When Can You NOT Take Texas Defensive Driving Online Course?
So you got a speeding ticket (ouch) and want to know if you can take an online defensive driving course or online traffic school to dismiss it. In Texas, the rules for dismissing tickets through driver safety courses are fairly cut-and-dry. While you may be tempted to use your own basic guidelines – for example, if there isn’t a neighborhood child embedded in the grill of your car, you’re safe – there are actually a few more criteria used in Texas.
According to the the Dallas municipal Court the following driving offenses are ineligible to dismiss through an online defensive driving or traffic school course.
1. Any offense committed while operating a commercial (CDL) vehicle.
2. Any speeding citation for speeds in excess of 25 miles an hour over the posted limit.
3. Offenses committed in a school zone or involving passing a school bus while in the act of transporting children for school related functions.
4. Any traffic violation that occurred in a construction zone with workers present.
5. Any case involving a juvenile
6. Out of state drivers license
7. The driver has taken a texas defensive driving online course within the last 12 months to dismiss another traffic citation. (NOTE: if you have taken defensive driving to take advantage of your insurance providers ‘safe driver discount’ you are still eligible to take the course to dismiss your ticket).
So what can you do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of ineligibility? Don’t panic. It isn’t necessary to sell all your worldly possessions, buy a bunch of flannel, and move to a remote fishing village in Canada. You have options.
First, you can ask the judge overseeing your citation for special dispensation allowing you to take a defensive driving online course. While not entirely an uncommon request, the decision is up to the judge, and considered final.
If you have tried this avenue unsuccessfully, you are encouraged to seek legal counsel. Tickets that are ineligible for Texas defensive driving online courses are typically assessed greater points to a drivers record. These points can, and often do, translate into considerably higher insurance premiums. Insurance rates can rise as much as 20 percent, per year, for as many as three years (Again, ouch).
What is a Defensive Driving Online Course?
Online defensive driving courses are, essentially, a form of penance for committing a driving infraction. Often lasting between 4 and 6 hours, these driver safety programs aim to reeducate drivers on the rules of the road and give the state a way to measure a drivers understanding of responsible operation of a vehicle.