Benefits of Online Traffic School
If you are looking for a quick and relatively painless way of keeping points off of your driving record, then an online traffic school may be a worthwhile option. Whether you have been ordered to attend an online traffic school or you are voluntarily doing so, you need to understand how such traffic schools work, how they compare to on-site classes, and what they can and cannot do in terms of keeping your record clean.
How Does Online Traffic School Work?
An online traffic school is, as its name suggests, a traffic-safety course that is conducted either entirely or primarily online. People usually attend online traffic schools when they have been issued a traffic citation. Many citations include points that can be applied to your record, but if you successfully complete a court-approved online traffic school then some or all of these driving record points will be removed from your record.
In most cases, taking the online traffic school is optional, although in some instances a court may order you to complete an online traffic school. You are also free to sign up for an online traffic school if you just want to refresh your skills and knowledge. There are a multitude of websites out there where you can compare different online traffic schools in order to determine which one may suit you best.
Online Traffic School vs. On Site Traffic School
There are advantages and disadvantages to attending an online traffic school compared to an on-site course. The biggest advantage of an online traffic school is the fact that you can complete the course from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule. If you attend an on-site class, then you will have to work your schedule around when those classes are offered. Furthermore, on-site classes may not be available close to where you live, which would necessitate a long commute.
Advantages of Online Traffic School
The biggest advantage of online traffic schools is their ability to get a citation dismissed or to reduce points on your record. States like California and Florida, as well as the District of Columbia, have been at the forefront of allowing drivers to reduce the impact of traffic tickets through online courses
That being said, online traffic school classes have their disadvantages. While most online traffic schools have security measures in place to ensure it is you completing the course and not somebody else, these security measures are far from perfect. Furthermore, because you are completing the course online, you typically won’t have an instructor on hand who can clarify any questions or concerns you may have about the material you are reading
Online traffic schools are also notoriously boring, which can make keeping up your motivation to complete them a challenge. At least in a classroom setting you are surrounded by other people, which can make learning more stimulating and exciting. Also, not all states currently permit drivers to take an online traffic school in order to get a citation dismissed or to reduce points on a license.
Lastly, while there are plenty of reputable online traffic schools, you need to be aware that there are plenty of shady schools out there as well that may not be state-approved or that may offer a subpar learning experience
Online Traffic School Cost
Online traffic schools are generally very affordable, with most costing less than $50 to attend. There may, however, be extra fees you have to pay, which are usually mandated by the court or the issuing law enforcement agency. Furthermore, even if you successfully complete the traffic school and have points reduced from your record, you may still be required to pay your traffic fine.
While the costs of online traffic school can be annoying, it is important to keep in mind that points being added to your record can increase your insurance premiums substantially. The cost of online traffic school is typically less than what you would end up paying through higher premiums.
Dismiss Driving Record Points with Traffic School
Online traffic schools are usually used to either dismiss a citation or to reduce your driving points. Driving points are applied to your driver’s license whenever you are convicted of certain traffic offenses. These points are used by auto insurance companies to determine your premiums. If you get enough points, then you could have your license suspended. Completing an online traffic course may be able to prevent you from losing your license, especially if you have already accumulated points.
However, online traffic schools cannot be used for all traffic citations. Typically, an online traffic school course will be permitted so long as the offense did not result in an accident or injury. Online traffic school can often be used to reduce penalties for offenses like speeding or running a red light, but not for driving under the influence or vehicular assault
How Often Can You Take Traffic School?
Each state has different laws determining how often you can take an online traffic school to reduce a traffic citation. In California, for example, you can only take an online traffic school course once every 18 months unless a court gives you special permission to do otherwise. Other states have different rules