Should you take the Safe Driver course if you receive a ticket, have an accident, or are over 55 years of age?
The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple yes or no, as it depends on the situation. If you receive a ticket or have an accident, you will likely be told that by taking a Safe Driver course, your insurance rates will not increase. However, it depends on the state you live in as well as the type of violation. Taking the Safe Driver course does NOT remove it from your motor vehicle report, but it could reduce your fine and/or remove the points that have been assessed with the ticket. Insurance companies look at your motor vehicle report when assessing rates, not the fines you paid. So with that in mind, the ticket can still remain on your driving record, which can adversely affect your rates.
My suggestion would be if you do go through the Safe Driver course, then you would want to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a copy of your Motor Vehicle report to see if it was indeed removed, or if only the points that had been assessed were removed.
On the other hand, if you qualify to take the 55 Alive course, Defensive Driving course or the Mature Driver class, I do recommend this as it will save you money on your automobile insurance and is valid for two to three years. In order to maintain the credits, you would need to take the course again every few years. You may take this course online or in a classroom setting. A couple of websites that may assist you in locating a course near you or how to proceed with the course online would be: www.aarp.org, www.55mature.com, www.dmvflorida.org, just to name a few options.
If you have had any violations, I would recommend obtaining your motor vehicle report annually and dispute anything incorrect on the report, just as we should do with our credit report annually. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!