Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

NY State has a program that more people should be taking advantage of (I believe that some other states offer this program as well). The State offers a 6-hour Defensive Driving Course. Now the course all on its own is a good idea but it brings some added benefits with it. For one thing, upon course completion a certificate is sent to the state DMV and one is mailed to you to send to your insurance company. The certificate is good for three years. It will result in a 10% reduction in your car insurance (or at least the liability, no fault and collision portion of it--check your insurance company) for each of the three years. In addition, if you have points on your licence it will reduce/remove up to 4 of those points.

These courses are offered in a number of physical locations. However, they are also now offered online. This is a blessing for many people. You can now take that course 24/7 from the comfort of your own home--no trying to fit in when a course is given outside into your living schedule. In addition, you don't need to sit through the six hours straight when you take the course online; after you finish one of the modules (there are four of them) you can log out and log back in as your schedule and sitting power allows. Oh yes, there is no final exam in this course, although there are very short quizzes at the end of each of the four study modules, so breathe easy.

If you want to find a state-approved site for the course in your state just google "defensive driving class online." The site I'm using offered a reduced rate of $34.50 for the course. You can check it out at http://www.newyorksafetycouncil.com/

Given today's climate for "short-cutting" everything, please note that the course verifies who is taking the course at various points throughout your taking the course. Before you begin you get a phone number to call and they log a voice recognition on your voice. At some point in each module you have to call the phone number that flashes on the screen and you are asked to give a voice sample again to match with the original sample. (and this is timed--about 75 seconds to respond or you are logged out of the module and course.) There are also a few factual questions that you are asked to answer before the course begins. As you progress these questions are flashed on the screen and you have only a few seconds to answer them. In short, the person registering for the course is the person who actually needs to be taking the course.


Steve said...

Thanks for the info. I wanted to do this but the classroom courses were never at convenient times or places for me.

Lion of Zion said...

thanks for reminding me. i'm way overdue. i do it for the insurance discount. do you feel is was worthwhile in terms of learning or reinforcing something?

ProfK said...

It's done as one slide per screen. Some of the slides have mega text on them. I usually don't like reading fine print off of a screen but it was okay. Yeah, it reminded me of a few things I needed to remember. Re the child restraints I learned something new--keep in mind I have no little children and wouldn't know how to put a little one safely into such a seat without this video.

The one good thing is that you can take a break even in the middle of a module if you just can't sit anymore. When you log back in it takes you to where you left off. For me one annoyance was the timer for each screen. If you finish reading the screen before the timer is finished counting down the program won't let you go on to the next screen until the timer reads zero. If you're a slower reader that works out fine. I read fast and spent a lot of time twiddling my thumbs. Still, it beats having to sit for two 3 hour sessions. Technically the "six hour" course is only 320 minutes online. And I've got about 3 weeks to complete those minutes.

Anonymous said...

Great information. I don't think they have this in my state, but I'll look.

Anonymous said...

There is (or used to be) a frum guy who taught a 6 hour course to frum people in 3 hours. He didn't cover the second half of the course, which is about driving under the influence. He said that frum people don't need it, and he certified that all of us fulfilled the 6 hour course. I'm ashamed to say, not really knowing better, that I took part in this, years ago. I'm also ashamed to say that he gave it in a shul, at least twice. And that's only one shul.

Rachel said...

Frum people don't need it?!!! And a shul allowed this?111 You really gotta wonder where the brains are in some people today. The course may be long but it's information drivers should know.