Defensive Driving in Rhode Island
A defensive driving course in Rhode Island could be required through a court order after you have committed a certain number of moving violations. Undergoing traffic school could include attending a single four-hour refresher session to a 10-week program on top of community service hours. This range of variations depends upon the severity of the violations as well as the length of time over which they were committed. In any case, you will be notified through state correspondence sent by mail if you are required to attend a course.
RI defensive driving school can be beneficial for several motorists, especially mature drivers who may not have reviewed driving laws and regulations for a while. While not mandatory, a driver safety program might also help lower your auto insurance costs. To learn more about the various benefits related to enrolling in one of these classes, read the sections below.
Who can attend traffic school in Rhode Island?
A RI defensive driving class will be required of any driver who is convicted of four separate moving violations within an 18-month period. This is known as the Colin Foote law, which requires such motorists to complete 60 hours of education as well as 60 hours of community service.
A general driving safety course could also be required by the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal, District Court, Family Court or any municipal court in RI. Nonetheless, this four-hour program can be attended by those with violations from other states.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in Rhode Island
There are three types of defensive driving courses in Rhode Island, which are best suited for motorists with different needs. In any case, all of these programs are offered through a DMV-approved traffic school at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). The following options are available:
- Defensive Driving/DRIVE Attitudes: This is a single four-hour session authorized for any court-ordered driver retraining program, including for motorists who committed violations in other states.
- Colin Foote: This is a 60-hour program for drivers convicted of four separate moving violations within an 18-month period. To complete this program, you must attend 10 sessions.
- Teen Re-Education for Exceeding Driving Speed (TREDS): For first-time speeding convictions for drivers on a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) or who are within the first year of holding a full drivers license. The program is a single six-hour course held once every three months.
Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in Rhode Island
There are no official online traffic school options for RI driving improvement. Therefore, you must plan to attend the required sessions in person according to the available schedules. The type of defensive driving course you need to take will dictate the availability, but all official courses are available through CCRI and their schedule is posted accordingly.
How to Enroll in a Rhode Island Defensive Driving School
To enroll in RI traffic school, you must mail the registration form or register in person at the following Rhode Island DMV address:
600 New London Avenue Cranston, RI 02920
Because the abovementioned driver improvement program options are all court-ordered, your registration information will be mailed to you within four weeks of your scheduled court date. Follow the instructions included within those forms.
You will be registered for the appropriate driver improvement course once your payment has been received and processed. Then, you will receive information regarding the classes by mail, which can vary after the time you paid from two to 10 weeks. Some classes are only available every three months, so you must wait until an available class is upcoming.
Note that, if your defensive driving course is required after a moving violation committed in another state, you are required to register for a course in person at the DMV, bringing your referral forms with you as proof.
Benefits of Completing Traffic School in Rhode Island
Completing traffic school in Rhode Island might be a requirement, but it could also be a financial benefit. Completing a course could result in any of the following:
- Avoid increases on your auto insurance premium
- Obtain a car insurance discount
- Fulfill a court order
- Learn safe driving knowledge and skills
Avoid Increases on Your Auto Insurance Premiums
Attending a defensive driving course could help you lower your insurance premiums or avoid increases on your policy costs. However, this depends on your insurer, so be sure to confirm the details prior to registering for any courses. These will most likely be classes offered by private companies, so also confirm with your insurance provider as to which courses will qualify.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
A driver safety course insurance discount might be available for those who successfully complete a qualifying traffic school program. However, this benefit depends on your insurance provider. Thus, be sure to confirm with your insurer prior to registering for a course.
Fulfill a Court Order
Depending on the moving violation or violations you have committed, a Rhode Island traffic school class may be court-ordered. First-year motorists who are caught speeding will be required to enroll in one of these programs, while experienced drivers who have committed other moving violations might be required by the courts to complete an in-person session or a full course.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
Completing a driver safety program is a good idea for motorists of all ages and skill levels, regardless of whether they committed any convictions or violations. Overall, getting a refresher on state driving rules and regulations can benefit all drivers, improving general safety on the roads.
Rhode Island Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
The general RI defensive driving course lasts only four hours in a single-day session. Generally, this is a popular course accepted by many states across the country. For drivers who committed four separate moving violations within an 18-month period, ten Saturday sessions will add up to the total 60 hours of retraining education required by law. Teens who must attend a refresher course after being convicted of a speeding violation will take a six-hour course in a single day session.
Rhode Island Defensive Driving Certificates
You will not receive a defensive driving certificate from any of the official CCRI courses for retraining. The DMV and local courts will be automatically notified once you have completed the courses.
Rhode Island Traffic School Versus Drivers Education
Motorists must be mindful that Rhode Island traffic school classes are not the same as drivers education courses. Driver’s ed is for new drivers who are attempting to become fully licensed. Alternatively, the various driver improvement courses offered through the DMV and CCRI are for already-licensed drivers who require a refresher course on laws and regulations.
Rhode Island Defensive Driving Course Fees
The costs for defensive driver courses in RI vary depending on the type of course you must take. Overall, the following fees are paid to the DMV to take the appropriate courses through CCRI:
- Defensive Driving/DRIVE Attitudes: $165
- Colin Foote: $850
- TREDS: $95