Don’t Wait For The DPS! Take Your Texas Drivers Ed Road Test With A Private Driving School Today!

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Everybody hates waiting in line at DPS. It’s boring and uncomfortable but what about the wait just to be able to wait at DPS? That’s what a new report over at NBC Dallas Fort Worth Channel 5 has uncovered; that the average wait time for an appointment to take your road test is now just over 3 months. You could literally have missed your entire summer driving season waiting for your road test. Book now and you’ll be driving next semester… maybe.

The Driving School industry is helping change those long waits however as various schools have signed up with the state to be licensed third party testing centers. Back in September 2014, Texas passed Senate Bill 1705 which allowed DPS to administer road tests via third party schools. Today, approved driving schools are providing road tests to your teens [and adults] right now instead of 11 weeks from next Tuesday! While taking the road test with a private driving school is usually a bit more expensive than the state’s standard $25 charge, you’ll be kicking yourself for delaying your teen from gaining greater experience behind the wheel sooner. This is done on your time, when you need it done, when your teen is ready.

Demand for private road tests is skyrocketing across Texas these days. This option is incredibly important not only for students about to take their test for the first time, but also for the kids that have failed their road tests. Imagine waiting 12 weeks to take your first attempt at a road test only to fail and have t wait another 3 months to do it again. 6 months of your life as a teenager without a license because you bumped the curb is a high price to pay. Admittedly, it’s not practice-practice-practice eating up that time; it’s the bureaucracy of state agencies. It’s not fair to your teen and it’s not fair to parents who have to continue to chauffeur around teens that are actually capable drivers. If you’re an adult, your livelihood can depend on being able to get around. It can affect where you live and work, and virtually every facet of your daily life. It’s a lot to be held to by lines at the DPS.

I’m a big believer in consistency when it comes to Texas Drivers Ed. I believe in the right programs, the right behind-the-wheel training, and the right instructors. The main thing I look for in Drivers Ed is if a school is capable of offering all those things for a quality education. Finding a school that can now offer road tests on top of everything else is incredibly important. It means your teen taking their road test in the same type of car they took their behind-the-wheel lessons in, from instructors who are held to the same uniform level of quality instruction. It means your teen will feel familiar instead of nervous. They’ll be comfortable, ready to pass their road test, and ready to drive.

DriverSafetyCenter.com recommends DriversEd.com for its Texas Teen Drivers Ed course, behind the wheel lessons, and private road tests. Check them out:

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See NBC DFW 5’s original reporting on private road tests here.

New Jersey: An MVC Approved Defensive Driving Course Can Automatically Reduce Your Insurance Premiums and Remove Traffic Ticket Points

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New Jersey is definitely a consumer watchdog state. Many states have no major regulations on insurance discounts and whether they even have to be granted. However New Jersey requires insurance companies give anyone who completes an approved defensive driving course an automatic 5% deduction of their insurance rates for 3 years! More importantly, New Jersey allows for the same defensive driving courses to also clear 2 points off your driving record once every 5 years. So traffic tickets can be wiped off your record or minimized in combination with the mandatory insurance reduction New Jersey guarantees you.

How to Earn a Discount on Your Monthly Insurance Rates

So here’s the really good news: all you have to do to get a discount on your auto insurance premiums is complete a New Jersey MVC Approved Defensive Driving Course [like this one] and you’ll be able to claim a 5% discount on your insurance costs. This is a state mandated discount so any insurance provider will have to honor it. Just complete the course and submit your certificate of completion to your insurance company for the discount. This discount will recur for 3 years! After that, you just take a renewal of the course to keep that discount going. Easy peasy!

How to Get Up to a 2-Point Reduction on Your Driving Record

A New Jersey Defensive Driving Course can also remove 2 points from your driving record, regardless of whether these are old points from a previous violation or new ones from a current violation. The other good news is you don’t need permission from the court or New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to take the course. You can take the course for point reduction once every 5 years as long as you have at least 2 points on your driving record. Once you’ve finished the course, your traffic school will transmit your completion to the New Jersey MVC. Give it about a month before you check your driving record [the state will need a few weeks after your completion to catch up.

Keep in mind, fines and penalties are something separate from driving record points. You will still be subject to penalties and fines from the ticket [which you HAVE TO pay no matter what]. Defensive Driving Courses are really meant to keep you on the road by removing points that could put you in danger having your license suspended [12 points equals a suspension] and also keeps your insurance costs down. It’s really the only course of action available to you to help improve your situation.

With all this in mind, we recommend I Drive Safely’s New Jersey Online Defensive Driver Course to help you with points/insurance reduction. It’s a class that can be done when you have free time. You can stop and go as you like and it can be done at home. It’s the very best way to improve your problems caused traffic ticket, without having to impact your daily life and routine. You can better your situation right on your coach.

Check out I Drive Safely out below:

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How The New York Point & Insurance Reduction Program (IPIRP) Gets You Out Of That Traffic Ticket!

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In New York, you don’t have to take a traffic ticket lying down. Whether you’ve recently gotten a ticket or have to bring down the cost of your insurance because of too many tickets, there are options out there to help you. Insurance rates can skyrocket due to a simple speeding ticket and that can affect what you pay your insurance provider for up to 3 years. These offenses can show up in background checks and if a prospective employer pulls your driving record because a valid license or clean record is necessary for the job…uh-oh! Think about that. A ticket that doesn’t just cost you money but maybe prevents you from making it.

The good news is New York State’s Internet Point and Insurance Reduction Program (IPIRP) allows you to take a defensive driving course either to remove points from your license or get a 10% reduction in your insurance premiums. You can have up to 4 points removed from your record depending on the violations you’ve incurred.

The defensive driving courses are typically offered in classroom or online settings. I really only would ever recommend a classroom setting if you had no internet access or were absolutely terrible with a computer. Otherwise, why spend 6 hours of your evening or day off sitting in a traffic school class with total strangers right? Online courses are the way to go to make this as painless on you as possible.

Upon completing your course you’ll get a certificate of completion to turn into your insurance company to receive your discount. These discounts can even be retroactive so the discount applies to the beginning of your current insurance term and you start saving money immediately. Contact your insurance provider for their exact terms.

For point reduction, your traffic school will report your completion to the New York DMV. While they likely will report you right away, remember the DMV is giant bureaucracy and it may take them so time to act on your completion. I recommend checking on your DMV record after about a month to make sure your points have been reduced. If your record doesn’t reflect the completion, follow up with your traffic school to make sure there was no trouble reporting you.

DriverSafetyCenter.com recommends I Drive Safely for its New York Defensive Driving course.
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Kentucky Traffic School Gets You Out of New or Old Points On Your Driving Record. Here’s How.

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Kentucky drivers don’t have to settle for a bad driving record. A driving record that is filled with traffic violations can see you kept out of certain occupations, paying higher insurance premiums, or even worse, having your drivers license suspended. Nobody wants or needs that. Kentucky traffic school can be your key to a clean record, cheap premiums, and keeping you straight on the road of life.

To Remove Points Already On Your Record
In order to qualify for Kentucky Traffic School, you must be referred by the Division of Driver Licensing [DDL] in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet [Call (502) 564-1257 to get a referral for traffic school from the state].

The following are requirements to be eligible for Kentucky Traffic school:
-Have not taken traffic school in the last 12 months
-You must hold a valid Kentucky driver’s license [this includes CDL drivers]

Once you receive a letter from the state citing your allowance to take traffic school [they’ll also tell you how many points can likely be removed. In your particular case, you can sign up for a classroom, DVD, or online traffic school course. My instinct is to always recommend an online course as I assume most readers would like to avoid spending their day off in a classroom with strangers. The DVD course options ring too much of a correspondence course when people need instant results. So that’s why I recommend the online option.

Upon completion, the traffic school reports your finishing of the course to the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation. I’d advise waiting about a month or so before you checking your driving record via the DMV to make sure the points have been removed. Governmental bodies move slow even if your traffic school reports you the next day. If your record isn’t updated after a month, then contact the DMV and follow up with your traffic school in case re-reporting is required. [Note, the violation will still likely appear on your record, but the points should not]

To Dismiss A Current Traffic Ticket
Now if you currently are involved in an active traffic ticket case, you would want to ask the court to allow you to take traffic school to avoid points. The court will likely grant the request provided you:

-Have not taken traffic school in the last 12 months
-You must hold a valid Kentucky driver’s license [this includes CDL drivers, however in this instance CDL drivers must also have approval from the Cabinet of Transportation]

Upon completion of traffic school, you’ll turn in your certificate of completion to the court. As with previous offense, you would want to check your record about a month later to make sure your driving record has been updated.

Now, when it comes to what online traffic school you should take, there’s actually only one. This isn’t merely me recommending it but it is literally the only Kentucky approved online traffic school course; Improv’s Kentucky Traffic School is your single option to dismiss your ticket or remove points from your record. The course may also be good for a premium reduction from your insurance provider as well in addition to the point removal benefits.

Check out Improv’s Kentucky Traffic School below:

How To Get Your Drivers License in Texas with Adult Drivers Ed

Getting your driver’s license in Texas can be difficult as a kid, but it doesn’t have to be as an adult. The fact is, DPS waives a lot of the requirements at 18 you’d face at 15-17.  Teenagers face 32 hours of online or classroom training to just learn about driving and then 44 hours of behind the wheel training. At 18, you can be driving in as quickly as 6 hours.

It’s mandatory in the state of Texas for anyone between the ages 18-24 to successfully complete an approved Adult Drivers Education course to be able to get their learner’s permit. The certificate of completion will even allow you to waive the permit exam at DPS. Once you have your permit, you can schedule a road test and get your license.

If you’re over 25, completing an adult drivers ed course will still allow you to waive the DPS permit exam. No studying, no trips to a DPS office with test anxiety, no worries! You turn in your course certificate of completion to DPS and get your learner’s permit and schedule a road test. Done! You’re driving!

We recommend DriversEd’s Online Texas Adult Drivers Ed course. Not only is a highly interactive course that makes the learning as painless as possible but with their own Behind The Wheel team, if you need driving lessons, they’ve got you covered. Check them out below!

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Put That Latte Down! A New Eating/Drinking and [Distracted] Driving Law Could Change Life in New Jersey

Soon, the drive-through at Starbucks could be aiding and abetting you when it comes to breaking a new proposed distracted driving law in New Jersey, one that makes eating or drinking while driving illegal. This may sound outlandish and but it could very well become the law of the land in the Garden State. The law itself uses very broad language to put a stop to “any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway.”

It means picking up McDonald’s and picking through your fries a bit on the way home would be illegal. Drinking your soda would be illegal. Paying too much attention to the radio dial would be illegal. Conversations with a passenger could be considered illegal if it distracts you. The problem is the law is so general in its writing that everything would be illegal. Everything equals distracted driving.

While we can admire some of the good intentions of this law, the wanting to protect people, it’s still overreaching. Eating and drinking while driving has been part of the culture for decades. You will not simply regulate this behavior out of existence. Obviously there is a difference between sipping a soda while driving and having the burger in one hand, the fries in the other and using the soda between your knees to steer while your focus changes from entrée to entrée. There are already reckless driving laws on the books to regulate this type of behavior because said behavior will cause obvious instances of reckless driving regardless.

The fines associated with this distracted driving law raise a red flag as well. A first offense is $400, with subsequent offenses ranging from $600-$800.00 plus points on your license and even a 90 day suspension. While I do think if you’re a serial offender, you deserve whatever happens to you, this does sort of ring of lawmakers finding revenue in bad behavior. To put this in perspective, the maximum fine for first time reckless driving charge in New Jersey is $200.00 [N.J.S.A. 39:4-96]. You could swerve all over the road and as long as you weren’t holding a cup of Starbucks, your fine would be half [reckless driving can also carry jail time, so don’t test this theory out]. Add to the fact that bad behavior is poorly defined and this law gives carte blanche authority to write tickets all day. Driving with an open container would suddenly apply to Dr. Pepper.

Ultimately, I would not support this legislation as is and hope New Jersey lawmakers do not, at least not in its current form. A measure of common sense needs to be added and the benefit of the doubt should to be given to drivers in terms of reasonable expectations. The dangers that exist from distracted driving are very real but something that can be eliminated by making people smarter drivers. Driver Education

You’ve Just Been Regulated! California To Allow CHP To Create Guidelines for Motorcycle Lane Splitting.

I’m sure you’ve been there, on the freeway, 4 or 5 lanes going one-way and no one’s moving or barely moving, and through the gap between lanes a motorcycle comes whizzing on by, probably scaring the heck out of you. This practice, called, lane splitting for years was this sort of muddling practice by motorcyclists. It wasn’t legal or illegal, but it was an allowed practice. It was also however poorly defined by the state.

That changed when the California Assembly voted 74-0 to approve AB 51 which defines lane splitting as “driving a motorcycle that has two wheels in contact with the ground between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane.” and authorized the California Highway Patrol to establish guidelines for the greater safety of motorcyclists as well as passengers and drivers.

An article over at Motorcycle & Powersports News cites studies by UC Berkley which find lane-splitting cyclists were less likely to be rear ended as well as much less likely to suffer major head or torso injuries including fatal ones in a crash. Studies also show no major uptick in injuries until overall traffic speeds exceed 50 miles per hour. Injury rates also did not see an increase until the speed differences between the lane splitting cyclists and the rest of traffic reached 15 MPH. This basically means lane splitting in ideal highway conditions in which traffic is flowing fast can cause greater injury but at the same time, since lane splitting is really meant to occur when traffic is not flowing well at lowers speeds, it should be less of a concern. Basically if you’re lane splitting and doing 80 to traffic’s 65 MPH, why are you lane splitting at all?[Hint: you’re also breaking the law and speeding at that point]

And this is why California CHP is likely to receive the power to regulate lane splitting. To establish clear cut rules and regulations on the books as to when lane splitting may occur. Previously, CHP had tried to establish guidelines but those policies were tossed out when a lawsuit alleged CHP had no power to make laws. AB51 changes that. The law is very careful to see lane splitters are going no more than 15 MPH faster than the rest of traffic and cannot lane split at speeds past 50 MPH. Essentially the law kicks in right at intervals where accidents would begin to occur as cited in the above studies.

And that will save lives.

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Virginia: Get Out of Points On Your Driving Record With A Driver Improvement Course

Getting a traffic ticket in Virginia can be a nightmare. If you’re left without guidance you may not know what to do in court, how to go about the entire process. Just because you made a mistake and drove too fast or ran a stop sign doesn’t mean you have to make any more errors that can jeopardize your insurance or cause costly fines.

If you’ve just received the ticket, the court may order you to take traffic school to either dismiss the ticket and points entirely or to reduce the fines and fees associated with it. Frankly, you should reach out to the court a week or so after your violation date to find out if you are eligible for traffic school. Then you can select the right online Virginia Driver Improvement course [like this one]. Also, in other instances the DMV may order you to complete a traffic school course. This is a bit rarer as usually these are a condition of reinstatement or to avoid suspension. It does happen though.

Now, in the event you’ve already paid a fine and received demerit points, Virginia also has what’s known as Safe Driving Points. Safe Driving Points are the counterbalance to demerit points. For every year you drive without an accident, Virginia grants 1 point to anyone holding its state driver’s license. However, you can also get 5 Safe Driving Points at once by completing a Virginia Driver Improvement course! This will restore your points balance to zero or a positive balance and keep your record favorable to insurance providers and even possible employers. On the topic of insurance providers, check with your agent to see if driver improvement course can lower your rates. Many companies accept them for a reduction on your premiums. Every dollar helps!

Here’s a pretty big point I’d like to make to you: the courts in Virginia and the DMV have no connection. They don’t talk to each other. Most people give their certificate of completion to the court and think it’s the end of their problems. Nope. You have to make sure your traffic school has also successfully reported your completion to Virginia DMV. You must make sure DMV has your completion on record before you consider all matters closed. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a situation where 6 months to a year down the line you’ll still have demerit points on your record. Your premiums will spike and you’ll have to straighten out everything with DMV again to correct your record. Better to do it right the first time.

Finally when it comes to selecting a traffic school course, there are some other things you should know: The state requires anyone with a Virginia license to take a traffic school’s course final exam in what’s considered a “testing center”. So basically at the end of the course, you’ll go to a local testing center your school assigns to you based on your location where you will take your final. This is often a library or private mailbox store where your exam attempt will be monitored. It was a fairly common practice in the early to mid 2000s, and while many states have gotten away from this practice, Virginia still requires it.

With that in mind, you want to use an online traffic school with a solid, easy to use course that has a strong presence of testing centers in the state. For that reason I recommend I Drive Safely.

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