When a first-time offense sends you to traffic school, it’s not as if you enter a classroom. It’s more like a virtual classroom that requires a stint of studying. And while this isn’t the same as sitting in front of your laptop and watching Netflix, it’s close enough to be very satisfying. Traffic school is different than simply paying off your fines because community service is involved with some options. This can allow drivers to earn money for their time and effort instead of just taking their punishment and moving on with life.
Only some states allow traffic school course, and they all enable outstanding warrants to be paid off with community service. For example, in California, class C misdemeanor cases are eligible for this option, provided the driver has a valid license.
There are two types of traffic school programs: Home study and classroom style. Home study is more common and can be completed at any hour of the day or night, which makes it convenient for people who work during regular hours. Most online services offer course material in a digital format that can also be emailed for downloading at your convenience. You can complete your work at home or on the road from your smartphone or tablet as you have time to spare between errands and appointments.
Classroom-style education requires a structured environment to complete the course. You’ll likely meet with a group in a classroom setting to learn how to improve your speeding and aggressive driving habits. This can be done either at home or, in many cases, at a local community college or university.
As mentioned above, traffic school is required when you’re cited for an MVA Class C violation or an out-of-state citation that carries the same punishment as one from California. In other states, you can opt for education over time served if you have another out-of-state citation or multiple convictions for excessive speeding and aggressive driving violations.
Traffic school is mandatory for first-time offenders because it allows them to reduce the point value of their traffic ticket. The more points you have, the higher your insurance premiums will be. Those who have an increased number of points on their license also face possible suspension and revocation.
If you pay off your traffic tickets without attending traffic school, you’re paying the fine and moving on with life as if nothing ever happened. Sure, no one is going to call you out at a holiday party or bring up unsavory topics like your embarrassing driving record — but that doesn’t mean you should put off taking responsibility for your actions.