Many drivers may feel that they don’t have the time or money to address vehicle repairs immediately, but beware: Ignoring some repairs can get you pulled over and even ticketed.
“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” explains Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In some jurisdictions, car owners may even lose their license for certain violations. A few dollars spent on simple vehicle repairs can help avoid trouble with the law.”
While a vehicle is in operation, traffic laws require that certain equipment is properly installed and functioning correctly, including brakes, headlights, turn signals, mirrors, windshields and safety belts, to name a few.
The Car Care Council recommends that drivers address these four repairs right away as they present public safety concerns that can earn drivers a traffic ticket on top of a repair bill.
• Non-functioning turn signals and headlights or taillights that are cracked or broken. Most states require vehicles to have functioning turn signals as well as two functioning headlights and taillights. Taillights must illuminate red; if a taillight is cracked, it can give off a white light, which is also typically a traffic violation.
• Cracked windshield. If a windshield is cracked, discolored or tinted in a way that obstructs vision, drivers may get ticketed and fined. In some states, vehicle modifications, such as tinted windows, are prohibited.
• License plates are unreadable. If the license plate light is out or the plate is otherwise unreadable, drivers may be pulled over. In some states this includes clear or tinted plastic license plate covers.
• Loud exhaust system. A defective exhaust system that is too loud, either because it’s been modified or because it needs repairs, can be cause for a ticket. What’s considered loud depends on the state.
Many states also require periodic vehicle safety inspections. For an overview by state, visit https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/safety-inspection/.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit www.carcare.org.