Drivers in Texas can benefit from enrolling in a driving safety course, commonly known as defensive driving courses. These courses enable drivers to learn more about driving safely in Texas, and may offer eligibility for dismissing a traffic ticket or saving on car insurance premiums.
Defensive Driving Courses in Texas
Texas drivers who have been charged with a traffic offense may be eligible to have the citation dismissed by completing a driving safety course. Courses are also available for motorcycle operators, known as the motorcycle opertor training course. Drivers who were charged with transporting a child who is not secured properly may take the child safety seat system instruction course as well.
By taking one of these courses, Texas drivers charged with a traffic offense are typically able to have the ticket dismissed. The violation will not be added to your driving record, and your insurance rates will not be affected.
Texas Defensive Driving Course Eligibility
Most Texas drivers faced with a traffic citation will be able to dismiss their ticket by completing a driver safety course or motorcycle operator training. There are, however, a number of exceptions that can make a driver ineligible for the right to complete a driving safety course. Offenses and drivers who are ineligible include:
- drivers who hold a commercial driver's license
- drivers who have completed a driving safety course for traffic citation dismissal within the past 12 months
- violations for passing a school bus
- traffic offenses in a work zone when workers were present
- violations for failing to stop and give information or render aid in an accident, or striking an unattended vehicle, fixture, or highway landscape
- speeding 95 miles per hour or more, or speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the speed limit
- drivers without a valid Texas driver's license or permit or valid military exception
- drivers without proof of liability insurance
Before enrolling in a defensive driving safety course, it is essential that you verify your eligibility and request permission from the court to take the course. This is the only way to ensure that you will be able to dismiss your traffic ticket successfully.
Texas Traffic Ticket Dismissal with Defensive Driving
Texas drivers can enroll in a defensive driving safety course by requesting training course dismissal with the court. You will be required to enter a plea of guilty or no contest on or before the appearance date on your citation. You must request your right to dismissal before your arraignment setting, or you will lose the right to elect it later. You can request to take a driver safety course in person at the court, by mail, or online. You will be required to wait at least 10 days after your citation is issued. A court fee is required, and is in addition to the cost of the course. You will also be required to pay to have your driving record sent to the court along with your certificate of course completion and driving safety course affidavit.
It's important to note that you waive the right to a trial by jury if you dismiss your ticket with a driving safety course. If you go to trial for your ticket and lose, you will not be able to elect to dismiss the ticket with a driving safety course. (Of course, if you go to trial and win, you will not need to take a defensive driving safety course for dismissal.) For some drivers, it may be more financially prudent to simply dismiss the citation with defensive driving than it is to plead not guilty and pursue a trial.
Drivers who are eligible for dismissal with a driving safety course who have been approved by the court will be given 90 days to complete the course. Before this deadline, you must present a certificate of course completion, your driving record, and a driving safety course affadavit to the court. With this complete, your violation will be dismissed.
If you fail to complete the course or do not comply with the requirements for dismissal, you will be notified to appear and show cause for not submitting the evidence to the court in time. If you do not appear or show cause, your ticket will not be dismissed. If you show good cause, the court may extend the amount of time you have to present the required documents.
Defensive Driving Courses Available in Texas
Drivers who take a defensive driving safety course will learn important lessons in driving safety, laws, and driving performance. The course is six hours long and may be offered in a single day or multiple sessions. Texas defensive driving courses are designed to make you a safer, more prepared, and responsible driver. The curriculum in Texas driving safety courses includes:
- problems with traffic safety including death, injuries, and economic losses
- driver performance
- driver attitudes, habits, feelings, and emotions
- alcohol and its influence on driver performance
- traffic laws and procedures
- skills for difficult driving environments
- driver control, including speed control, traction, and force of impact
- perceptual skills needed for driving
- defensive driving strategies
- driving emergencies
- restraints and protective equipment
Defensive Driving for Car Insurance Discounts in Texas
While many drivers take a defensive driving safety course to dismiss a ticket, that's not the only reason why you might want to enroll in a defensive driving course. Texas defensive driving courses teach important safety lessons and driving skills that can help you prevent accidents and may even save your life. If you enroll in a defensive driving safety course voluntarily, you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance premiums.
Texas Defensive Driving Insurance Discounts
Many insurance companies in Texas will provide drivers with a discount on liability insurance premiums between 1-10% for three years. The defensive driving course is six hours long and includes essential driver safety and defensive driving information.
Texas Defensive Driving Insurance Discount Eligibility
In Texas, drivers of all ages are eligible to complete a defensive driving safety course for insurance discounts. Your discount will apply for three years from submission of proof of course completion. After three years, drivers are eligible to take the course again and extend the discount for another three years. Note, however, that discounts are exclusively at the discretion of the individual insurance company. It's important to verify availability and eligibility of defensive driving insurance discounts with your insurance company before enrolling in or completing a driving safety course.
Insurance Defensive Driving Courses Available in Texas
In Texas, voluntary defensive driving courses are offered alongside defensive driving safety courses for traffic violations. You will learn the same curriculum as those with traffic citations. These courses include instruction in:
- defensive driving
- traffic laws and procedures
- driving in difficult environments
- alcohol and its influence on driving
- avoiding aggressive driving
- driving emergencies
- and more
Enroll in a Texas Defensive Driving Safety Course
Sign up for a defensive driving course in Texas today. In our directory, you'll be able to find the right school for your needs.
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