House eyes driver retraining school

Posted May 16

A measure in the state House would require drivers whose licenses are suspended for moving violations to attend and pass a driver retraining program to get their licenses reinstated.

— A measure in the state House would require drivers whose licenses are suspended for moving violations to attend and pass a driver retraining program to get their licenses reinstated.

{{a href="external-link-0"}}House Bill 863{{/a}}, sponsored by Rep. Phil Shepard, R-Onslow, would allow the state Division of Motor Vehicles to charge up to $150 in fees to pay for the retraining course, which could be taken at a community college. The course would include at least eight hours of in-person training on safe driving habits and behavior management.

Under current state law, the DMV can suspend the license of a driver who racks up 12 points in a three-year period (or 8 points if the driver has had a prior suspension), who gets two speeding tickets in a year or who gets either a reckless or aggressive driving ticket and a speeding ticket in one year.

Drivers can also have their licenses suspended for exceeding 75 mph on a road where the speed limit is 65 mph or less or exceeding 80 mph where the speed limit is 70 mph.

Under the proposal, the DMV would be required to issue a 90-day notice to any driver whose license is to be suspended for offenses under those categories. If the driver undergoes driver retraining during that 90-day window, the suspension would be canceled. If he or she completes the retraining later, the remainder of the suspension would be revoked.

"Usually, those that we take their driver's licenses, they continue to drive illegally and do things that's not right," Shepard told the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

"Many studies have shown in other states where this [a similar program] has been incorporated that, when they have this driver training course that they take, many of these drivers come back out – almost 95 percent – and they do not have any more records of reckless driving or speeding and so on and so forth," Shepard said. "It seems to make better drivers and more responsible drivers out of all of them."

Chip McDonald with the state chapter of the National Safety Council, a non-governmental advocacy group, testified that many community colleges around the state already offer a defensive driving course backed by the NSC.

Asked whether the DMV is in favor of the bill, Shepard said the agency had had initial concerns about the cost of the change to the agency. But Joy Hicks of the state Department of Transportation told the committee that the agency is currently neutral on the bill and is continuing to work with sponsors.

The measure passed unanimously and goes next to the House Finance Committee.


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  • Mike Rodgers Jun 20, 1:10 p.m.
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    What a joy you must be at Christmas time.

  • Norman Lewis May 16, 6:08 p.m.
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    This program is and always has been the place to go to evade a legitimately given series of speeding tickets. An adult driver does not need a retraining course, they know how to drive, they know the speed limits, they know the other laws of the road. They choose not to obey. Only a few days in jail will likely be able to teach an errant driver a lesson. Let's make the retraining school restricted to only those that truly may not know the rules such as the hundred's of thousands of illegals in this state. You know which ones, the ones that line up at DMV offices hoping to get the examiner that may not be too particular about proper ID or the one that has been set up ahead of time.