The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced that select drivers facing a suspension due to accumulation of points on their driving records or for a conviction of excessive speeding now have a chance at redemption through successfully completing the newly-instituted Driver Improvement School (DIS) offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
“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.”
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.