The cost of driving increases every year and due to this most drivers are often willing to do whatever it takes to keep their costs down. That means going to traffic school if they commit a traffic violation. Traffic school saves drivers from having points added to their driving records, a necessary step to ensuring that already hefty insurance rates don't skyrocket.
Fortunately through the use of the internet, today's drivers aren't forced to go to a traditional classroom traffic school as they once had to. No looking up streets and driving for hours... simply grab your favorite coffee (or tea) and pull your seat up to the computer to get started. New online traffic schools such as TrafficRelief are now making the task of doing such courses quick, easily and much more affordable. (Most online traffic schools charge anywhere from $17 to $50.)
But to give you an even better idea of all the pro's and cons, let's look at the following.
Traditional Traffic School
Social Interaction. Some critics of online traffic schools say that there’s simply nothing like a classroom setting for traffic school or any school for that matter and to some extent, this is true. Students who opt for traditional traffic school will have the chance to interact with their fellow students and the class instructor. For some people, especially those who thrive in social settings, this is often the ideal way to learn.
The biggest advantage to traditional traffic school may well be the social interaction, especially if the instructor is good. A charismatic instructor can excite students and make the day-long course not only educational but also fun.
Immediacy. If a student has a question, all he has to do is ask and he'll have an immediate answer. Information that is unclear can be discussed and clarified for students immediately, instead of them having to call an 800 number or having to wait for a return email.
One session and it's done. Traditional traffic school requires students to appear on the day of the class, participate throughout the day, complete the final exam, and that's that, if the student passed the final exam. There's no room for procrastination or thoughts of, "Oh well, I'll just do it tomorrow." Further, information will be fresh in the students' mind when they take the final exam.
Certificate is awarded immediately. Students who opt for walk-in traffic school will receive their certificate of completion immediately following the session, an added bonus for those students who put off taking the course until the last minute.
Of course, there are also disadvantages to attending walk-in traffic school. No one knows that better than Mike P. Welch who completed a traditional walk-in traffic course in August 2005. In addition to having to shuffle his schedule to fit traffic school in, Welch found that much of the course material was grossly outdated.
“The instructor had us watch a video that was from the 1970s, and a big segment was on call boxes, which I felt was irrelevant, considering the majority of the population now has cell phones,” he says.
According to Welch, students were also required to reveal their ticket violations in front of the class. This ultimately led to some students, like Welch, feeling as though the course was more of a punishment than an opportunity to learn.
Finally, anyone who remembers high school likely can recall those one or two annoying students in the back of the class, out to give the teacher a hard time and cause a distraction. At first, it might be funny but then it just gets downright annoying. Unfortunately, those students who attend walk-in traffic school risk having to deal with such annoyances. “Other students were a distraction. Half of the students didn’t want to be there and were distracting to the learning process,” says Welch.
Welch – like thousands of other drivers before him – has already decided he'll opt for online traffic school if he ever receives another traffic violation.
Online Traffic School
The popularity of online traffic schools and online defensive driving courses has some questioning the future of the traditional walk-in traffic school. Of course, there will likely always remain the traditionalists who will swear by walk-in traffic school. But, more and more people are discovering the vast advantages of fulfilling their court requirements by completing online traffic school.
Saves time. It’s a simple fact that time is a precious commodity and most people simply don’t have enough of it. Online traffic school allows students to complete the traffic course at their own pace.
It’s easy. There’s no roll of the dice and crossing of fingers, hoping against hope that the instructor is going to be interesting and enjoyable. With online traffic schools students know they’re going to receive clear, detailed instructions and easy-to-understand, comprehensive course materials. Questions can be answered quickly with a phone call or an email to a customer service representative.
It’s convenient. Complete traffic school anytime – wearing pajamas, lounging on the couch or in the middle of the night. It doesn’t matter. Online traffic school is generally available 24/7, allowing students to complete the course at any time.
It’s worry-free. Online schools make taking an online traffic course a breeze – students need only a computer and an Internet connection. Registering is simple and safe.
As with anything, online traffic school does have its disadvantages. In some instances, students don’t immediately get their certificate, but most online traffic schools promise next-day delivery of the certificate for an additional shipping fee. However, some counties process the completion certificate electronically and require students to simply call the court to confirm the certificate was received. A list, of counties that electronically process certificates, can be obtained by calling the court.
Those who opt for online traffic school won’t have the same advantage of being able to get immediate answers for questions they have, however online traffic schools respond in only a few hours.
Ultimately, the best way for students to decide which option is best for them is to consider each option carefully, talking with traditional traffic schools and also checking out online traffic schools.
Some people will simply not choose online traffic school because they learn best in an interactive environment such as traditional traffic school. Still others will swear by the ease and effectiveness of online traffic school. When it comes down to it, choosing the right traffic school all depends on the student’s individual personality, needs and preferences.