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Phoenix plans to offer online traffic school for ticketed drivers

Phoenix has approved an online traffic school that could help drivers cited by the city's police department and maybe even expedite payment of traffic citations.

Police Chief Derek Bowker said drivers who get ticketed inside city limits often ask during municipal court appearances for the option of attending traffic school to prevent citations from being reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"People pretty regularly would ask if we had traffic school. We feel like we're offering an option that wasn't there before as far as keeping the citation off their record so it won't affect insurance rates and stuff like that," Bowker said.

"You have people who have gone their whole lives without a traffic ticket, and one day they're daydreaming and boom they get popped with one, and now their insurance is going to go up for this one ticket."

City Manager Steve Dahl said another likely benefit is that drivers opting for the traffic school will be required to pay all fines and court costs up front versus putting off payment for up to a year.

The city's municipal court meets twice each month. Bowker said he hoped to have the option of traffic court available by late January and online by early February.

Drivers would be eligible for the school just once every three years and only for first offenses, Bowker said.

— Buffy Pollock

Read more in the Mail Tribune on Friday.