What Is Traffic School? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What Is Traffic School?

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According to DrivingLaws.org, “Traffic school is often the best option for dealing with a traffic ticket. Traffic school has an upfront cost—which can range from $10 to several hundred dollars—but it’s usually the only surefire way of keeping the violation from increasing your insurance rates. Requesting traffic school is generally quick and easy, plus most courses are outside of business hours or can be done at your convenience online. Learn what traffic school entails and why it may be your best option after a traffic violation!


Traffic Violation Statistics

Did you know that about ½ of all traffic stops with drivers end with a traffic violation ticket? 44% of the average person’s interactions in-person with a police officer will be due to a traffic violation or ticket. These tickets come most popularly from speeding, reckless driving, not using a blinker with changing lanes, tailgating and more.


Statistics show that about 41 million drivers get a traffic ticket each year in the United States. That’s about 112,000 drivers that get a ticket every single day. You don’t have to be on a big freeway to get a traffic ticket either, as many drivers are ticketed in residential areas and near schools for traffic violations. Of those many millions that get speeding tickets or tickets for other traffic violations, only about 5% will contest their ticket in traffic court if they feel it was unfair. If not, traffic school is usually the alternative to have the traffic violation removed from your record.


What Is Traffic School?

If you don’t contest a ticket, traffic school is a likely option. School courses can be done online or at a county location where you got your ticket. The goal of traffic school is to teach general safety and proper rules for driving so you avoid both traffic violations and hazards in the road. You may have received a traffic violation by mistake, or you didn’t know you were violating the law. Traffic school is there to teach drivers all the laws in their state and county so they can drive safely and keep others safe on the road.


Traffic school courses are only distributed through state road and traffic safety administrators such as the DMV, Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Commission and more. Traffic violations will be different for each driver. You will have some type of perk by completing your courses such as getting the traffic violation taken off of your driving record. You can also significantly reduce your ticket fine or get rid of it altogether depending on the issuer. You can also get an insurance discount if your insurance was raised due to your violation ticket, or you add points back on to your driving record. In most cases, it’s worth it to go to traffic school to have a clean driving record.


Tips for Avoiding a Traffic Ticket in the First Place

You never have to do driving school if you don’t get a ticket in the first place. Here are some tips for avoiding a traffic ticket:

  1. Go the speed limit. The best way to dodge a speeding ticket is to avoid speeding. Speed limit signs are posted on most streets and especially busy highways and freeways every couple miles. Follow them to stay safe and avoid an expensive ticket.
  2. Plan ahead. Many people speed because they are in a rush. However, studies show that speeding doesn’t get you anywhere faster unless you are going on a long road trip, and it’s only a few extra minutes at best. Plan your route ahead and make time to get to your destination.
  3. Recognize triggers. If billboards distract you, try methods (like moving the visor safely) to stop viewing them as you drive. Avoid using your phone, and especially texting while driving. Stop playing music if it distracts you. Avoid triggers and distractions in whatever way you can.
  4. Avoid dangers. Studies show that your likelihood of fatality increases significantly with every few miles over the speed limit you travel. This is because “an increase [of] 30% velocity results in a 69% increase [in] kinetic energy”. Meaning you crash much harder with every little extra bit you speed. Slow down so you and others stay safe.
  5. Pay attention to signs. Construction, detours and more can come up suddenly. Always pay attention to signs for construction, exits, speed limits, hazards and more so you’re not surprised.
  6. Select the right car. Some cars (like red ones) get pulled over more often. Choose a car that is less likely to be pulled over, like a regular family car instead of a sports car.
  7. Regularly check your speedometer. Speeding tickets are the most popular traffic tickets, so watch your speed and slow down.
  8. Be respectful to officers. You can avoid a ticket by simply being nice in some cases. If you’re rude to an officer, they (and anyone else) are less likely to let you off with a warning.
  9. Use a radar detector. In some states (not all) these are legal to detect speed radar detectors in your area.
  10. Contest a traffic ticket.


Safe Car, Better Driving

If your car is not kept in good shape, or if it doesn’t have maintenance checks often enough, you could get pulled over for unsafe driving. This can happen if you have headlights or taillights out, if your windows (like your windshield) is cracked or broken, if parts are loose and hanging or more. That is why you always want to keep up on maintenance checks, oil changes and replacing car parts. Many of these auto services are quick and easy to fit into a busy schedule, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Plus, your car will run smoother and will be safer on the road, helping you to avoid traffic problems. If you are due for a professional maintenance check or for car work, call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202!


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