Guest blog by Rachael Schafer
When you receive a speeding ticket in Kentucky, you may be presented with the option to go to traffic school. You can do this to keep points off of your license. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this for a speeding citation I was issued in 2013.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, “The goal of State Traffic School is to provide an educational program which renews a driver’s outlook regarding traffic safety and to instill a positive attitude toward highway and traffic safety by encouraging an understanding and recognition of personal driving behaviors which will result in a reduced number of deaths and injuries related to vehicular crashes and moving hazardous violations.” You have three options on how you can complete your traffic school:
- Internet option - The internet option is an interactive course you can complete from your own computer in the comfort of your home. However, you do have to complete quizzes after each section and take a final exam. It has the same point reduction and license reinstatement benefits as the classroom course. It must be completed within 30 days to avoid suspension of your license.
- DVD/Video Option - The DVD/Video option can also be completed within your home. Like the online course, it has the same point reduction and license reinstatement benefits as the classroom course. It must be completed within 30 days to avoid suspension of your license.
- Classroom option – The classroom option is the cheapest of the three. The classes last four hours and are located in various places across the state. It can take up to six weeks to be scheduled for a class. If you do not complete the class on the scheduled day, you license will be suspended. You must enroll in 30 days to avoid license suspension. If you cannot attend the course scheduled for you because of an emergency, you can request to reschedule the class.
When I was presented with the option to go to traffic school, I decided to just take the class because it was the cheapest route. However, I received the date for my class in the mail and was unable to attend due to school and work. I called to see if I could either reschedule or take it online. They were able to let me take it online, which I began right away.
The online course
The online course is broke up into six segments. You can save and exit the course at any time, which was a benefit. Each section lasted about 45 minutes and required you to click to the next page every 30 seconds or so to ensure you were paying attention. I then had to take a three question quiz at the end of each section. To get to the quiz, I had to call a voice recognition number to ensure I was the one completing the quiz. Then at the end of the segment, I had to take a 30 question final exam, which has questions from each section. Luckily, I passed with a 96%.
They had a pretty large segment on auto accidents and how to avoid them. They showed a few real life situations where auto accidents happen due to a few seconds of the driver not paying attention or speeding. It opened my eyes to show that this really could happen to anyone. I really need to slow down and pay closer attention when driving.
How was traffic school?
Was traffic school enjoyable? Definitely not. I will not be speeding anytime in the future to avoid having to do that again. They do try to make the course fun by having a bobble head guy that teaches you the class along with the help of some of his friends, including a hula girl, dice hanging from the mirror and a tree air freshener. Though the course was not fun, I was glad I had the opportunity to take it to keep points off my license. Hopefully I will never have to do it again, though.
To learn some tips on how to drive safely, avoid distractions and prevent traffic school, check out a copy of the book my dad, Mike Schafer, and I co-wrote: The Family Survivor Guide. It is a book written for parents and teens preparing to get their license. It’s full of great advice!