PennDOT program offers a second chance to drivers facing suspension | Pittsburgh City Paper

PennDOT program offers a second chance to drivers facing suspension

If you’re a Pennsylvania driver facing suspension because you’ve racked up too many points on your license or have been convicted of excessive speeding, a new state program could offer you a second chance.

Select motorists who successfully complete the state Department of Transportation’s Driver Improvement School will, depending on their individual circumstances, have points shaved from their license and/or dodge a 15-day suspension, the agency said in a statement.

The six-hour training 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,” the agency said in its statement.

Here’s the fine print, from PennDOT:

“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.”

Select drivers who attend the program and successfully complete it 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,” according to PennDOT.

Drivers who complete the program because of an excessive speeding conviction will avoid having to serve a 15-day suspension, PennDOT said. Drivers who qualify for the program, but who do not successfully complete it or fail to attend, will be required to serve a 60-day license suspension, according to PennDOT.

“This new training program offers people whose driving privileges are in jeopardy a chance to avoid losing their license,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “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.”

For more information, you can visit the Driver Improvement School page on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.

John Micek is the Editor in Chief of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where this story first appeared.

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