Traffic schools are in place to help us improve our driving skills.
Going to traffic school is not an ideal way of spending one’s day. However, when it comes to restoring and maintaining a clean record, traffic school is necessary in keeping your insurance rates as low as possible. Most drivers are not perfect and even the most careful driver can make a mistake when operating a vehicle. Mistakes made while being behind the wheel of a vehicle can often place an undesired burden.
Drivers can be hit with a heavy ticket fine, increased insurance premiums, added court costs, and other additional expenses. Even when a traffic ticket cannot be dismissed, there are still benefits to attending a traffic violator course.
What are the requirements for traffic school?
Traffic schools also known as defensive driving school, provide approved and licensed courses by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Traffic schools are located and available throughout the state of California, online (most popular) or in-person. Traffic school courses are offered in a classroom setting, via home study with a workbook, or online.
To take an online course, a person should have access to a computer. Unless specified by the court a driver can attend traffic school in person or online, a driver may opt to maximize their time and fulfill state requirements by taking an online course. The DMV has a list of state-approved online courses to select.
In order to qualify to be able to attend a traffic school, a driver must have a valid driver’s license, receive an infraction for a moving violation, and the offense had to occur while driving a noncommercial vehicle. In addition, a period of at least 18 months must have passed since the last date for which a driver completed a traffic school course.
A person may not attend a traffic school if they have received one of the following:
- Offenses while driving a commercial vehicle
- Any alcohol or drug related offenses
- Offenses that occurred with equipment
- Offenses that require a mandatory court appearance
- Non-moving violations such as parking tickets.
Why should a driver consider a traffic school?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles recognizes that there are some benefits to completing traffic school. One of the main reasons for completing traffic school is to earn discounts on car insurance premiums. A California county traffic court may also allow a driver to complete traffic school to avoid points being added to a driving record.
The advantages to attending a traffic school are:
- Avoiding a penalty toward car insurance premium
- Driving privileges can be reinstated
- Avoid a driver’s license suspension
- Preventing points from accumulating on a California driving record
It works… select your best choice
Choosing which course method is the best option for a driver is based on that person’s individual preference. Some people enjoy the ability to take a course at their own pace and use a workbook. While others enjoy the simplicity and user-friendly option of online courses.
A driver is able to watch interactive video modules, and complete quizzes based of the information that they have learned. Professional driving instructors and adult education specialists create the information taught in the course that provides a driver with the most engaging online traffic school experience.
Typically, a traffic school course can last 2 to 8 hours whether completed online or in a classroom setting. A driver can expect to learn from topics about becoming a safe and responsible driver, defensive driving techniques, and California traffic laws. Upon successful completion of a traffic school course with a passing grade on a final test, the DMV approved traffic school may fax a certificate of completion.
In some instances, a driver maybe directed to submit the certificate himself or herself to the DMV. Most certificates are sent electronically and the driver does not have to get involved with the process. It is important to understand that a traffic school course will not remove a traffic violation but will mask the ticket on the driving record. Enrolling in a traffic school course helps someone become a better driver and make good driving choices. Gaining valuable knowledge from traffic schools protect the roads and provide information on becoming better drivers to prevent future violations.