that your teen doesn’t want to deal with. Make this clear, and underline the importance of dealing with the problem at once. Also, emphasize that you won’t be taking care of the problem for them; the repercussions will be on them.
Expect the Best and Prepare for the Worst
Depending upon the severity of the offence, your teen may receive a court summons. (Be aware that even if they have received a notice of intended prosecution, or NIP, this does not necessarily mean that they’re expected in court.) If a summons does arrive, encourage your teen to do as much research as possible before their appearance before the judge. They should be familiar with the law they allegedly broke as well as with the expected punishments. If they plan to contest the ticket, they should also collect documentation of the event and eyewitness reports, if possible.
The common thread for each of these lessons is rooted in courtesy. Teen drivers should be aware of the law and of their surroundings, exhibit polite behaviour if pulled over, and be prepared to deal with the consequences of their actions.