Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on Claycord.com.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This Claycord.com column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.
Email your questions to email@example.com.
COMMUTER: Online traffic school is a big joke. There’s nobody in the room with you supervising, how do they know you really did the course and didn’t cheat?
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Suspicious, the Jammer is actually a fan of online traffic school. People who work long hours or have two jobs, people who have children in school, and just plain busy people benefit from online traffic school.
With online traffic school, you can log on anytime and complete a series of modules and quizzes to satisfy the traffic school requirement and mask a ticket. No driving long distances to get to a class that is held only at certain hours. Online traffic school is usually less expensive, too.
You can use certain tricks to try to finish the modules faster, but you usually end up learning things anyway. As with in-person traffic school, if you finish with one or two helpful takeaways, it’s all good.
COMMUTER: I recently did online traffic school for the first time, and when I finished with a near-perfect score, the system told me my Notice of Completion had been sent. How do I know it was received? And how can I be sure the ticket is gone, baby, gone, and nobody will know about it?
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Well, Worried, since the whole thing is done electronically, the analogy here is smog check. When the smog check dude (or dudette) tells you it’s OK, it’s pretty much a sure thing, yes? This is the same idea. Just as the smog check place gives you a hardcopy of your test result, your online traffic school should have given you the option to print out your certificate of completion so you would have it just in case.
To make absolutely sure, call the court from which you got the notification in the first place. Often, you’ll be able to check your status through the voicemail system.
That’s how to make sure the court was notified. To make sure the ticket has been masked, you can call the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit at 916-657-6525 to confirm that the conviction has been suppressed on your driving record. You can also visit the DMV or check it out online.
COMMUTER: I was driving down the freeway at 65 mph when I hit a huge pothole and got a flat. I pulled off onto the shoulder, ran over a nail and got another flat! What a day!
–Tired of Debris Damage
TRAFFIC JAMMER: TODD, the Jammer is sorry you suffered such a nasty one-two punch. Hoping that you at least had AAA so you could call a tow truck!
It sounds like you would qualify for reimbursement from Caltrans for the flat tire. To apply, send a claim form and two written estimates or one receipt substantiating the damage to the district office in the county where it happened. To get a copy of the claim form, go to www.dot.ca.gov/damageclaims.htm. Or call 510-286-5806 and ask for help.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: And now, a long-overdue Traffic Jammin’ quiz! On June 30, 1953, what momentous occasion took place in the United States? First correct answer gets a mention in the column.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by Claycord.com at 2pm for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.