Traffic School For Traffic Tickets
Getting a traffic ticket is an inconvenience for most people. Nobody, after all, likes paying a fine. However, a traffic ticket has ramifications well beyond the initial fine itself. Many traffic citations also include demerit points, which can lead to your auto insurance premiums going up. Furthermore, if you get enough demerit points, you could even have your license suspended or revoked. It’s considered best practice to attend some kind of traffic school to remove points from your driving record.
One way to deal with this problem is by attending a traffic school. In most states, if you attend a traffic school you can undo the effects of a traffic citation either in part or entirely. From reducing your insurance premiums to removing demerit points from your traffic record, there are many benefits to attending a recognized traffic school program. Most importantly, it will make you a safer driver, which benefits you, your family, and everybody you share the road with.
How to Get a Traffic Ticket Dismissed
Most people elect to attend a defensive driving school in order to dismiss a traffic ticket. It’s important to be aware, however, that there are limitations in terms of dismissing a traffic ticket by taking a driving course. For one, many states will not let you dismiss a traffic ticket entirely by taking a course. In California, for example, you can attend a traffic school in order to prevent points being added to your driver’s license or to keep your auto insurance premiums from going up, but you will still have to pay your fine. Also, in most states only certain offenses are eligible. Arizona, for example, provides a list of offenses that can be dismissed if the offender attends a traffic school. If your offense resulted in a crash that led to an injury or fatality then you can usually not waive the citation by attending a driving course.
Remove Points From Your Driving Record
While many people think that the main reason to go to traffic school is in order to get rid of a traffic ticket, the truth is that reducing one’s demerit points is a far more common, and often useful, reason for attending a defensive driving course. For one, states are far more likely to allow drivers to have points removed in exchange for attending a course than they are to waive fines and court fees. Furthermore, demerit points tend to be far more costly over time. That’s because insurance companies partly base premiums on how many demerit points a driver has. Removing demerit points can result in lower premiums (more on that below). To find out how many demerit points you have on your record you should look up your traffic record online.
Defensive Driving Courses
In many cases, defensive driving courses are not an option, but are rather mandated by the law or may be ordered by the court. Certain offenses may result in drivers being ordered to attend a defensive driving course. In Florida, for example, drivers who are convicted of running a red light must attend a basic driver improvement course within 90 days of the citation date. Failure to attend the course can result in the loss of one’s license. In most states, defensive driving courses are offered both in-person in a traditional classroom setting or online.
Earning Discounts For Auto Insurance
There are a number of ways that traffic school can help you keep your auto insurance premiums low. For one, as mentioned above, by completing a defensive driving course you may be able to get points removed from your traffic record or keep them from being applied in the first place. The fewer points you have on your record, the lower your auto insurance premiums are likely to be.
Secondly, in some states the law makes it illegal for insurance companies to raise your premiums if you get a traffic citation so long as you successfully complete a traffic school course. That means that even if demerit points aren’t removed from your record, your insurer may be legally prohibited from raising your premiums in reaction to a traffic citation.
Finally, you may be able to get a discount on your insurance by simply voluntarily attending a traffic school, regardless of whether or not you received a traffic ticket. People who complete a driver’s education course tend to have fewer crashes and your insurer may be willing to offer lower premiums if you can show them that you have successfully completed a course at a reputable driving school. However, ask your insurer before signing up for a course whether this is indeed the case. Most insurers will only reduce your premiums if you attend a driving school that is recognized and approved by them.
Driving Record Point System
Finally, a note about driving, or demerit, points. These are points that are added to your traffic record for certain offenses. Many traffic offenses result in points, with more points being added for more serious offenses. In most states, if you accumulate a certain number of points then you may lose your license or be required to attend a driver education course. As stated above, insurers also use points to calculate insurance premiums.