HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Select Pennsylvania drivers facing a suspension due to an accumulation of points on their driving records or for a conviction of excessive speeding now have a chance at redemption.
PennDOT says some drivers facing suspension have the opportunity to complete the newly-instituted Driver Improvement School (DIS) offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
As drivers are convicted of certain moving violations, points are assigned to their driving record. Once a driver’s record has been reduced below six points and for the second time, shows as many as six points or has a conviction for excessive speeding, that driver is required to attend a departmental hearing.
At the departmental hearing, a driver meets with a Driver Safety Examiner (DSE) to review their driving record and discuss the driving habits that resulted in the hearing.
At the conclusion of the hearing, a determination will be made whether serving a 15-day suspension or attending PennDOT’s DIS would be most beneficial for the driver to assist in making better decisions while behind the wheel.
“This new training program offers people whose driving privileges are in jeopardy a chance to avoid losing their license,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “For many, losing the ability to legally operate a motor vehicle means not just a loss of mobility, but a loss of income and independence as well.”
An individual who attends and successfully completes the DIS due to their record showing for the second time as many as six points, will have two points removed from their record and avoid a 15-day suspension. Drivers who attend the course have to pass a final exam with an 80 percent or higher.
An individual who attends and successfully completes the DIS due to a conviction on excessive speeding will avoid having to serve a 15-day suspension and have two points removed from their record. If an individual does not successfully complete the course or fails to attend, they will be required to serve a 60-day driver’s license suspension.
The DIS curriculum focuses on safety and addresses poor driver behaviors and judgment exhibited in “high risk” drivers.
“The whole premise and focus behind it is for them to be able to identify those driving habits and then correcting those driving habits so there’s less risk,” PennDOT press officer for Driver & Vehicle Services Diego Sandino said.
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This six-hour course focuses on educating and assisting problematic drivers to identify why they engage in risky driving behavior and how to utilize strategies for behavior modification to assist in improving their driving habits to prevent future violations and crashes.