If you’re reading this right now, it’s probably because you already know one of the main points of this article: Arizona loves to give out tickets. Speed traps and Red Light Camera zones in Arizona make up the super vast majority of all citations written. They use speed sensors in the road tied to cameras to catch speeders in addition to police officers doling out tickets. Now if you’re an out-of-state driver, passing through or on vacation then you don’t have a clue this goes on. AAA has gone so far as to declare the entire state a speed trap and has actually added speed trap zones to its printed maps. That is an epidemic!
So you’ve got the ticket, what can you do now? My years working with various state DMVs has given me a unique perspective to advise you on the best course of action if you find yourself falling into the Arizona speed trap. Tickets like this can be extremely costly. The fine itself is usually above the $300.00 mark. Beyond that the cost it can add to your insurance can be in the thousands over time. Most courts will allow for a defensive driving course at an online traffic school as long as the offense doesn’t cross over into a criminal driving charge. This is also true in cases of failure to stop, failure to yield, and failure to obey a traffic control device [running a red light].
Arizona municipalities treat this like the business it is and really only care about collecting their money. The state actually allows for traffic school to be taken once a year which is pretty lax. This is mostly likely because they also charge you for the right to take traffic school. Yep, when you sign up and purchase a defensive driving course, you also can expect the traffic school to collect the state fee of $65 and a court fee which can range from anywhere from $1-$150.00 (Please find current court fees listed here). If you have a license in another state but got a ticket in Arizona you must complete an Arizona Defensive Driving course to not receive points on your record. Those state and court fees cannot be avoided!
(Note: Arizona also requires traffic school be completed 7 calendar days prior to the court date listed on your citation. If you do not have enough time to complete the course, please contact the court for extension.]
It’s a raw deal but you have to remember this offense will stay on your record for 3 years and probably spike your insurance hundreds of dollars every year. A Diversion Attendance course will clear the offense and the points from your record! Now, if you did not request traffic school, just paid the fine and accepted a conviction, your insurance has likely spiked quite a bit. You can still take a defensive driving course for an insurance reduction which should help alleviate some of the pain on that insurance bill. Hey, anything that helps right?
For Arizona Diversion Attendance, we recommend DriversEd.com: