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Old 01-31-2012, 08:12 AM
 
42 posts, read 152,120 times
Reputation: 63

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I'm 35 and have been driving for 18 years. I got my first ticket ever last
Monday. I accidentally passed a stopped school bus on a 4 lane highway and got slammed with reckless driving. Before all you posters tell me how awful I am, that I should lose my license, that I need to watch where I am going, and all the "what if's" that could have happened. I already know these things. I feel terribly guilty that I passed the bus and Im pretty sure that I will get my just punishment at court!

That being said, I hired a lawyer about 15 minutes after I got the ticket. I wasn't fooling around with going at this alone. I am voluntarily taking the driver improvement course. Has anyone taken this before? What is it like? Is the test hard? I'm just looking or some information on what to expect. I have the class on the 11th.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:47 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,086,197 times
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I've never taken it myself; however, my daughter took it after getting a speeding ticket for going 41 mph in a 35 mph zone. Yes, only 6 miles over. But she was only 17 and this was required since she was on a provisional license at that point.

My son's friend (16) got a reckless driving charge and took the class last Saturday.

Basically it is 8 hours of classroom time with a lunch break going over all the rules again. What I get from most kids is that "it is boring" and the "room is filled with weirdos." I kid you not, that's what they've all said. I don't recall them stressing over a test anything. I guess there is one, maybe not. I think the emphasis is on sitting through safety refresher training.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:21 PM
 
3,761 posts, read 2,969,269 times
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I took it a couple of months ago voluntarily in an attempt to go to court with the completion certificate and get my speeding ticket dismissed (success!).

I couldn't fathom sitting in a classroom all day on a Saturday, so I did the online course. I opted for the one offered by AAA (I'm a member, but it's available to non-members at a different rate). It nearly put me to sleep a few times, the presentation was so dull, and their videos were impossibly slow to load. I'm not kidding, my eyes were closing more than once. But you can go through it at your own pace (more or less - the pages are timed so you cannot pass through without reading), and the test was quite easy and I passed easily. I even learned a thing or two in the course. If you take the online course you have to show up at a testing site to take the test. I printed the summary at the end of each module, and then reviewed them the night before I was going to take the test and again right before entering the testing site.

When I researched the options, online courses were cheaper than the in-person ones. I live in a different part of VA now but I'd assume that to be true in NOVA as well. There are multiple options available for both types of class.

When I went to court the following week, not only did I have my certificate in hand, but the DMV had already added the 5 points to my record.

Last edited by CapsChick; 01-31-2012 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:38 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,606,730 times
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A friend of mine took it last year. It was an online course and she had to take the test at a local place. It wasn't hard (according to her) and I recall that she was able to take the test on a Saturday. It gave her 5 points and the date of her court hearing, she was able to bring the results.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:26 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,086,197 times
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I forgot about the online course. You could probably do that. The only time you cannot do online is if you are under 18 (or maybe it's 20) years of age which is why my daughter had to physically show up.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,684,649 times
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You have to take it in class if you are under the age of 20. The test is ridiculously easy. One teacher told me that he hadn't seen anyone fail in like 10 years. Another teacher let us use an open book.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:47 AM
 
89 posts, read 236,885 times
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took it more times than I'd like to admit it at TC Williams. It was pretty boring, 8 hours in a classroom. When I was in college I took the online course. You sit through a few modules then take a quiz at the end of the course. Pretty simple process.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,183 posts, read 13,296,768 times
Reputation: 7353
I've taken it twice, courtesy of my 2 minor children and their first traffic infractions!!!! (A parent needed to attend with them.) It's not hard....depending on the teacher, it can actually be fun. No one "fails"....it's simply a way to get more of your money.


If you're asked the 2 ways to get out of a turn lane, the answer is: Turn, or be towed. Did you know you're not allowed to pull out of a turn lane into through traffic????? I see lots of folks don't know that!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:25 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,860,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
...Did you know you're not allowed to pull out of a turn lane into through traffic????? I see lots of folks don't know that!

No, I didn't know that....I do it dozens of times a day, every day. Each of the other 1200+ Fairfax County school buses do it many times a day as well. I've never heard of anyone being cited for it.

Heck, the County requires that it be done this way and have fired bus drivers that didn't do it. If we were to stop in the through lane to pick up kids, no doubt some of those kids would get run down by vehicles passing the bus in the right turn lane.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:03 PM
 
1,221 posts, read 2,128,759 times
Reputation: 1057
I guess this is just as good a thread as any to unload my personal peeve/rant about bad driving. I was rear-ended last week (just a fender-bender) while I was at a dead stop in a heavy traffic backup on Gallows Road near Merrifield headed north toward Tyson's. The guy then had the gaul to honk at me!! It probably didn't help that he looked and acted like Kramer from Seinfeld, except his eyes were wilder and he acted like he was on crystal-meth or something, if you can imagine that.

At any rate, this incident just confirmed my long-held belief that it is far too easy to get a driver's license in this state/country. Let's face it, we've all done dumb things behind the wheel. We're human. I just think everyone who wants to drive should complete a driver education course like some of us did in high school----and the testing should be rigorous. Driving is serious business. Driving is not a right, it's a privilege. Driver education requirements would cut down on fatalities and injuries, and it would certainly lower everyone's auto insurance rates.

Last edited by smithy77; 05-09-2012 at 08:14 PM..
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