New Regs Would Permit Defensive Driving Course Online

Under current law, New Jersey drivers may get a two-point credit against their accumulated MVC penalty points by successfully completing an approved driver improvement school course. This two-point credit is available once every 5 years. There are also substantial (and mandatory) insurance discounts that are available to good drivers who complete the course. On occasion, municipal court judges will want young motorists to complete such a course before the judge will accept a plea bargain to an otherwise serious traffic offense.

Now,under a newly proposed regulation, the approved defensive driving course could be completed online, thereby eliminating the current practice of personally attending the class at a facility.

A copy of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s plan to change its regulations in the New Jersey Administrative Code follows:

RELEASE: January 24, 2007

Proposed Amendments and New Rules Implementing
Online Defensive Driving Schools

The Motor Vehicle Commission has proposed amendments and new rules relating to the addition of an online defensive driving school option to the already existing defensive driving school regulatory scheme. The Commission’s proposed rulemaking implements the public policy as noted in N.J.S.A. 17:33B-45, N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9 and N.J.A.C. 11:3-24.3 pertaining to insurance rate reductions and reduction of motor vehicle violation points for drivers completing defensive driving classes.

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:21-24 include requirements for course providers to offer the same curriculum, quality and length of course as a traditional in-classroom course. Additionally, they will need to satisfy the requirements of the Chief Administrator proving that the course is secure and that the individual who completes the course is the individual that receives credit for the course. Course providers will further be required to administer a proficiency examination with a passage rate of at least 80% in order for a student motorist to successfully complete the course.

The Motor Vehicle Commission’s regulatory proposal was published on January 16th, 2007. The public will have 60 days from the date of publication to submit comments regarding the Motor Vehicle Commission’s regulatory proposal. Comments should be directed to Steven E. Robertson, Director, Legal, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Motor Vehicle Commission, 225 East State Street, P.O. Box 162, Trenton, NJ 08666-0162.

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