A traffic school program in Pennsylvania, which is called a driver improvement course, may be either an option or a requirement when you get a moving violation. Your traffic court will determine whether or not you're eligible to get your ticket dismissed by completing a driver improvement course. There are also mature driver improvement programs available for older drivers to keep their driving skills sharp and to get a discount on their car insurance.
The main reasons that drivers take driver improvement courses in Pennsylvania are for license reinstatement , discounts on car insurance, and for court requirements regarding a traffic ticket. One option that isn't available in Pennsylvania is reducing the number of points on your driving record through a driver improvement course, as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) doesn't offer this.
There are classroom and online driver improvement courses available in Pennsylvania, but if you're fulfilling a court requirement, you may be required to take a course in a classroom.
You can find programs in your area and online by performing an online search, looking in your phone book, asking the court and getting in touch with the DOT.
The DOT does have a list of approved mature driver improvement course providers, and if you're at least 55 years old, you can take a course with one of these providers to get a discount on your car insurance. You're eligible to take one of these courses every 3 years, and each time you do you get a 5-percent discount on your car insurance.
The organizations that provide mature driver improvement courses are AAA, the AARP, Safe 2 Drive and Seniors for Safe Driving. You can obtain more information on the courses through the DOT or the individual organizations.
Mature driver improvement courses are typically available online or in a classroom setting. An online course definitely provides more flexibility to fit the course around your schedule, but classroom courses also have their advantages, including being able to ask the instructor questions.
You can get more information about insurance discounts through your insurance company. Even if you're not 55 yet, there may still be safe driver discounts available for completing a driver improvement course, so contact your insurance company to ask.
Depending on your violation, the traffic court may mandate that you complete a driver improvement program as part of your punishment. When this happens, the court will provide you with all the necessary information, including which providers you can choose, the deadline to take a course, and if you need to submit anything to the court afterwards.
You may be able to take a course voluntarily for the court to dismiss a traffic ticket from your record. You'll need to ask the court about this, as dismissals are handled on a case-by-case basis.
The DOT doesn't allow you to keep points off your driving record through a driver improvement course, which means it's important that you avoid accumulating too many points . Any time you reach 6 points on your driving record, the DOT will notify you. The first time it happens, you'll need to take a written exam. The second and third time it happens, you'll need to go to a departmental hearing where the hearing examiner may choose to suspend your license. If at any point you reach 11 points on your driving record, that will trigger an automatic suspension, with the length varying depending on whether your license has been suspended in the past.
Points depend on the severity of the violation. For example, going 31 miles per hour or more above the speed limit can result in 5 points on your record.
The DOT takes 3 points off your record when you go 12 months without receiving any traffic tickets. If you get down to 0 points and then avoid any tickets for another 12 months, you'll have a clean driving record again.
While no two driver improvement courses will be exactly the same, they will all cover similar topics. The standard topics for a driver improvement course in Pennsylvania include the state's traffic laws, defensive driving tips and techniques, safe driving behaviors, information on alcohol and drug offenses, DUI punishments, and how to share the road. Both classroom and online courses will have these types of topics.
When you finish up your driver improvement course, you will most likely get a certificate of completion from the program provider. You can show this certificate to the traffic court, if this was a court-ordered course, or your insurance company, if you took the course to lower your insurance premiums. Something to keep in mind in case you get a DUI there is no Pennsylvania SR22 Insurance requirement.