Arizona motorists who receive traffic citations soon will get an annual “Get Out of Ticket” card.
A new Arizona law that will take effect July 3 will allow drivers who receive eligible traffic citations to take a defensive driving course once every 12 months instead of every 24 months to avoid accumulating points on their driving record.
Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed the legislation, which will allow offenders to take the four-hour course in person or online.
“As a safety advocate, AAA is against anything that makes it easier for drivers to break traffic laws without penalty,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs.
Completing a defensive driving course will result in the citation being erased from a driver’s record, which means insurance companies won’t find out about the ticket — and subsequently won’t raise premiums. Getting a traffic ticket is one of the main reasons that premiums increase.
AAA insurance experts believe the new law has the potential to make Arizona roads more dangerous.
“People who get a free pass more frequently will have less of an incentive to follow traffic laws,” Gorman said. “Traffic laws are created for a reason. If people continue to flout the laws and insurance companies aren’t able to discern who the unsafe drivers are, premiums have the potential to increase for everyone.”
In advance of the new law taking effect this summer, AAA Arizona’s traffic safety experts would like to highlight defensive driving course eligibility and class information:
In order to take a defensive driving course, your violation must be on the list of eligible citations.
Many common moving violations are eligible.
You can attend a defensive driving course for one violation every 12 months.
If you were involved in a serious injury or fatal accident, you are not eligible to attend a defensive driving course.
Drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license are not eligible to attend a defensive driving course, regardless of whether they were driving commercially or their personal vehicle at the time of the violation.
The defensive driving course must be completed at least seven days prior to the court date.
AAA is a leader in traffic safety. Go to aaa.com/trafficsafety.
(Editor’s Note: Valerie Vinyard is a public affairs specialist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 258-0518.)