School Via the Internet
I was long overdue for a ticket. So between rushing back and forth to the hardware
store (we just bought a house) and taking full advantage of the available horsepower
and torque from the luxury-laden Mitsubishi Diamante, I didnt see the motorcycle
cop until I had passed him. I wasnt going all that fast, just faster than
I should have been for that street. It was one of those situations where as soon
as I passed him, I just pulled over.
20 years ago, today when Im stopped, my hands remain on the steering wheel
in full sight. I dont want anyone getting the wrong idea I was rooting around
in my purse for a weapon instead of my drivers license.
as always with someone who has the power to put me in striped pajamas, I was exceedingly
polite, admitted I was going above the posted speed limit and apologized. The
officer had a sense of humor. He said he was sorry I was speeding also. Haha.
At this point, just write the ticket so I dont have to sit here and be ogled
and laughed at by passing drivers who knew that particular stretch of road better
than I did, and were aware its usually a speed trap.
dont even mind paying for the ticket, since I havent had one in at
least five years, but the fact that I would have to endure eight tedious hours
of driving school to get it off my record is what almost brought me to tears.
Thats when I remembered hearing about attending a drivers school online.
I asked the officer, who wasnt sure of the specifics, but told me information
would come along with the pertinent fine and summons information.
did a little dance at the mailbox when I read that those who received tickets
in Los Angeles County were eligible to attend a school online. Of course, nothings
free, so after coughing up the $130 for the fine, another $32 to allow me the
honor of attending traffic school and the $34 cost of the school itself, I was
the approved list sent by the court, I contacted The Online Traffic school, at
onlinetraffic.com. After receiving an access code for the program, I jumped right
in and began reading the lessons on screen in the comfort of my own home, not
some stuffy classroom in another zip code.
were five topics, each covering a different aspect of motor vehicle operation:
accident prevention and insurance, defensive driving techniques, alcohol and drug
use, driving attitude and behavior and California traffic laws. At the end of
each section is a topic answer form with 10 questions, and at the end of five
topics theres a final answer form with 25 questions.
you think you can download the quizzes and bribe your niece or nephew to fill
in the blanks, youre half right. Downloading is easy; I did it so I could
read and review the topics on my own time, in between phone calls and the Jerry
Springer show. But you must answer the questions by yourself without any assistance
whatsoever, and sign at the bottom of the answer sheet under penalty of perjury,
which, as we all know, comes with some hefty backlash.
Besides, you cant
speed through the topics and just try to answer the review questions; they throw
in a few ringers to make sure you read all the way through the program. Theres
no easy way out.
you may not come away with the all the knowledge you usually get trapped in a
small classroom with other scofflaws for eight hours, but you do learn some surprising
facts, such as college police have full power to ticket and arrest, or that the
major contributing factor to traffic accidents is time mismanagement.
filling in all the answers, you fax or mail the forms to the schools headquarters,
and if you pass (you need to answer a certain percentage correctly), the school
will send you a certificate of completion, which you mail to the court, which
then expunges your record. All quite neat and tidy, and definitely the 90s
way to do business. Very convenient.
if I can figure out a way to do a virtual driving test, I may never have to leave