Ticket & Traffic Stops
Note: If you got a ticket on the highway (such as Route 6), there is a chance it was issued by a member of the Massachusetts State Police, not the Town of Provincetown Police Department. We will not have any information about the ticket or the Trooper who issued it. Please call the State Police South Yarmouth Barracks at (508) 398-2323.
TYPES OF TICKETS
There are 4 types of tickets issued by the Provincetown Police Department:
Citation: A written traffic ticket, with "Massachusetts Uniform Citation" at the top. Charges can be civil or criminal in nature, you can pay online. A citation may affect your insurance, as determined by the Merit Rating Board. Contact your insurance agent for more information about the effect of a ticket on your insurance
Citation Warning: Like a citation, a warning is written on the Massachusetts Uniform Citation. If the box marked "WARNING" above the officer's signature is checked, then no action is required by the violator. 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, verbal warnings are not tracked, and no fine or other consequence is levied.
Parking Ticket: If you violate a Town of Provincetown parking regulation, you may receive a parking ticket issued by the Provincetown Parking Department. The fine(s) listed on the ticket is payable at the Parking Clerk's office in the police station at 26 Shankpainter Road Provincetown, MA 02657. Parking tickets may be appealed by filing a written Parking Ticket Appeal form with the Parking Clerk.
Courtesy Notice: If you found a brightly colored slip under your windshield wiper with no fine listed, it is a Courtesy Notice given by a member of the Provincetown Police Department. No action is required; it is just a reminder that you should not violate a parking regulation again in the future to prevent being ticketed.
TYPES OF CHARGES
There are 2 types of charges associated with Citations: Civil: Civil traffic charges include speeding, running a red light, crossing marked lanes, and most other moving violations. Civil charges result in a fine being levied, which is payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Pay online. Speeding fines are calculated based upon how far over the limit you were going. Civil traffic charges do not result in arrest. All citizens have the right to appeal civil citation charges before a Clerk Magistrate by following the procedures listed on the back of your citation. All Provincetown civil traffic appeals are heard at the Orleans District Court. Find courthouse information.
Criminal: In some cases, a criminal complaint may be issued as a result of a motor vehicle stop. Some examples of criminal charges include OUI, driving to endanger, failure to stop for a police officer, driving without a license, etc. Criminal charges may or may not result in your arrest. If you are cited for criminal charges on your ticket, you will notice that there is no fine levied immediately. Instead, you must appear in Court to answer the charges. Fines or other consequences will be determined by the Judge. Criminal charges are not appealed like civil charges are. Instead, appeals may be filed by your attorney after your initial Court appearance. Adult criminal cases are heard at Orleans District Court . Juvenile (under 17 years of age) criminal hearings are heard at Juvenile Court in Orleans. Some criminal cases, including Grand Jury indictments, are heard at Barnstable Superior Court.. Find courthouse information.
Speeding Fines : Speeding fines are set by the State. The minimum fine is $100, which is levied for the first 1-10 miles per hour over the speed limit. If the vehicle speed exceeds 10 MPH over the limit, an additional $10 fine is levied for each mile over.
Nearly everyone is stopped by a police officer during their driving years. Since most of us are not pulled over very often, it can oftentimes be upsetting or confusing. Listed below are some commonly asked questions and their answers, as well as an explanation of some of the procedures followed by officers while on traffic duty.
Why did the officer stop me?
- A moving violation (such as speeding, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, failure to signal, crossing marked lanes) is the most common reason for stopping a vehicle.
- License, registration, or equipment violations are other reasons a vehicle may be stopped by an officer. Massachusetts motor vehicle laws are long and complex, so it is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of the law without knowing it.
- Courtesy or safety concerns are other reasons an officer might stop your car.
- Depending on the circumstances and violation(s), the driver may be arrested, issued a citation (criminal or civil) or given a verbal or written warning.
What should I do if I am stopped?
- Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible.
- Stay in your vehicle. If you get out of your car you subject yourself and the officer to danger.
- Turn on your interior light if it is dark out. Good lighting assists good communication.
- Keep your hands in view at all times, preferably on the steering wheel.
- Be patient. When the officer requests your license and registration, provide it promptly.
- Understand that for their safety, police officers are trained to ask for identification first, and provide an explanation second.
- Respect the officer's right to ensure his or her own safety. The officer is in uniform, displaying a badge and nametag. You have the advantage of knowing who you are dealing with. Extend the courtesy by presenting your identification without an argument. It just makes sense and it's the law.
- Stay calm. Do not argue the stop or citation with the officer. Citation appeal procedures are written on the back of the ticket.
....did the officer sneak up along the side of my car? Police officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic to reduce the likelihood that they will be injured. The second reason is that they are trained to protect themselves tactically. Many police officers have been killed by drivers wanted for various crimes, or have reason to believe they may be suspected of a crime.
....did 2 or 3 other police officers show up for a minor traffic offense? Officers frequently back each other up without being summoned. This protocol maximizes safety for officers.
....did the officer sit in the police car for so long? What are they doing? Provincetown Police Department cruisers are equipped with a mobile data terminal that allows the officer to verify that your driver's license and registration status are valid. This process, though comparatively fast, could take a few minutes.
Our Courthouse Information document includes a photo, web address, hours, phone numbers, addresses, directions, and a map for the courthouse used by the Provincetown Police Department. For further information, click the court below to visit their webpage:
- Massachusetts seatbelt law
- Massachusetts child safety seat law
- Child Passenger Safety information
- Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) home page
- RMV Suspensions & Citations page (includes request for your driving record)
- RMV Junior Operator License page
- Massachusetts Driver's Manual
- Massachusetts motor vehicle laws (Chapter 90)
- Online payment of citation fines