Getting a traffic ticket is something you’d like to avoid, but sometimes, even when you think you’re driving as safely as possible, you still break a law that results in an expensive ticket. Likewise, you want to save as much money as you can on your car insurance rates, but a poor driving record keeps those rates high.
Traffic school is an option that can possibly help you financially by lowering the fines you have to pay for the traffic violation or helping reduce your insurance rates. Even if you’re simply interested in ensuring that you drive as safely as possible, traffic school can offer a number of benefits.
Reducing Your Fines
If you’ve received a traffic ticket for a moving violation, such as speeding or unsafe lane changes, enrolling in traffic school, sometimes known as a defensive driving course, can play a role in helping you reduce the fines you must pay.
- Taking a defensive driving course can also help reduce points on your record that accumulate when you are charged with violations.
- Too many points can lead to a suspended license, so taking steps to reduce the points on your record can definitely be to your advantage.
Reducing Or Removing Citations
Each state has somewhat different laws and regulations governing how traffic tickets are handled, but many of their regulations are similar. In most cases, you may be able to get a traffic violation citation severely reduced or even removed completely if you agree to attend traffic school and then prove that you have done so. There are certain criteria you must meet though.
- You have a valid license
- You were driving a private rather than a commercial vehicle
- You haven’t had a prior traffic citation within a certain period of time, and
- The violation wasn’t related to driving under the influence of alcohol.
If these conditions are met, you may be able to have the citation reduced or removed from your record.
Reducing Car Insurance Rates
Even if you’ve just got your first moving violation citation, or the citations you’ve received are relatively minor, your car insurance company has taken note of them.
- Since your insurance rates frequently start rising soon after citations are reported, it’s in your best interest to work with your insurance company to find a way to keep the rates down.
- Insurance companies are happy to help customers who want to improve their driving records and avoid traffic violations by taking a defensive driving course.
Avoiding A Suspended License
A suspended license is a headache that you should avoid if at all possible. If you’re coming dangerously close to having your license suspended or revoked if you’re again charged with a traffic violation, it’s a good idea to take some proactive steps now. Since many states will remove some points from your record once you’ve completed traffic school, license suspension won’t be imminent. It also won’t hurt you to get pointers and reminders of safe driving strategies.
Becoming A Safer Driver
One of the best reasons to enroll in traffic school is because it makes you a safer driver.
- If you’re an older driver who has gotten into some bad driving habits or you’re a younger person who is tempted to multitask while you drive, traffic school can show you the reasons you must be a defensive driver.
- Most importantly, you’ll learn how to react to hazards so that you, your passengers and other drivers stay safe.
Traffic schools can be taken in a classroom setting or online. Most require a time commitment of about six to eight hours and include such topics as defensive driving skills, your state’s traffic laws and safe driver instruction. Once you’ve successfully completed the course and submitted the necessary forms to the appropriate state agency, your driving record will reflect the steps you’ve taken to become a safer driver.