Defensive driving and traffic survival schools in Arizona

Defensive driving and traffic survival schools. My name is Gordon Thompson and today is July 8, 2016. The topic for today’s podcast is, defensive driving and traffic survival schools


Defensive driving, which is also known as DDP or defensive driving program, and traffic survival school (TSS) are two different programs with two different purposes and results.


Defensive driving is a program under which a person can do a school and after they complete the school the violation does not appear on their motor vehicle record. Defensive driving can be done for any civil moving violation and cannot be done for a criminal violation such as a DUI with one exception, and that is excessive speed (28-701.02).  If somebody is cited for the criminal offense of excessive speed and the court permits it, they can do defensive driving for that violation but that is the only criminal violation.


Defensive driving can be done every 12 months, meaning if you get a violation in 2015 you can do it again in 2016. The limitation used to be every 24 months but has been changed to 12 months.


Defensive driving can be done online.


Once it’s done the violation does not appear on the record. Something to keep in mind with regard to defensive driving is, as I say, it can be done for any civil moving violation and cannot be done for something that is not a moving violation, for example, no registration or no insurance. In addition to that it should only be done for a violation of state law and which is a violation that would be a point suspension. Offenses such as speeding, failure to drive in one lane, wide turn, these are all points violations under state law and defensive driving could be done for that purpose. If a citation is issued under the authority of a city code, for example a Squealing Tires under the Phoenix city code, that is not a points moving violation and frankly it’s a waste of the ability to do defensive driving to do it for something like that because being found responsible would have no consequences against the Arizona driver’s license to have a squealing tires charge because there is no points for that.


So that’s basic information about defensive driving and at the bottom of the transcript of this podcast you’ll see a link to the Supreme Court’s website with information for the defensive driving program.


The second school is traffic survival school (TSS). This comes about when a person is ordered by the Arizona motor vehicle department (MVD) to do a traffic school, for one of two reasons. First of all for the accumulation of points. For example, 8 to 12 points within one year results in the issuance of a TSS order. It can also be issued for a violation if somebody is responsible for a red light violation.  Either of those two will generate an order for traffic survival school (TSS).


If somebody does not do traffic survival school within the time period permitted under the notice that they get, then their license is suspended. If the order was generated because of a point’s violation then it’s suspended for 6 months. If it is generated because of a red light violation the license is suspended indefinitely until the person does the traffic survival school. Once a person does traffic survival school for either reason, if there been a suspension than that suspension will be cleared and then they can get the license reinstated by paying a reinstatement fee.


Unlike the defensive driving program traffic survival school has to be done in person and that’s a difference.


The traffic survival school can be done anywhere in the country and now the National Safety Council is administering the program. They have chapters all over the country and so you can find a chapter in another state and do a traffic survival school in that state.  A convenience fee will apply to sign up online.


At the bottom of this transcript for this recording you’ll see a link to the Arizona Department of motor vehicles (MVD) information about traffic survival schools


So that is today’s podcast namely, defensive driving in traffic survival schools.


If you have any questions please call me.


Defensive Driving:


Traffic Survival School:

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