Under a new law that took effect on July 1, Courts will no longer be allowed to dismiss repeated infractions after a driver attends traffic school. Violation code AB 2499 requires that all offenses be recorded as convictions that will detail a person’s driving history with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which will now be keeping track of repeat traffic offenders.
In the past, offending drivers could first go to an eight-hour traffic school and then, on the second offense within less than 18 months, do a 12-hour program to have the courts automatically have his or her infraction cleared with the DMV—none the wiser of the driver’s actual history. Frequent offenders have been able to use this loophole as a way to repeatedly attend traffic school, but not anymore.
According to the DMV, the new law simply closes this loophole. Under it, a driver’s attendance at traffic school will go on a record that the courts and the DMV can see, but it will be kept from insurance companies. Drivers will only be permitted to go to traffic school once in 18 months and because of the change in the law, the court will know whether or not a driver has attended traffic school in the recent past. If the driver has attended traffic school within 18 months, he or she will get point(s) on their license and his or her insurance company will be notified.
When an officer issues a citation, the violation is automatically relayed to the DMV. Drivers who accumulate a certain amount of points within a one-year period can have their licenses suspended and that can remain on their license for up to three years.
Prior to July, the law had provisions that allowed judges more discretion on the frequency in which a driver could go to traffic school, as not every court was connected and did not communicate with each other. Those days are over. This is the DMV’s approach of better control of traffic schools themselves and most certainly spells disaster for California commuters. Chalk one up for the great state of California!