Better Driving and Fewer Points: California Defensive Driving School Explained

by admin on April 26, 2013

how-to-avoid-traffic-points

So, you got a moving violation ticket. Shame on you!

Just kidding, it’s not really that big of a deal. In fact, almost everyone gets a ticket at some point. It’s okay, so long as you learn from your mistake. And the best way to learn from your mistake is through Defensive Driving School.

WHAT IS DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL?

If you get a ticket, sometimes you will be required by law to complete a California defensive driving course. Other times, you won’t have to do it, but even then it’s a good idea to complete the course anyway. Why? It can save you time and money.

ONLINE VERSUS CLASSROOM

There are two different kinds of traffic school courses to take in California: the in-class version, and the online version. Obviously, the biggest difference is the location. The classroom option usually takes place on a Saturday, where you show up in the morning and suffer through the long, grueling 8-hour class, and then eventually go home.

The online option, however, is much more user-friendly, and online students tend to absorb more of the lessons. This is because online students can take the class when it’s convenient for them. You can take it from home, from work, or even from a coffee shop—anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The other great feature that online traffic school offers is the ability to do as much—or as little—of the course as you want at any given time. If you’re a busy person, and you only have 10 minutes each day while you eat breakfast, you can chip away at the 8-hour requirement (which is mandated by law) one lesson at a time. If you want to spend a half hour on it each night in bed before you fall asleep, that’s okay, too.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CALIFORNIA POINT SYSTEM?

When you get a moving violation ticket, it comes with a certain amount of points that go on your driver record. The number of points depends on the citation (for example: a child safety seat violation is 1 point, a hit-and-run is 2 points, etc). According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, you could lose your license if you accrue a certain amount of points in a certain amount of time:

  • 4 points within 12 months
  • 6 points within 24 months
  • 8 points within 36 months

But a suspended license isn’t the only problem for California drivers. Insurance providers look at your driver record for an indication of your driving ability. If you have points on your record, they could deem you a high-risk driver, and raise your rates accordingly.

HOW CAN A CALIFORNIA DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE HELP?

There are many ways a defensive driving course can help you. Completion of the course can remove points, protecting you from insurance hikes. Getting points wiped from your record can also keep you from losing your license down the road.

Of course, the obvious benefit that California defensive driving school offers is that by taking the course you become a better, safer driver, and thus less likely to get another moving violation citation down the road.

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