California Closes Loophole on Chronic Traffic Offenders

| by Denise A Justin

Starting July 1, 2011, California drivers are no longer be able to have traffic violations automatically erased from their driving record just by attending traffic school.

AB 2499 changes the way citations are recorded and will show a conviction, not a dismissal, of the violation.  The Department of Motor Vehicles says it is closing a loophole which allowed chronic traffic violators to hide from the court the reason the ticket was dismissed. 

Jaime Garza, spokesman for the DMV, stated that the prior system allowed chronic offenders to avoid the courts knowing they had attended traffic school more than once in an 18-month period.  Multiple tickets could be marked “dismissed” without the court having access to the record and knowing why.

Here’s how it’s described by,”In the past, when courts dismissed an infraction, the driver had his or her record cleared and the DMV had no clear picture of the driver’s actual history.

“With the new guidelines, drivers who attend a traffic school defensive driving course will have their first conviction masked and not receive negative marks on their driving record, according to the DMV. But, if they commit additional violations within an 18-month period, the convictions will appear on the driver’s record, negligent operator points will be assigned and the person’s insurance company will be notified.”