Monthly Archives: January 2010

How to take an online defensive driving course in Florida

How to Take an Online Defensive Driving Course for Ticket Dismissal in Florida

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
There are two main reasons most people take a defensive driving course in Florida – ticket dismissal and insurance rate reduction. The State of Florida now accepts online defensive driving courses, and so many people are taking them in lieu of sitting through a class outside the home. The advantages are that you can do it in the
comfort of your own home, on your computer, and at your own pace.

Steps

  1. When you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, you have three basic options: pay the civil penalty; take defensive driving for ticket dismissal or have court hearing.
  2. Take defensive driving course. Fill out the Traffic School Affidavit Form and pay the reduced fine amount within 30 calendar days of the date the citation was issued.
  3. Find a course online. The simplest way is to type “defensive driving online Florida” into your favorite search engine on your computer. That will give you many choices. But, make sure the course you select is accepted by the State of Florida. If the website for your course doesn’t say that it is accepted by the State, select another. I recommend a course called “Florida Wheels in Motion” because you can take it online or have them send you a DVD.
  4. Take the course in the comfort of your home, at your convenience. You have 90 days to complete the course.
  5. Once you have completed the school. Return the school completion certificate to the Clerk’s office within 90 days from the date you paid the school election fine.

Tips

  • You are only eligible to elect the defensive driving school once every 12 months and five times in your lifetime.
  • You can elect a defensive driving course on any non-mandatory case that has points assessed. These are typically moving violations such as, speeding, running a red light or stop sign, and failure to maintain a single lane; or non-moving violations like parking violations, not wearing a seat belt, or an expired driver’s license.
  • If you decide to take a defensive driving course, adjudication is withheld, the base fine is reduced by 18%, and the FDHSMV will not assess points against your driving record.
  • Also, of you take an online defensive driving course, your insurance rates cannot go up and your policy cannot be cancelled because of this violation, unless this involved a crash where you were at fault.
  • Other benefits of taking defensive driving for ticket dismissal include that points can not be added to your driver record, adjudication of guilt is withheld, and safe driver status is maintained.

Warnings

  • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must approve the course.
  • Once you elect to use defensive driving, you CANNOT change your mind to one of the other two options.
  • You must take a defensive driving course approved by the State of Florida. Courses approved for other states are not accepted.
  • Drivers with a Class A, B, or C license cannot take defensive driving for ticket dismissal.

Things You’ll Need

  • Computer with internet connection or DVD player
  • Driver’s license
  • Comfortable chair!

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Take an Online Defensive Driving Course for Ticket Dismissal in Florida. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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Railroad Crossing Safety: Cars And Trains Don’t Mix!

In June 2009, five teenagers were killed in a tragic accident in Detroit when their car was hit by a passenger train. This accident occurred in spite of the fact that all safety measures—including gates and flashing lights—were functioning effectively.


Avoiding a collision with a train may seem like common-sense; however, as statistics show, such collisions are tragically commonplace. Did you know that a potentially fatal car-train collision occurs every 90 minutes in the United States? According to the Federal Highway Administration, accidents at highway-train crossings resulted in 299 fatalities and 817 injuries in 2007.
Many of these accidents occur when drivers try to “beat” a train across the tracks. Remember that when a car goes up against a train, nobody wins. The average train weighs 12 million pounds, while the average car weighs only 4,000 pounds; a speeding train can crush a car like a soda can. However, the passengers in the car aren’t the only ones at risk. A car on the tracks can derail a train, endangering the lives of train passengers. If the train is carrying dangerous freight, like volatile chemicals, a car-train crash can result in environmental damage that puts entire communities at risk. When you race a train, you are putting countless lives at risk.
Approximately two-thirds of all car-train accidents occur during daylight, when drivers should be able to see approaching trains! These accidents occur for a number of reasons.
1. An approaching train is an optical illusion; drivers often don’t realize how fast a train is moving.

2. Drivers think trains will be able to stop for them. In reality, the average freight train travelling at 50 MPH will need 1.5 miles to come to a full stop.

3. Drivers ignore safety devices like lights, gates, and bells.

A few simple safety measures could prevent these tragic crashes. First and foremost, be patient and don’t take risks.
Keep these other rules in mind:
1. Always obey signs, gates, lights, bells, and other safety equipment. Never dodge a gate in order to “beat” a train.

2. Don’t start crossing a track if you can’t get all the way across. Wait for traffic on the other side to clear before beginning your crossing.

3. If your car stalls while you are on the tracks, get out immediately, move away from the tracks, and call the police. Your life is more valuable than your property.

4. Only cross at designated crossings.

5. If the crossing doesn’t have gates or other warning equipment, make sure you check in both directions before crossing. Then, turn off your radio and listen for a train. If you can see or hear a train, don’t begin your crossing.

6. If you are at a crossing that does have gates and/or lights, make sure to look both ways and listen even if the gates are raised and the lights are off. Safety equipment can and does malfunction.

7. If there are multiple tracks, make sure you check all of them before crossing.

8. Never walk, run, or cycle on or near train tracks.

9. Stay off train bridges and out of train tunnels.

10. Remember that school buses and trucks carrying flammable liquids are required to stop at train crossings, regardless of whether or not a train is approaching. If you are behind one of these vehicles, be aware that they will have to stop before the crossing.

11. Common driving distractions like talking on a cell phone, eating and drinking, and texting can result in a failure to observe proper safety procedures while crossing a train track. Be an alert and responsible driver.

To learn more about railroad crossing safety, go to http://www.defensivedriving.com/safe-driver-resources/how-to-avoid-being-hit-by-a-train.asp.

To read about and watch videos on all types of driver safety, go to DefensiveDriving.com’s Safe Driver Resources.

Online Defensive Driving Courses in Texas

How to Take an Online Defensive Driving Course in Texas 

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
There are two main reasons most people take a defensive driving course in Texas – ticket dismissal and insurance rate reduction. Defensive driving courses are mandated to last six hours, and so many people are now opting to take the course online. The advantages are that you can do it at home, on your computer, and at your own pace. It still requires six hours of coursework, but you can take up to three months to complete it

Steps

For ticket dismissal

  1. Request permission of the court to take the course. You have until the appearance date shown on the ticket to make the request. This can be done in person or by mail. Contact the court indicated on your ticket. (If you are unsure if you are eligible to take defensive driving to dismiss a ticket, see the criteria listed below.)
  2. Prepare your information to mail to take in to the court. Courts will require this information:
    • Admission of guilt or signed statement that you do not contest the citation.
    • Proof of a valid Texas driver’s license
    • Court administrative fee (varies by court)
    • Copy of your insurance policy
  3. Find a course online. The simplest way is to type “defensive driving online texas” into your favorite search engine on your computer. That will give you many choices. But, make sure the company you select is accepted by the State of Texas. Defensive driving courses in Texas are overseen by the Texas Education Agency. All of these courses must last six hours. If you find one that says it doesn’t last six hours, it’s too good to be true. We recommend DefensiveDriving.com!
  4. When you finish your defensive driving course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. You have to turn this certificate in the Texas County Clerk’s office. From the time you receive permission to take the course, you have 90 days to turn in the certificate. Many online defensive driving courses allow you 90 days to take the course. You can log on and off at your discretion. But be sure to be done and have your paperwork in by the due date.

To take defensive driving online for insurance reduction

  1. Make sure your insurance company accepts a defensive driving class as a way to reduce your insurance cost.
  2. Find a course online. The simplest way is to type “defensive driving online Texas” into your favorite search engine on your computer. That will give you many choices. Make sure it is accepted by the State of Texas. Defensive driving courses in Texas are overseen by the Texas Education Agency. All of these courses must last six hours. If you find one that says it doesn’t last six hours, it’s not going to be officially recognized by the TEA.  Again, we recommend DefensiveDriving.com
  3. When you finish your defensive driving course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Send that certificate to your insurance company to receive your fee discount.

Tips

You cannot take defensive driving online to dismiss a ticket if:

  • You have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL);
  • You have already taken defensive driving for ticket dismissal within the last 12 months;
  • You do not have a valid Texas Driver’s License (there are exemptions for military)

You cannot take defensive driving online to dismiss a ticket if you are charged with:

  • Driving 95 miles per hour or more
  • Speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
  • Passing a school bus
  • Committing a serious traffic violation
  • Other criteria at the discretion of the court

Warnings

Out of State Residents with a Texas Ticket

  • If you have a driver’s license from out of state and receive a traffic ticket in Texas, you may be allowed to take a Texas defensive driving course to dismiss that ticket – but it’s up to the judge. Go through the process outlined above to apply for permission to take an online defensive driving course. But remember that regardless of the state in which you reside, the course you take will need to be accepted in Texas.

Things You’ll Need

  • Computer
  • Credit Card
  • Comfy chair

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Take an Online Defensive Driving Course in Texas. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Company Overview

DefensiveDriving.com launched operations on February 2, 2000 from its home base in Houston, Texas.    

A pioneer in the field of online driver safety education, DefensiveDriving.com® offers Texas and Florida state-approved defensive driving courses that drivers can take to reduce insurance rates, dismiss traffic tickets, and improve driver safety. We offer more ways to take defensive driving than any other course provider, with our original Internet course, streaming video online, DVD video course with Internet interaction, and DVD video course with IVR (automated telephone voice system) interaction.

The philosophy at DefensiveDriving.com is to provide the most educational, highest quality products in the industry, and to support those products with exceptional customer service. The company achieves this by working with outside consultants, conducting focus groups with potential customers, and implementing best practices from the top call centers in the country. The company operates 24-hour in-house call and fulfillment centers that are staffed by highly trained customer support representatives and licensed defensive driving instructors.

This philosophy has paid off, because DefensiveDriving.com is the #1 rated online course in Texas, a distinction that has set the standard for the company’s additional product offerings. In 2004, the company’s dedication to excellence was recognized when the new Wheels in Motion® video course was awarded a Silver Plaque at the International Communications Film & Video Awards (part of the Chicago International Film Festival). In 2005, DefensiveDriving.com continued breaking new ground in the defensive driving industry by partnering with Time Warner Cable to offer the Wheels in Motion video On Demand.

In 2008, DefensiveDriving.com once again offered an industry first: defensive driving instruction via Online Streaming Video on the Internet. Now anyone with an Internet connection can watch the world’s best driving instruction video any time, with no returns, no late fees, and no wait!