Some states call a defensive driving. Other states call it driver safety or driver improvement. In Florida, it’s called traffic school and taking a traffic school course may benefit you in a number of ways.
Why Take a Florida Traffic School Course?
The Florida Dept of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers a number of defensive driving, driving improvement and traffic school courses designed to help drivers who want to:
- Avoid license suspension
- Prevent the addition of points to a driving record
- Reinstate a license that has been suspended
- Earn a discount on auto insurance
- Traffic school options in Florida
Depending on your purposes and circumstances, traffic school may be required of you or you may be able to take a course voluntarily. If you are required by the Florida HSMV or a traffic court to complete a driver safety course, failing to do so may result in the cancellation of your license and/or additional fines.
If you take a course voluntarily, you may be able to avoid adding the points from a traffic citation to your record, prevent an increase in your insurance premiums or even earn a safe driver discount to lower them. You can take advantage of this privilege once every 12 months and no more than a total of five times.
Dismissing Driving Record Points with Traffic School Florida
Receiving a traffic ticket will result in the addition of points to your Florida driving record. Too many points may lead to the suspension of a driver's license. It is possible that a court will permit you to complete a traffic school course to dismiss your ticket and to avoid having the associated points added to your record.
If you are approved for ticket dismissal, you must enroll in a traffic school course within 30 days of receiving your citation. Check out the list of Florida HSMV approved traffic school providers.
Other Florida HSMV Required Courses
The state of Florida will require you to complete one of their special driver improvement courses in the following circumstances:
- If you are guilty of multiple traffic violations
- If your driver’s license has been suspended
- If you are at fault in multiple traffic accidents
If you are the cause of the three accidents within 36 months, you will need to complete at least 12 hours of a specialized Driver Change course or other advanced driver improvement course and at least 4 hours of behind the wheel training with a driving instructor.
Insurance Savings With a Defensive Driving Course Florida
And other an advantage to the voluntary completion of a traffic school course is the possibility of a safe driver discount. Many insurance companies offer these discounts to reward policyholders for their efforts to improve their driving skills.
Before enrolling in any course, check with your agent for details about what is required to become eligible for these discounts.
How Florida Traffic School Works
In many cases, whether taking it voluntarily or because of a requirement, Florida traffic school may be completed either online or in a classroom. Many drivers choose the online option because of the freedom and flexibility it offers. Completing a course online allows a driver to choose their own pace for completing the course, a real an advantage over selecting a course that must be completed at a particular time and requires mandatory attendance for several hours.
After finishing the course, you will be presented with a certificate of course completion. This document can then be submitted to the court, insurance provider or state agency that requested your course.