Back to School Safety Tips to Keep You and Everyone Else Safe on the Road

School is back in session and that means more cars and buses on the roads early in the morning, making your commute even longer and more stressful. And if your commute is based on local roads as opposed to highways you may find yourself contending with crossing guards and kids shuffling across the street. With that in mind here are some driving safety tips to keep everyone safe.

School Bus Stops

When it comes to school bus stops, all states require that you stop for a school bus when it’s loading or unloading to let children safely cross the street to get to and from the bus. Most states want you as far back as 20-30 feet away from the bus when the lights are flashing red on either side of the road. To find your state’s law regarding school bus stops click here.

School Zones

Always be mindful of those yellow school zone signs. Whether they light up or just indicate a specific time frame, go the speed limit indicated on the sign. You never know if there is an officer waiting for speeders or if a child may run into the middle of the road.

Backing Up

Just because you may have a back up camera on your car does not mean it will always pick up that someone is behind you. Always check around you and your blind spots when reversing your car near where children may be. Follow that advice at home as well, as you may not see your own kids in the driveway. It happens way more than you’d think.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians often have a cavalier attitude when it comes crossing the street, often think they are invincible and expect you to stop. This is even truer of children. With children, consequences are learned and not assumed. They assume you will always stop for them. They assume your car will be able to stop in time if they dart in front of you. As a driver, you should know you can’t predict behavior but you can always be mindful of your own.

Teen Drivers

All year long there are new teen drivers on the road. They could very well be stuck in morning traffic right along with you. Be mindful of the experience level of others and be courteous. Remember new drivers are less used to stressful situations behind the wheel and may react differently. Teen drivers are more prone to take chances so remain cautious in school zones as well.

Plan ahead

Expect longer delays with school back in session so plan your route to avoid delays if possible and either leave a few minutes earlier than you normally would or if you have the luxury, leave after the kids are in school. A few minutes could make the difference between a short commute or sitting in traffic for an eternity! If you find yourself stuck on the road due to cars driving into schools and crossing guards stopping you regularly for pedestrians, do not get frustrated.  Most bosses understand traffic happens and as long as you’re smart enough to plan your route properly, it won’t be a regular occurrence.

Be safe!

No Apps Allowed! California Cracks Down Even More On Cell Phone Use While Driving

California’s laws regarding cell phone use when it comes to distracted driving continue to broaden. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Monday September 26th AB-1785     [authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward)]which increases the reach of existing legislation [SB-1613] in regards to just what you can do with your phone on the road. Previously state law banned drivers from talking or texting directly on the phone while driving. You had to go hands-free.

Under the new law, any activity on your cell phone [not hands-free] that is deemed interfering with driving itself will now be finable. This prohibits drivers from checking maps, adjusting playlists, checking social media, taking photos or live streaming on their phones unless a hands-free device is used. GPS apps are only allowed to be used if users mount their phone to their windshield like they would with a portable GPS device. The law would allow only for single swipe or tap use by the user, again if the device is mounted. The phone cannot block the driver’s view of the road. This law does not apply to already built-in devices that car manufacturers put in their vehicles.

If the law is violated, there is a base fee of $20 for the first offense and can go up to $50 for every additional offense plus penalties which can triple overall fine amounts.

The law still prohibits drivers from wearing headphones or any device that covers ears while driving. California lawmakers believe this will lessen distracted driving risks related to evolving technologies available in smart phones.

You can read more about AB-1785 here

Oklahoma Parent Taught Drivers Ed: How to Get Your Oklahoma Drivers License

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Drivers Ed tends to vary from state to state in terms of what’s required of you to become a licensed driver. Oklahoma is one of the few states out there with high standards when it comes to putting a teenager behind the wheel in their Graduated Drivers License program. The state requirements include a 30 hour Drivers Ed course be completed.

It may seem like a lot but you should know by completing a drivers ed course, you’re able to get your learners permit 6 months sooner at 15 ½ than without it. With drivers ed, you could be licensed by 16. Not only that but you could have an unrestricted license by 16 ½ !

Now, many drivers ed programs are often labeled as Oklahoma Parent Taught Driver Education but don’t worry, the bulk of the learning will come from your online Drivers Ed course [these courses are required for anyone under 16 to be able to get a learners permit]. Parent Instructors will be in charge of teaching the behind the wheel training to their teen. A clean driving record is a must so you may want to consider which parent should be the instructor.

At 15 ½ you can apply for your learner’s permit at your local Oklahoma DPS office branch. You must be enrolled in or have completed an online drivers ed course.

At DPS, you’ll do the following:
• Pass a vision test
• Pass the written permit exam
You’ll need to bring two forms of ID with you:
• Primary ID- these include birth certificates or passport
• Secondary ID- social security card or health insurance ID card [know your social security number even if you use an alternate secondary ID].

The state will also require documentation from your school which shows enrollment and good attendance.

If you’ve done all this, you’ll get your learners permit! You will then practice driving with your Parent Instructor for the next six months. Oklahoma requires you complete 55 hours of Behind the Wheel Training so that’s a great opportunity to build yourself into an excellent driver. Oklahoma requires you maintain a clean driving record during this period so drive safely and don’t get a ticket [hey, it does happen!].

At 16, you’ll be eligible for your road test to earn your intermediate drivers license [as long as you completed Drivers Ed and your 55 practice driving hours].

Once you pass your road test, your intermediate drivers license will allow you:

• To drive from 5am to 10pm, unless for activities related to school, church, or work
-or anytime if accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21years old
• You may drive with one passenger
-or only people who live in your home [family]
-or any passenger if accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old

After another 6 months at 16 ½, as long as you maintain a clean driving record, you’ll be able to get your Unrestricted license which allows to drive whenever with anyone.

With all of this information in mind, I recommend DriversEd.com ‘s fantastic online Oklahoma Parent Taught Drivers Education Course to help you take that first step in getting your Oklahoma Drivers License. Check them out!

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Got a Traffic Ticket in Florida? A Basic Driver Improvement Course Could Save You from Points on Your License.

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If you’ve ever gotten a ticket before you know how nerve-wracking the entire process can be:  Fines, court dates, points on your license, and then your insurance company gets notified. If this is your first violation, you may have no idea what to do first.  A traffic ticket is the gift that keeps on giving for 3 years as your insurance premiums skyrocket. In Florida, you don’t have to settle for that though. You can take a 4 Hour Basic Driver Improvement Course to forgive points on your record for a pending traffic ticket. Today I’m going to explain how to navigate through the Florida Traffic School process so you can get the whole thing behind you.

First, know that you should try to contact the Florida traffic court listed on your ticket right away to ask for traffic school so avoid points on your license. Not immediately, but give it a few days until after you got the ticket [the Justice system needs time to catch up].  Make sure you request traffic school within 30 days of your citation at the Clerk of Court in the county where you received the ticket. You’ll still pay the fine associated with your violation and possibly some administrative fees for traffic school but this will be small in comparison to what not taking traffic school could do to your insurance rates.

In Florida, you could also find yourself being ordered by the court [this is very common] to take a basic driver improvement/collision avoidance course if you:

  • Were a driver in a crash and are found at fault and someone was transported to the hospital
  • Had two crashes in a two-year period, which resulted in property damage greater than $500.
  • Passed a stopped school bus
  • Were Highway Racing
  • Were Highway Racing as a Spectator
  • Were Reckless Driving
  • Ran a red light

You’ll be eligible for Florida Traffic School if you:

  • Haven’t already taken traffic school within the last 12 months
  • Have a valid drivers license [no CDL drivers]
  • Contacted the court within 30 days of receiving your ticket

Again, as long as you are eligible for traffic school, you just have to request traffic school in person at the appropriate county court or by mail. The court will tell you how to send your certificate of completion to them [via mail, fax, in person] and give you a deadline to complete a basic driver improvement course by.

Once you’ve completed traffic school and turned in your certificate of completion to the court, wait about a month and then request a copy of your driving record. The violation you committed will still show up but the points will not be applied to your record which will keep you on the road with low insurance premiums.

We highly recommend I Drive Safely’s Online Traffic School for its Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course:

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California: How Traffic Ticket Points Affect Your License And Insurance

Getting a driving ticket in California can be a devastating blow to your driving record and your wallet. Today I want to go over how the point system works in California and ways to avoid those points so you can feel confident when you drive.

How do traffic points affect your driving record?

Whenever you commit a traffic violation, points may be assessed to your driving record. In the short term, points added to your driving record will affect your insurance rates, causing them to go up. An accumulation of points on your record or a severe enough violation can cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked.

Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked in California if you:

You receive 4 or more points in a 12 month period. [3 points if a teenager but can also see restricted use at 2 points]

You receive 6 points or more within a 24 month period.

You receive 8 or more points within a 36 month period.

What violations add points to your driving record?

There are a number of ways you could get points on your driving record from a traffic violation in California. It could be as simple as driving through a stop sign or a red light to not obeying a school crossing guard. Other basic one point violations include:

  • Crossing a divided highway
  • Following a driver too closely
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Driving in a designated bicycle lane
  • Crossing a double yellow line
  • Failure to obey a stop sign or traffic light

Points will double if you are driving recklessly, speeding over 100 MPH, and driving while under the influence.

The most common 2 point traffic violations are

  • Driving without a license/suspended license
  • Driving without registration/expired registration
  • Illegal U turn
  • Leaving the scene of a hit and run accident
  • Mechanical violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Running a red light/stop sign
  • Not wearing a seat belt/child restraint
  • Unlawful vehicle modifications

Unless the officer who pulls you over just gives you a warning, you will get a ticket for these offenses and points will be placed on your driving record. The more points you get the quicker you will lose your driving privileges.

Note: DUI/DWI will result in an automatic suspension of your license

How do I get points removed from my license? How Do I qualify for California Traffic School?

Traffic school is the only way to get points removed from your license without letting the years pass. You can go to a traffic school’s classroom course in your area or take a California Online Traffic School course all from the comfort of your own home.  You’ll be able to qualify for traffic school as long the offense was a moving violation [no parking tickets] and you have a standard driver’s license [no CDLs]. The offense also cannot be a misdemeanor.

With all this in mind, I recommend I Drive Safely’s Online California Traffic School to help you get out of that traffic ticket today:

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A Texas Defensive Driving Course Can Get That Traffic Ticket Dismissed Today!

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Everything’s bigger in The Lone Star state of Texas, even the traffic ticket fines. Luckily, you don’t have to settle for high fines and points on your license. Debtor’s Prison isn’t for you and you don’t have to take skyrocketing insurance premiums lying down. You can get yourself enrolled in a Texas Defensive Driving Course and stop the madness before it starts. And the better news is you don’t have to do it in a classroom, you can do it online in your own home.

Let’s start with the basics.

How to Take a Texas Defensive Driving Course

So first, know that you can take a Texas Defensive Driving Course only for violations currently pending with a court. This doesn’t work on old tickets you plead guilty to a year ago and already paid the fine. The time to act is when you just received the ticket. In that case, the very first thing you want to do is ask the court for permission to take a Defensive Driving Course. You can ask for permission by calling the court, appearing in person or even writing to request traffic school. When you do that, you will plead guilty or no contest to the charges against you.

To Be Eligible For a Texas Defensive Driving Course:

  • You must hold a valid non-commercial drivers license [no CDL drivers].
  • You didn’t speed more than 25 MPH above the posted limit
  • You haven’t completed a defensive driving course in the past 12 months [1 year from previous citation date]
  • Violation did not occur in a construction zone.

The court will require the following to allow you to enroll in their

  • Your Drivers License
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Your citation [you’ll sign off on the guilty plea on your ticket]

There will likely be other local court forms and paperwork required, possibly a court fee. This varies by court so be sure to ask for any other required forms [just cover your bases with the blanket question of “Anything else?”]

What Happens Next

Once you’ve enrolled in a Defensive Driving Course and successfully completed it, you’ll receive a certificate of completion from your school.  Texas requires your certificate of completion be physically mailed to you [no emailed copies] so be sure to complete the course with enough time for it to get to you [or pay for expedited delivery]. The court may also require a copy of your driving record so try to plan accordingly to get a copy of that as well. You’ll either mail your certificate and driving record to the court or turn them in in-person. Either way, if you’ve done all this you’ve gotten your ticket successfully dismissed!

For a fantastic online traffic school, I recommend DriversEd.com’s Texas Defensive Driving course. See link below for special pricing.

 DriversEd.com- the most experienced provider of traffic school online. Clear your record online.

How to Get Your Texas Driving Record: It’s Required For Texas Defensive Driving Courses[And Just Plain Smart Too!]

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A driving record is something people don’t like to think about. It’s like a report card and if you were a bad student growing up you dreaded them, dodged them, and maybe even hid them.  You’re an adult now and your driving record and the history on it is something you can have control over as long as you stay aware.

What is a Texas 3a Driving Record?

A Texas 3a Driving Record is a DPS certified copy of your driving record which contains the following information:

-Name

-Date of birth

-License status

-Address

-Date of original driver’s license application

-A list of all accidents and crashes [regardless of whether you got a ticket]

-A list of all moving and non-moving violations.

-Can be used for a Defensive Driving course

How to get your Texas 3a Driving Record

Your Texas 3a Driving Record can only be requested by you personally. It is often required by courts in traffic ticket cases. Having this record well before you go to court will also help you assess what you’re in for in terms of points already on your record and whether you need to consider calling a traffic lawyer as well.

A regular inspection of your Texas 3a driving record is also a good idea in case errors appear on it. Many employment opportunities require a clean driving history to get the job. A mistake on your record can also have insurance costs, if say, you completed traffic school and the courts/DPS missed it in their record keeping. That violation and points will still show up. Your insurance rates will spike until you can get things corrected.

You can get your Texas Driving Record by going to the DPS. You can also avoid the lines and taking time off from work to go get it by ordering your record and having it emailed directly to you from I Drive Safely. They offer same day processing on all their record requests. I Drive Safely has been an authorized provider of Texas 3a driving records for years and a name I trust when it comes to their great Texas Defensive Driving courses as well.

To order your Texas driving record today, check them out below:

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