Traffic School

June 10, 2010 at 1:15 am 17 comments

He reminded me of a younger version of Don Knotts, the bungling Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith show. His looks, mannerisms, and style of speaking could easily pass for the late star’s. The fact that he’s also a sheriff brought chills down my spine. I’m talking about our instructor in the traffic school dismissal program that I attended.

When I saw him in front of the class, I thought of life imitating art, but it was only for a moment. He may have looked and acted like him, but he was no Barney Fife. He conducted the class with a firm hand, the way a drill sergeant does to his new recruits.

He started the class by saying that it would be from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or until all the materials were covered. There was no reason for it to extend beyond the scheduled time, but there were occasions in the past when it did.

“Whenever a cell phone rings,” he warned, “15 minutes will be added. When somebody is caught falling asleep, 15 minutes will also be added. In addition, if the latter is the case, the whole class will be sent to the next room and do calisthenics.”

He continued that he didn’t expect a one-man show with him doing all the talking. He wanted everybody to participate and to pay close attention as there would be a test at the end of the class.

The instructor then proceeded to put us in the right frame of mind. He did a roll-call and reminded us that he’d have to do it every hour as mandated by state law.

“Now that everybody is accounted for, I want each and everyone of you to take your turn and tell the class why you are here, the violation that you committed, and the fine that you paid to the state.”

In my case, I was caught by a sharp-eyed cop driving without a seat belt. The fine was $122 plus the class fee of $32. There were 25 of us in the class. Attending the class would give the court an excuse to dismiss the charge and keep our driving records clean and not cause our insurance premiums to go up.

As we listened to each other’s sob story, we felt a bond. It was like attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Since we were all guilty as charged, it was a relief to speak to a very supportive audience.

The course covered traffic signs, signals, and roadway markings. It included identifying their different shapes and colors that we were supposed to know before we got our driver’s license.

He discussed driving being a privilege not a right, safe driving practices, and turning and passing in the city as well as on the expressway.

He pointed to a big black 400-page binder on the bookshelf. He said it contained all the traffic rules and regulations that would get us into trouble if not followed. Heck, I thought, there must be thousands of them in that book.

“For instance,” he said. “do you know that you’re required by law to turn on your headlights anytime your windshield wipers are in use?”

Of course, we pretended we did.

He cited statistics showing that in 2003 alone there were 6,328,000 car accidents in the u.s.

“It’s a real war zone out there,” he continued, “with 2.9 million injuries and 42,643 people killed as a result of car accidents.”

“You may be the best driver in the world. You may be following all the rules. But when you drive out there, you’ll be sharing the road with people who shouldn’t be there in the first place such as drunks, drug addicts, carjackers, tailgaters, distracted drivers with their cell phones, etc.”

As if to bring home the point, he showed a video featuring some of the worst road accidents ever recorded complete with all the gory details. We saw several car wrecks, a headless torso and pieces of flesh being put on body bags, Some bloody remains of teens whose lives were snuffed unexpectedly, and lucky ones who survived and were rewarded by becoming paraplegics for life.

The video scared the hell out of us. After watching the video, we wondered if we could ever drive again with the same confidence that we had before.

I think everybody did OK on the test that followed after the lecture. Actually, we could have aced it if all questions were discussed in the class. Some of the questions weren’t. When we complained about it, the instructor said that since we’re all licensed to drive, we’re supposed to know them. Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

At that point, we had to agree. There was no time to argue. He was the boss. He had to sign the certificate that we had completed the course as required by the court.


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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1.  |  June 10, 2010 at 5:48 am

    On other experts may be inclined to think that if prices inflate the great works which in turn the impact of inflation on insurance business (or as they say add us!)

  • 2. virtualanimosity  |  June 10, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    so did you finally get your name out of the system?

    • 3. plaridel  |  June 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm


      yep, my driving record is once again squeaky clean. πŸ™‚

      • 4. virtualanimosity  |  June 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm

        what if for some undue reasons you were again caught in a traffic violation, do you mean you have to do all of these for the second time? will you be paying higher fine?or your record will be forever marred?

        • 5. plaridel  |  June 12, 2010 at 8:38 am


          as i understand it, attending traffic schol can wipe out only the first violation within the past 18 months. if you get caught again, you’re toast. usually, it stays in your driving record for 3 years.

          • 6. virtualanimosity  |  June 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm

            i see…well, buti nlang i dont have to mind about those things. i usually sleep during long travel πŸ˜† i know how to drive pero i dont go outside our town, haha!

            you take care always, del. i know you do.

  • 7. Lodi  |  June 10, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Nakakatuwa naman ang kwento mo. Si Don Knotts ba yung nasa litrato?

    • 8. plaridel  |  June 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm


      that’s don knotts alright, pretending to be the actual instructor. πŸ™‚

  • 9. crickette  |  June 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    that’s why i avoid getting a ticket… i wonder how seminars here in the Philippines are like. i bet they’re hilarious!

    • 10. plaridel  |  June 13, 2010 at 10:01 am


      a safe driver. i will trust my life in you. πŸ™‚

      • 11. crickette  |  June 14, 2010 at 8:32 am

        oh no… im not a very good driver! i always get caught… but i just make sure that i dont get a ticket. i cry sometimes.

        • 12. plaridel  |  June 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm


          you’re being too modest. if you can drive in manila, you can drive anywhere. πŸ™‚

          • 13. crickette  |  June 16, 2010 at 6:13 am

            oh that’s true… and being that i went to CEU for dentistry, my first driving experience was really IN MANILA where the jeeps and fx believe that they’re the only ones on the road.

  • 14. Online Traffic School  |  June 14, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Follow traffic rules and avoid accidents. Very informative stats posted and attending traffic school will also help a lot in dismissing traffic tickets easily.Thanks for stopping by and sharing some great information.

  • 15. modified cars pictures  |  June 17, 2010 at 4:05 am

    interesting post and Fantastic article man!
    Dawn at times brings out the best from the best.

    Simple words.. Drive Slowly.. Reach Safely.. Avoid Accidents.. Save Life’s..!

  • 16. KZ  |  June 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    We should have something like this in Pinas. Wala eh. Most of the public transpo drivers here like jeepney/bus/trike drivers are barumbado. Dapat sila ang pinagaaral.

    • 17. plaridel  |  June 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm


      i think traffic school will benefit the philippines where anybody with the proper connection can get a driver’s license even without going through the process. πŸ™‚


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