If you’re faced with the decision of signing up for traffic school, you might be wondering if it’s actually worth your time and effort. After all, is a point or two on your license that big of a deal? Well, it depends. For some, the threat of a couple of points on your record is no sweat, especially if it’s the first offense. For others, though, it could mean the difference between keeping your license and having it suspended. If you’re trying to determine whether or not to enroll in a traffic school in your state, it’s helpful first to weigh out the pros and cons.
Traffic School Pros
- It can keep your driving record clean. That’s right if you’re facing a few points on your license for an offense, taking traffic school within a state-mandated timeframe can prevent it from ever happening. It’s actually just as beneficial for someone experiencing their first traffic ticket as it is for someone worried about having their license suspended. For a first-time offender, it’s easy to think, “Well, this will never happen again,” but unfortunately, you can never guarantee that. If you experience another accident down the road and are found at fault for it, you might be in a challenging position later on. For people who already have points on their license, traffic school can prevent more points from accumulating and resulting in suspension. Either way, it’s the most effective preventative measure when you’ve been issued a traffic ticket.
- It’s not as bad as you think it is. Okay, it might not be the most thrilling thing you’ll ever do, but it’s also not going to be the most challenging or even time-consuming. Traffic school has been designed with you in mind—you’re a grown adult, you probably have a job, and you might even have a family. You can’t dedicate another 40 hours of driver’s ed to review proper driving practices. Instead, this course is a refresher. For traditional traffic school classes, it might mean simply a weekend of taking the course, and then you’re done. If you take it online (yes, really! See below), then you’ll be given a timeframe of usually 90 days to complete the coursework.
- It’s available online in some states. If you live in a place like Arizona, California, or Florida, it’s possible to take traffic school online. Although it’s a somewhat new concept to some, taking driving school online has become a popular choice among busy adults who have just gotten hit with an unforeseen traffic offense. Most traffic schools also send your certificate of completion directly to your state’s DMV without charging extra, saving you the time and money for processing the paperwork yourself.
- It’s possible to do the coursework on your own time. It’s less time-consuming since you don’t need to commute to and from an outside location. You can work at your own pace, and some online courses don’t even need to follow hourly minimums, meaning you can speed through the lessons and still get the credit. You don’t have to sit in a classroom for hours on end and sacrifice your weekend to take the course; it’s a relatively short course usually, so if you can set aside a few hours at a time, it’s possible to complete it in a few sittings.
- It will make you a better driver. Even if you are an experienced driver, you can still benefit from going to a traffic school. Going to a traffic school, whether online or in-person, assures that you’ll never leave empty-handed. You won’t finish and leave traffic school without acquiring a new driving skill or learning something valuable. If you’ve been driving for a while, you tend to pick up certain bad driving habits because you feel more comfortable and at ease. Traffic school will help identify the dangerous habits you picked up and give you helpful advice to curb them. Traffic school is an excellent opportunity to brush up on your driving skills.
Traffic School Cons
- It’s pretty darn boring. We’re not going to sugarcoat things for you here: traffic school can be brutally unexciting. To its credit, it’s not exactly designed to be something people are happy to take—you did get a traffic ticket, after all. If it were something that people loved to do, then more and more people would be trying to get traffic violations and tickets! However, the sooner you can come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be fun, the easier it will be to complete it. Instead of thinking of it as something that’s taking away from your social time, consider it as volunteer time you’re doing to become a better driver (and remove a point from your license, to boot).
- It costs money. Granted, traffic school isn’t a completely ridiculous amount of money. Otherwise, no one would be doing it, but know that you’ll be paying some cash to take the class. Remember that spending a little bit of money now to prevent possible license suspension in the future is worth it—think of all the taxis you’d have to pay for or shifts you’d have to give up at work due to lack of transportation! Think of it as an investment to keep you on the road and where you need to go, quite literally. Additionally, by checking out some of the reviews here, you’ll also find coupon codes for many online traffic schools. Use our links to receive a percentage or amount off of the regular cost of the class!
- It’s not a jail-free pass. Although traffic school can help remove ticket citation or prevent your license from getting revoked, there are restrictions on how often you can use it as an option to mask a violation. Most states also limit the use of traffic schools for certain offenses and are generally available for minor first-offense driving violations. Motorists are allowed to go to a traffic school once every 8 to 12 months only. And eligibility is based on the seriousness of the offense. If you have repeated misdemeanors or involved in a grave violation, traffic school is no longer an option.
- It’s possible to get scammed. Unfortunately, this happens with some online traffic schools when people don’t know what to look for. The risk of getting scammed can be enough to prompt anyone to take an in-person class. Before you rush out and do that, though, make sure you follow these steps:
- 1. Read reviews on Traffic School Critics to ensure it’s a legit agency. This is a surefire way to know you’re not getting scammed.
- 2. Look for a money-back guarantee. Any good traffic school will offer this. If they don’t, there are plenty that does—so move on.
- 3. Take a peek at the coursework. Again, any good traffic school will allow you to see what the lessons are like. If a company is secretive about it, it’s a good sign to check other options.
- 4. Visit your courthouse and ask for a list of approved traffic schools in your area. It would be best if you enrolled in a traffic school that is state certified and accepted in your local jurisdiction.
- 5. Find an online traffic school with customer support available 24/7/365. Online traffic schools are known to have lousy customer service, and it can be frustrating not to reach a live person if you need help.