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What Is Traffic School? How Does It Help?

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

If you've ever gotten a traffic ticket, you've probably been offered an option between having it go on your record or going to traffic school. But what is traffic school?

The most common route for dealing with a ticket is paying the fine. If you have a good attorney you may be able to fight the ticket, but traffic school may be a better option. Unfortunately many people don't take advantage of it.

Sure traffic school is often boring, and it takes up a fair amount of time. But there are some flexible options out there so if you're offered the chance, you should seriously consider the benefits.

A traffic ticket means two things: a fine and a notation on your record. Traffic school helps you deal with both.

For people who agree to traffic school, courts may reduce the fine associated with the ticket. Even if it's not a stated option when you get the ticket, you can ask the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles if traffic school is an option in your case.

Don't presume that the money you save on the ticket isn't worth your time if the reduction isn't as much as you wanted or the court won't reduce the fine. You're also saving money over the long term on your car insurance.

When you get a ticket, that information is reported to your insurance company. That means you will likely get a few points on your license, which could result in higher premiums.

If you manage to fight the charges, that ticket will disappear from your record which means no price increase. But if you lose your case then you have to pay the fine, and there's no way to get rid of the charge.

Going to traffic school will generally also erase a ticket from your record. That means you won't see an increase in costs and you won't have a problem if you get another ticket later on. Your record will be clean.

Many states offer some sort of online traffic school, but even if your state doesn't, the class is rarely more than eight hours long. If you get the option, don't let it pass you by.

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