Should unsafe drivers be given a second chance by taking more traffic safety training? Or should they simply have their driving privileges revoked? Many adults approach driving as a right (“I need this in order to get to work and provide for my family”), yet it is very much a privilege afforded only to those who have demonstrated the proper education, experience, and temperament to travel our streets safely. As advocates for car accident victims, we protect the rights of those injured by negligent drivers.
Indiana now offers a “second chance” for drivers who have received two or more traffic convictions in a one-year timeframe. This second chance is that these convicted drivers may complete a Bureau of Motor Vehicles approved Driver Safety Program. If the driver in question is under the age of 21, completing one of these BMV-approved programs is legally required. If a younger driver does not complete a Driver Safety Program within 90 days of their second conviction, their driver’s license will be suspended. A judge may also order a traffic offender to complete a Driver Safety Program at any time.
A vast majority of professional licenses require some kind of continuing education to be completed in order to maintain the license. In this vein, any driver can complete a BMV-approved or another type of Driver Safety Program at any time. We highly recommend this. The Indiana BMV will issue drivers a 4-point credit on their state driving records (seen by car insurance companies) if they complete a traffic safety course. This credit can only be earned one time in a three-year timeframe.
There are BMV-approved and non-BMV-approved Driver Safety Programs available in Indiana. We recommend you choose one that is approved by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You can visit the BMV’s website to see a list of programs they have approved. These courses can be completed online, via DVD, or in-person in a classroom setting. The curriculum is virtually the same regardless of which Driver Safety Program you choose. These are not a substitute for the initial Driver’s Ed program required to get your first driver’s license—they are intended for drivers who have been out on the road for a while. The goal is to improve defensive driving, not to learn how to drive. Each course, regardless of which company you decide to go with, may not charge more than $55. Once you finish the course, it takes the BMV about one to two weeks to process your results and add them to your driving record.
Just because drivers have taken this program does not mean they are any safer behind the wheel than they were, for example, after graduating their driver’s ed program. Courses can teach the rules of the road and how to maneuver a vehicle, but they can’t make drivers patient, calm, or always on time.
Contact Blackburn Romey if you’ve been injured in a car accident and need to seek compensation for the damages. Our Car accident layers serve Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, Lafayette, and Terre Haute areas.