Online traffic school as an option for traffic violators is now approved in nearly every county in California, except for a few holdouts such as Orange and Santa Clara counties, which run their own traffic school programs and therefore keep any revenue generated from traffic school participants in county coffers.
You might have missed the online traffic school list handed out by the courts, as it is often more difficult to find.
The online traffic school list might be typed on a separate piece of paper inserted into the court booklet, or, as in the case of Los Angeles County, you are directed by tiny print buried in the text on the front of the booklet to go to the Web site of the court for a list of approved online traffic school programs.
There are actually many entities responsible for the quality of classroom and online traffic school programs. Classroom traffic school programs must first be approved by the California DMV, but online traffic school courses exist because of a single sentence in the California vehicle code which says that courts may “at their discretion” offer an alternative to classroom traffic school; therefore online traffic school companies go through the approval process required by each individual court.
The courts then contract with one of four outside monitoring bodies who are then responsible for verifying that certain standards are met by every approved traffic school.
In the case of classroom traffic school, however, these monitors are trained to verify things such as the number of students, that the approved curriculum is being covered, that the facility meets certain standards and that the time requirements are being met.
It is indeed a shame that classroom traffic school monitors are not required to verify whether the person standing in front of the traffic school class is truly a quality instructor, or just someone trying to stretch several hundred pages of dry traffic school curriculum until the clock says that eight hours have passed.
This is the unfortunate reason as to why the quality of classroom-based traffic school has, as a rule, continued to be so poor for many years in California.