Why online defensive driving courses are so popular in TX?
I noticed that "texas defensive driving" with variations of tx, Houston, Austin, and Dallas became a very popular search term recently. It did not really make any sense to me, so I got a bit puzzled. I asked Joshua Nestor to investigate the issue, and the following is what he was able to come up with.
From Houston to Dallas in the north and El Paso to Tyler in the east, Texas leads the nation in creative and successful defensive driving education facilities.
Today, in most TX traffic courts, defensive driving course can remove one moving violation ticket a year for you. Texas essentially pays for a driver's improvement course... by redirecting ticket revenue. You pay for the defensive driving course, not the ticket.
In designing this system, Texas has pioneered what seems to be a growing defensive driver education trend nationally.
The key motivation for Texas's attention to ongoing driver education is, to reduce fatalities as well as accidents. Texas is number two, right behind California in annual traffic fatalities.
In order to fight this alarming statistic, Texas has developed the largest and most organized defensive driving education machine in the U.S. today. The State has pioneered and implemented a win/win system, where the drivers and the State both come out on top. The resulting huge growth of defensive driving education statewide, has significantly improved driver safety in the State.
Texas hands out plenty of moving violation citations every day to continually supply the educational system responsible for these improvements. The law enforcement community is successfully being used to recruit new students for the system every time a ticket is written.
We tried to discover the reason that these terrific courses are concentrated in Texas. You would think that if it's a good idea there, it would be a good idea everywhere. Surprisingly, there does not seem to be a ready answer. We can only speculate, that at least when it comes to driver education, Texans might really be as smart as they have always claimed.
Florida and California are trying to catch up, and have ticket programs very much like Texas. In any case, these three States are certainly the most progressive. While there are numerous defensive driving programs offered all over the Country, very few have this "get out of a ticket free" feature.
At this time, there does not seem to be a central registry of which states provide ticket forgiveness. So if you have gotten a ticket, it would be smart to check with your states DMV, just in case there is an option for you.
On the other hand, most insurance companies are willing to give you a break on your rates, no matter where you live, in exchange for a completed course. Most discounts we see are in the 10% range.
If you pay $1,500 per year, 10% will save you $150 at a cost of $25 or so... not a bad deal. Should the training save you from an accident that would jam up your rates, it would be the cheapest money you ever spent.
Now here's the next step, even if you don't have a ticket: give your insurer a call and ask about safe driver discounts for continuing education. If a little learning today results in your being a better driver for the rest of your life... that's a great deal isn't it?
Remember... Don't Mess With Texas!
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