PennDOT program offers a second chance to drivers facing suspension | Wednesday Morning Coffee

For many drivers, losing their license means losing their livelihood, PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said

By: - August 17, 2022 7:14 am
Driver behind the wheel

(Getty Images)

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

If you’re a Pennsylvania driver facing suspension because you’ve racked up too many points on your license or have been convicted of excessive speeding, a new state program could offer you a second chance.

Select motorists who successfully complete the state Department of Transportation’s Driver Improvement School will, depending on their individual circumstances, have points shaved from their license and/or dodge a 15-day suspension, the agency said in a statement.

The six-hour training course “focuses on educating and assisting problematic drivers to identify why they engage in risky driving behavior and how to utilize strategies for behavior modification to assist in improving their driving habits to prevent future violations and crashes,” the agency said in its statement.

Here’s the fine print, from PennDOT:

“As drivers are convicted of certain moving violations, points are assigned to their driving record. Once a driver’s record has been reduced below six points and for the second time, shows as many as six points or has a conviction for excessive speeding, that driver is required to attend a departmental hearing. At the departmental hearing, a driver meets with a Driver Safety Examiner (DSE) to review their driving record and discuss the driving habits that resulted in the hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, a determination will be made whether serving a 15-day suspension or attending PennDOT’s DIS would be most beneficial for the driver to assist in making better decisions while behind the wheel.”

 

Select drivers who attend the program and successfully complete it due to their record “showing for the second time as many as six points, will have two points removed from their record and avoid a 15-day suspension,” according to PennDOT.

Drivers who complete the program because of an excessive speeding conviction will avoid having to serve a 15-day suspension, PennDOT said. Drivers who qualify for the program, but who do not successfully complete it or fail to attend, will be required to serve a 60-day license suspension, according to PennDOT.

“This new training program offers people whose driving privileges are in jeopardy a chance to avoid losing their license,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “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.”

For more information, you can visit the Driver Improvement School page on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Marilyn Kelly-Cavotta, executive director of veteran and military services at Moravian University, testifies Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, before the House State Government Committee on legislation that would open primary elections to independent voters. She and former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, who, with Kelly-Cavotta, is co-chair of Ballot PA Vets, told the committee veterans are disproportionately represented among independent voters.

Our Stuff.
Experts and advocates told a state House committee on Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s closed primary system disenfranchises independent voters and veteransPeter Hall reports.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday issued an executive order discouraging conversion therapy and directing commonwealth agencies to discourage attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Marley Parish has the story.

As part of a national effort to recruit poll workers for the November general election, state officials are encouraging eligible Pennsylvanians to serve as poll workers on Election DayCassie Miller reports.

President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Jennifer Shutt writes.

Attorneys general from 20 states — including Pennsylvania — and the District of Columbia filed a brief in federal court on Tuesday, challenging Texas’ assertion that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who end a pregnancy to save the patient’s life, Jennifer Shutt also reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning: If you’re Joe Biden, and you’re looking to rack up legislative victories, is it better to be lucky than good? Opinion regular Fletcher McClellan takes up the question. And abortion clinics are community resources that deserve better protectionLizbeth Rodriguez, the Pennsylvania Community Engagement Coordinator for The Women’s Centers, writes.

At-large Philadelphia City Councilman Alan Domb (Photo via The Philadelphia Tribune)

Elsewhere.
Philadelphia City Councilmember Alan Domb, who’s weighing a mayoral bid, resigned his seat on Monday. The Inquirer explains why his exit likely won’t be the last departure. And as members of council pursue their mayoral bids, WHYY-FM explains what that means for city residents and their representation.

Republican governor candidate Doug Mastriano has challenged Democratic rival Josh Shapiro to debate, the Post-Gazette reports.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut its ad spending in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, PoliticsPA reports.

The Bucks County Courier Times considers whether the end of Roe v. Wade has prompted a spike in voter registrations (via GoErie).

Penn State Health has stopped doing kidney and liver transplants. And its program has been criticized by state and federal agenciesPennLive reports.

A man who drove into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday — and who fatally shot himself — formerly lived in Northampton County, and had a lengthy criminal record, the Morning Call reports.

PennDOT has rolled out its plans for the reconstruction of the Sans Souci Parkway in Luzerne County, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

WESA-FM explains how Allegheny County officials are trying to make its air quality rules and regulations easier for the public to understand.

Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
10 a.m., Reading: House Democratic Policy Committee

WolfWatch
As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Megan Winters, in the office of state Sen. Lindsey Williams, D-Allegheny, who celebrates another trip around the sun today. Congratulations and enjoy your day.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s an old favorite from Dodgy to get your Wednesday morning going. It’s their indelible single ‘Good Enough.’


Wednesday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
The Baltimore Orioles took another one off Torontobeating the Blue Jays 4-2 on Tuesday, and closing to within half a game of the third-place Jays in the AL East.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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