Traffic School 2.0

January 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm 10 comments

It was a lovely Saturday considering that we’re in the midst of winter. The sun was out and the temperature was in the mid-50s. It was a great time to go to the nearby park and hike around the lake. But not this Saturday. I had to attend traffic school.

A few weeks ago, I was caught by the California Highway Patrol making an illegal line change. I crossed the white solid line when exiting the freeway. I see a lot of drivers do this all the time and able to get away with it. They should consider themselves fortunate. I was fined $291 for my indiscretion plus $34 for the class fee.

This was the second time I attended traffic school. In 2010, I went to class for a different infraction. the purpose of going to class is to have the court dismiss the citation on the basis of traffic school attendance. Once dismissed, it would not show in your DMV record anymore. That’s what you want to happen. You want your driving record to remain clean because it’s used by insurance companies to set up rates. In other words, the cleaner your record, the more reasonable your insurance premium will be. Now, this option to make your ticket disappear is only allowed once in any 18-month period. I got lucky that my last violation occurred past that period, although, I’d admit, just barely.

It was a whole day class conducted by a retired cop. No doubt about it, he was a force to behold. He displayed this aura of someone with many years of issuing traffic tickets. He was a straight shooter. He said that it would be for our mutual benefit to give his lecture our undivided attention as there would be a written test later. He continued that he would take it as affront should we fail it. It would mean that he didn’t do a good job. At the same time, it would mean that we wouldn’t get the certificate required to have our citation dismissed.

The first order of the day was a roll call of the thirty attendees. It was followed by a getting to know each other session. It was similar to what they do in an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, I suppose. One by one, we took turns introducing ourselves and telling the class what brought us there. It felt better spilling the beans to a sympathetic audience. A large majority in the class were caught on camera crossing the intersection after the light turned red.

The lecture was supposed to be about the current California Vehicle Code (CVC) which consists of 43,000 laws.

“How do we expect to know all of these laws?” We asked.

“Such a monumental task,” he mused. “But ignorance of the law doesn’t excuse no one.”

“Then how do we know for sure if we break a law?”

“It’s when you see the red light of a police car flashing behind you.”

Since it would take a lifetime to cover the California Vehicle Code in its entirety, the instructor concentrated in the provisions that are already discussed in the California Driver Handbook. It kept us wide awake as we already know most of them.

He did introduce us to a concept that leads to a ticket or an accident on the road. It’s called unintentional amnesia. It happens when we become so engrossed in our preconditioned notion of reality that, when a change occurs, we tend to overlook it. Let’s say you’ve been driving this route for many years. It’s likely that you’ll miss the new stop sign on the day it was posted or the slick of oil from the previous night’s accident. It’s because your mind doesn’t expect them to be there.

At the end of the day, we all passed the test and got our certificates. Darn, he’s good, really good. He’s one of the best instructors I ever had.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , .

it’s 2012 Post-Holiday Blues

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. emilayskie  |  January 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Ang sosyal naman nito! Papasok ka pa sa class para ma-clear ang record for breaking the traffic law. Kakatuwa haha..

    Pero bakit po ang dami ng traffic law ninyo diyan sa California? Wala na bang mas komplikado pa diyan? Hehe.. Sana meron silang simplified version. Mahirap pala mag-drive sa California. Di mo alam kung may nadi-disobey ka na na law.

    Hindi pa po ako marunong mag-drive at wala pa akong kotse. Pero dito po sa New Zealand yung road code nila isang libro lang at pwedeng aralin ng less than a month of reading. Pero bago po makuha yung lisensya para mag-aral mag-drive pumasok din po ako sa klase para mag-aral kasama ng iba.

    • 2. plaridel  |  January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm


      hahaha. every year, marami pang dagdag na batas. kung iisipin mo ang mga yun baka di ka na mag-drive. sana makuha mo na ang driver’s license mo para masaya.

      • 3. emilayskie  |  January 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

        Meron na po akong learner’s license so kapag natuto na ako mag-drive pwede na po ako kumuha ng restricted license dito sa NZ. Kaso kelan pa kaya ako matututong mag-drive? Haha..

        • 4. plaridel  |  January 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm


          bago matapos ang 2012, may license ka na. 🙂

          • 5. AC  |  January 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

            ako naman e never makakapagdrive dito sa singapore dahil bukod sa RHD dito e napakamahaaaaaal pa, yung papers pa lang to acquire a car costs S$20K++ na daw accdg to the cab driver, yung kotse pa. awwwww. buti na lang ok ang public transpo dito (di nga lang friendly sa ilong.. haha!)

            • 6. plaridel  |  January 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm


              as long as public transportation is widely available like in singapore, there’s really no need to own a car. sakit ng ulo ang maintenance at problema rin kung s’an mo ipa-park. sa pilipinas, magbabayad ka pa ng tagabantay. on times you need a car, i think it’s better to rent na lang. 🙂

              • 7. AC  |  January 11, 2012 at 7:43 am

                Tama. 🙂 At sa Pinas yung tagabantay mo sya pang kukuha ng stuff sa car mo. Haha. Jowk. 😛 i like the transport system here, very efficient lahat at walang cab drivers na nandadaya. 🙂 Sa Pinas nga sakit sa ulo, ang mahal na ng gas.. Before you know it kinain na ng traffic ang gas mo. Parking fee pa maswerte na may makuha ka pang flat rate. Sana nga maging ok na din ang transpo system don para no need to get a car.

  • 8. coolwaterworks  |  January 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Whoa! 43000 traffic laws! Hehehe… It just means the lawmakers there are prolific… 😀

    • 9. plaridel  |  January 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm


      sabi naman ng instructor, gamitin lang ang common sense at ‘wag magpahuli. 🙂

  • 10. Dmv Practice Test  |  January 23, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Among these 43,000 laws we can know the illegal one when we met with those mistakes. With this mistake includes with fine, judgement in court and the course we have to take for that vilation.


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