Getting a traffic ticket can be a painful event for anyone; it can be inconvenient, embarrassing and expensive. Even if you find a lawyer who can keep the points off of your insurance, you face legal fees and court costs. The experience can seem all the more harrowing if you were ticketed while driving a company vehicle, as your boss can easily become aware of what happened.
How the Boss Might Find Out
Your driver's license probably shows your home and not your business address, but your boss can still find out you received a speeding ticket. If your offense was serious enough, you may be required to attend court, which will probably be on a weekday during work hours; as lying to your human resources representative about why you're asking off can endanger your job even more than the ticket, you might have to confess at this time. Furthermore, your ticket might be discovered months later when the company's insurance company reviews the records of all named insured drivers under the policy.
Why Your Boss Might Not Find Out
Insurance laws and motor vehicle offense procedures vary from state to state, so there's no way of being absolutely sure you're safe. But just because you got the ticket in a company car doesn't automatically mean your boss is going to find out. You may be able to get the charge reduced to a non-moving violation that might not show up on either your insurance or driving records. Furthermore, your company's liability insurer might have no idea what's going on with the driving records of individual employees because of the way it prices your company's policy. Among other things, commercial insurance factors in the number and type of vehicles a company has, the size of the business and the number of miles the fleet expects to cover annually. Especially with large companies, it might be impossible to track everybody's record.
Not all traffic tickets are created equal; some things will almost certainly result in your boss finding out about your offense. If you hit somebody, even if the damage is relatively minor, expect the insurance company to be notified. If your charge involves impaired driving, someone in authority will probably have to come get the car out of the impound lot. And even for a minor ticket, don't forget that you'll be sitting on the roadside for several minutes while the officer writes you up. If your boss happens to pass by on his way back from lunch, you're busted.
What To Do
Regardless of your chances of getting found out, consider the wisdom of concealing anything from your employer. In business, trust is everything; while your boss might not care about a minor speeding infraction, you might get in a lot more trouble for lying about why you're taking off of work or for not reporting an incident involving a company vehicle. Being open and honest with your employer, on the other hand, may actually win you some points.
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