Florida Requirements for Traffic School

by sem on April 26, 2013

Traffic School

The Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDI) is a 4-hour course approved by the state of Florida to re-educate drivers guilty of minor traffic violations. It is an easy and inexpensive option many Florida drivers use after receiving a traffic ticket to keep points from appearing on their driving records and avoid suspension of their licenses. In some cases, a BDI certificate of completion can even be used to waive the monetary fee associated with a traffic ticket.

There is also a growing list of traffic violations for which completion of the BDI or a more advanced course is now mandatory. It used to just be required in extremely dangerous instances, such as a car accident causing personal injury or significant property damage. Since 2009, the Florida list of offenses requiring traffic school now includes seemingly less extreme traffic violations like running red lights and stop signs, or passing stopped school buses when their lights are flashing. These newer and more stringent restrictions are the subject of some public controversy.

Unnecessary Punishment?

Many drivers believe mandatory traffic school is an unnecessary and ineffective method of dis-incentivizing the running of red lights and other “minor” violations. It can be argued that many red lights are accidentally run entirely because the driver does not have time to safely stop, or the timing of the yellow lights is understandably different than they believe it will be. It is argued, too, that it is highly unlikely that any driver did not know they are supposed to stop at red lights. Requiring red light runners to attend driver education consequently loses all its educational value and functions only as a shallow form of punishment.

Other inclusions in the new criteria for mandatory driver education seem to make more sense, such as driving recklessly and racing on the highway. These kinds of offenses can usually occur due to major sustained errors in judgment and are much stronger indicators of someone who is unable to continue to drive safely without some form of intervention. Anyone can momentarily slip up and fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. It takes a real threat to public safety to engage in competitive racing on a major thoroughfare like a highway. Should we really classify these two extremely different kinds of crimes with the same punishment?

The Easiest Way to Attend Florida Traffic School

Regardless of public opinion, live or online traffic school will remain a mandatory process for the time being (and the foreseeable future) for anyone who receives a ticket for these offenses. Fortunately, technology works to make attending and completing traffic school courses easier than ever from the comfort of your own home. online Florida traffic school is considered just as valid as attending a course in person, and you get the added benefit of being able to move at your own pace.

Just remember what might be in store for you the next time you think about trying to barely make that yellow light…

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