How Much Does an Unsafe Lane Change Ticket Cost?

Last Updated on February 26, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Unsafe lane change is the term that law enforcement uses to describe vehicles that don’t change lanes in a safe way. Regardless of the state you live in, state laws require that you, as a driver, change lanes in a way that does not threaten the safety of other motorists on the road.

You can be issued a ticket if you change lanes without regard for reasonable safety, change two or more lanes for traffic in the same direction, or cause an abrupt break for other motorists as they have to suddenly change their lane. This ticket can result in points on your license and a fine.

How much does an unsafe lane change ticket cost?

The cost of an unsafe lane change ticket is somewhere between $150 and $450 on average, according to our research, but will depend mainly on the state in which you have received the ticket.

So for example, residents in cities like Surprise, Arizona see unsafe lane charge violation tickets of around $240.

Another example is the state of California, where this particular ticket costs between $130 and $300.

When it comes to Harris County in Texas, unsafe lane change tickets are $175, according to the official website for the state.

An article on StreetArticles states that fees for unsafe lane change cost somewhere between $175 and $250.

A talk on the Honda-tech forum revealed that members paid around $280 on unsafe lane change tickets.

Unsafe lane change ticket overview

While driving, performing an unsafe lane change is considered an aggressive driving maneuver in most states. There are also states that see it as a serious moving violation. Doing this can put you in danger of being pulled over, getting a ticket, and being charged with a fine for unsafe lane changing, especially under the following conditions, according to Nolo:

  1. The roadway has at least two lanes for traffic in a certain direction;
  2. It has lane boundaries that are clearly marked and visible;
  3. You either change the lane without regard for reasonable safety or fail to drive “as nearly as practicable” within the lane.

Each state has its own policies when it comes to driving and driving-related violations. In some, when found guilty, this will go on your record. In other states, you might even get points for a certain period of time, although usually, this particular violation won’t incur more than three points. If you want to see the average fine cost, whether you need traffic school the license suspension rate, and whether you incur any points, you can check out this TrafficViolationsLawFirms chart.

What are the extra costs related to the fine?

Unsafe Lane Change ExplainedThe unsafe lane change violation ticket is similar to other traffic violations in that once you get one, you can fight against it, especially if you consider yourself unfairly accused of the traffic offense or you think the points shouldn’t be added to your driving record.

You might also like our articles on the cost of tickets for expired tags, noise violation, or following closely.

To prove you’re not guilty, you can get the help of an attorney to represent you in court. There are a lot of people that over time, have won the court for this type of issue, but fighting in court can easily become costly and time-consuming.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you can quickly go from a simple unsafe lane change violation to a reckless driving charge. The penalties will increase as the charges add up.

Your car insurance company might choose to raise your rates on the monthly premiums if you will get points added to your license due to this ticket.

Important things to consider

When charged with unsafe lane change, you can also get other traffic violations, like speed related ones, which will add points to the driving record. Some states, depending on their laws, will even require you to attend online driving courses that are approved by the state to dismiss the citations that would be added to your record.

Most unsafe lane change charges will add up to three points to driver records for drivers who don’t have a record. Still, drivers that didn’t get a ticket in the last 12 consecutive months, can have up to three points removed from the driver’s record. But this will depend on each state’s policies. It’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney or your local court to figure out what charges you are facing, as a way of avoiding confusion.

Going to court will still be a good idea even if you consider yourself guilty of making that unsafe lane change. You can approach the court by admitting your fault and then just asking to have the points taken away. This is a tactic that has worked for a lot of people. In this way, you will save yourself from a lot of hassle and higher insurance payments even though you might still have to pay the ticket.

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