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Drivers facing suspension could get second chance

Those with an accumulation of points on their driving records could be assigned to class instead of handing over their licenses.

The state Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced that select drivers facing suspension for accumulated points or speeding convictions could have a chance at a reprieve through successful completion of the new Driver Improvement School (DIS).

“This new training program offers people whose driving privileges are in jeopardy a chance to avoid losing their license,” said Yassmin Gramian, state secretary of transportation. “For many losing the ability to legally operate a motor vehicle means not just a loss of mobility, but a loss of income and independence, as well.”

Once a driver accumulates six points for moving violations for the second time or they have been convicted of speeding, they are required to attend a department hearing.

There, the driver meets with a driver safety examiner to review their driving record and discuss the habits that resulted in the hearing.

The examiner will determine at the conclusion of the hearing whether to suspend the driver’s license for 15 days or offer the new DIS option.

If drivers successfully complete DIS, two points will be shaved from their driving record, which allows them to avoid a 15-day license suspension.

Gramian said the DIS curriculum focuses on safety and addressing poor driver behaviors and judgments among high-risk drivers.

The six-hour DIS course helps drivers identify why they engage in risky driving behavior and offers strategies to modify that behavior to avoid future violations and crashes.

The DIS course will initially be available at seven PennDOT locations, including the Butler Driver License Center at Point Plaza.