Who doesn’t want to become a better, safer driver? Okay, maybe you think you already are an excellent driver, but surely if you learned there was something you could do that would lower your car insurance costs and also make that pesky traffic ticket disappear, you’d do it, right?
Lucky for Austin residents, the state of Texas allows citizens to take a Driver Safety Course that can do all three — teach defensive driving, lower insurance, and get a moving violation dismissed. Learn more about what the driver safety course entails and what steps you need to take after you complete the course to get the benefits.
What is a Driver Safety Course?
So, what exactly is the Driver Safety Course? The class aims to help drivers:
Gain respect for traffic laws and traffic safety.
Learn how to avoid traffic violations.
Learn how to avoid traffic-related injuries, deaths, and economic losses.
Understand what to do if you are in accidents.
Why a Defensive Driving Course is Important
In Austin, traffic deaths hit a four-year high in 2019. An increase in the city’s population, along with speeding, not yielding, driving while impaired, and distracted driving are all factors in these deaths. Tonya Dansby, owner of XLR8 Driving School, says that “texting while driving is the biggest safety concern for ALL drivers.”
While the course is not mandatory, the Texas Department of Transportation encourages teens to take a Driver Safety Course after they complete driver education.
Where to Submit Your Driver Safety Course Certification to Lower Your Insurance
Once you complete your Driver Safety Course, your course provider will mail you a certificate within one to three weeks after you complete your class. If you need your certificate sooner, you can request and pay for expedited delivery.
Many insurance companies will lower your car insurance if you present a Driver Safety Course Certification. For instance, both Nationwide and Geico offer Texas drivers up to 10% off their insurance costs for completing a defensive driving course.
Check with your insurance company to see if they offer a defensive driving discount and how to submit your course certificate.
Where to Submit Your Driver Safety Course Certification to Dismiss a Ticket
In Texas, you can get one ticket dismissed every year if you take a Driver Safety Course. Not every ticket is eligible. Your ticket might be dismissed if:
It is for a moving violation. Moving violations that cannot be dismissed are:
Speeding more than 25 mph above the speed limit or faster than 94 mph.
Not having insurance, or failing to maintain financial responsibility.
Leaving the scene of a crash.
Passing a school bus.
A moving violation in a construction zone when workers are present.
You don’t have a commercial driver's license.
You have current, valid proof of insurance (unless you are military personnel);
You have a Texas driver’s license.
To get your traffic ticket dismissed, have to first get permission from the court. You can ask the court at your appearance. After the course agrees that your ticket can be dismissed, you must complete the driver safety course for Texas by the deadline set by the court.
Once you get receive the certificate for completing the course, you must turn the certificate into the Municipal Court in Austin along with a certified copy of your driving record. You can request a copy at Texas DPS Online or your local municipal court office.
If you meet all the terms set out by the court, by the deadline, your case will be dismissed. If you do not meet all the requirements, and you do not have a good reason, you will be found guilty of the violation.