WHITNEY A. SMIT
It has happened to almost all of us. While racing to the next meeting, class or activity we see the flashing lights in our rearview mirror and know we are in for it: a speeding ticket.
For those who have recently experienced this, help is available.
The Utah Safety Council recently announced that they will offer defensive driving courses for people in the Provo-Orem area beginning in November. The eight-hour courses, which can permanently remove 50 points from one’s driving record, will be taught at Utah Valley State College.
The defensive driving courses offered and taught by accredited members of the Utah Safety Council are the only courses that allow offenders to change the status of their driving record and be eligible, in some cases, for insurance reductions.
According to Paul Seager, Marketing Coordinator for the Utah Safety Council, defensive driving courses are the best way to clear your driving record.
“Many people do not realize that their driving record is based on a point scale. If you are over 21 you can obtain 200 points before your license can be suspended, if you are under 21 you can only obtain 70 points,” Seager said.
Seager said points can rapidly add up if people are getting multiple tickets.
“Driving one to nine miles over the speed limit can get you 35 points … 10 to 15 miles over will get you 55 points,” Seager said.
Most states use a similar system to determine whether or not a license should be suspended, he also said.
The course is designed to teach drivers how to recognize and react to different hazards such as bad weather, rush hour traffic and sharing the road with other cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
According to Capt. Mike Mock, of the Provo police department, 13,125 traffic citations were given out in 1995 alone.
Another officer, Capt. George Pierpont, said that for violators, defensive driving courses are a good idea and help to increase awareness regarding traffic safety.
Those interested in taking the courses can expect a $20 registration fee. For those age 55 and over that are simply desiring a reduction in their insurance rates, the cost is $7.
The first of the courses offered at UVSC will begin on Nov. 9.