Michigan drivers can avoid some points on license 2011.08.17

Written by David Green.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced a new state program that allows some Michigan drivers to avoid points for minor traffic violations by taking an on-line Basic Driver Improvement Course.

Under a state law that became effective Dec. 31, 2010, motorists ticketed for offenses such as speeding, improper passing or disobeying a stop sign may qualify to have points from the citation kept from going on their driving record by completing a course and paying court fines and costs. Only those who meet several restrictions will receive notification of eligibility to participate in the program from the Department of State.

The first notices to eligible drivers were mailed last month, Johnson said, and they have the option of taking a course on-line or in a classroom. There are currently 10 course providers approved by the state that offer the required defensive driving curriculum.

“This program offers a strong incentive to those who have received a traffic violation to improve their skills and become safer drivers,” Johnson said. “It gives them the pointers they need and takes away the points they don’t.”

“These drivers are still being held accountable, but in a way that safeguards against future violations,” Johnson added.

Eligible drivers have 60 days to arrange for and pass the course and may retake it as many times as necessary within that time. The provider electronically notifies the Secretary of State whether drivers pass or fail. If they ultimately do not pass, the points go on their record. If they pass, the Department of State will not add any points.

The fee for the course is determined by the provider, with the total not to exceed $100. Drivers are still responsible for paying fines and court costs involved in the traffic violation. The course may only be used once to avoid points.

A driver is not eligible if he or she:

• is in the 60-day period of course eligibility for a previous ticket.

• has already avoided points under the program.

• has a restricted, suspended or revoked license or was not issued a Michigan license.

• has three or more points on his or her record.

• held a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the ticket.

• received a ticket that is not eligible for the program.

The law, sponsored by Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy), also requires an approved sponsor to conduct a study every five years measuring the effectiveness the successful completion of the course has in reducing collisions and moving violations. The Secretary of State must then report those findings to the Legislature.

For more information about the Basic Driver Improvement Course program as well as branch office locations and services, visit the Secretary of State website (www.Michigan.gov/sos). Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888/767-6424.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016