Western Massachusetts police officer Marc Maddelena (Pittsfield) was on air with Slater & Marjo on Monday to talk about firework safety and speeding around the city.

What was surprising to learn was how many written warnings law enforcement hand out in lieu of tickets. Obviously if you are driving aggressively, you can expect to be cited with a hefty ticket.

For the most part, a written warning is no big deal, but it certainly can be.

I participated in a ride-along with local law enforcement about 5 years ago. What I learned was pretty cool. Not only did I learn how much psychology plays a role in law enforcement, but I also learned that EVERY time I had been pulled over EVER was in the computer. Not just citations I had received, but any time that I was pulled over was in the database!

Speaking of those pesky citations, they can be hefty in terms of your wallet, but they also HANG AROUND for years when it comes to insurance rates and merit ratings here in Massachusetts.

What about license suspension, though? Let's take speeding tickets, for example.

Police Officer Writing Ticket


Yes. This is common knowledge or should be anyway.

The RMV will suspend or revoke your learner's permit, driver's license, or right to operate for 30 days if you are found responsible for 3 speeding tickets (including out-of-state offenses) in any 12-month period. This period is calculated from the most recent finding or conviction date. If you receive a 3rd speeding ticket in a 12-month period, this can trigger an additional suspension or revocation. These suspensions and revocations will be served at the same time. -mass.gov


If a cop decides or feels you've learned your lesson, he might give you a verbal warning. This is pretty harmless and the RMV will have no record of it. A written warning, however, is a smidge different.

Smiling police officer
Thinkstock Images

If an officer gives you a written warning, you are not required to do anything and it will not usually affect your insurance rate. But what if you get too many written warnings?

Warnings do not affect your insurance or merit rating, but if you accumulate three within one year, the Registry has the option of suspending your license. There is no appeal procedure for warnings. Unlike written warnings, the Registry does not track verbal warnings, and no fine or other consequence is levied. -town.princeton.ma.us

I hope you found this post informative.

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