Traffic School

Although I was playing with some 4B11T EVO X exhaust tube diameter testing until late last night, I woke up early because I couldn’t sleep. Seeing as how I have traffic school due in mid September, I figured I better finish up traffic school online and get it over with. Traffic school and tickets have always been a thorn in my side. I like to drive fast most of the time. It’s not because I’m Ricky the Ricey Racer or anything, but I feel like it’s inefficient to drive slow when the road is open. Why cruise at 55 when you can cruise at 90? Think about the Autobahn in Germany. Logic dictates that you should drive at 90 if 1) you ignore the law, 2) there are few other cars around, 3) your car is capable of cruising safely at 90, and 4) your driving skills allow you to cruise at 90. The law is designed for the masses. I am not the masses. Anyhow, so I regulary take traffic school about every 2 years or so to drop a ticket if I can. In California, you are allowed to take traffic school once every 18 months. I have taken traffic school right at 18 months on several occasions.

Back in May 2009, I was driving up to Buttonwillow for a test with Sierra Sierra. The lame ass fuck head gas station attendant that morning was having trouble turning on the pumps at 6:00AM. You would think that with modern technology there might be a timer of some sort. I would have gone to another gas station, but he kept saying, “Sorry, one more minute.” By the time I got on to the 405N it was 6:35 or so. If you live in socal and take the 405N, then you know you’re fucked when you near LAX anytime past 6:30AM on the 405. Needless to say, I got stuck in traffic.

I was supposed to be at Buttonwillow by 8:30AM, but that wasn’t going to happen unless I sped the pace up. I was driving The Maximum (aka my 1996 Maxima beater) and I’ve set the car up to be an excellent cruiser with some Tockiko HP blue shocks, Tein Comfort Master springs, 2002 Maxima 17″ alloys (thanks Steve), Bridgestone RE-050s tires, 750watt RMS stereo with two 10″ subs, Apexi RS cat back exhaust, PFC brake pads and Cosworth drop in panel air filter. So I put the iPod on a playlist of Depeche Mode remixes (yes I am a child of the 80s and 90s), set the volume to 30 out of 40, drank some coffee and dropped the hammer. There isn’t much of a hammer in the Maximum so I ended up cruising at about 110 bobbing my head as Dave Gahan sang, “Strange highs and strange lows…”. I usually slow down around the Tejon Ranch, but for some reason I forgot that there’s usually CHP waiting to prey on speeding civilians. On the way down the hill I saw a black and white peel out and spray some dirt behind its wheels in the far corner of my field of vision. I knew I was going way too fast and nailed the brakes to no avail as the CHP car kicked ass along the access road, merged on to the 5N probably at full throttle, and turned on his lights behind me. Here was the conversation:

CHP: ”Do you know how fast you were going?”

My dumb ass: ”Not really officer. I know I was going fast, but I think I am amped out on this coffee and was zoning out to the music.” 

“I clocked you at 104 coming down the hill. You probably would have hit 115 if you didn’t see me and kept going down the hill. That’s just way too fast. You need to slow it down. REALLY.”

“FUCK.” (to myself)

After a couple minutes: ”Ok, it’s a good thing you were honest. If you told me you were going 75, I would have written you up for wreckless driving. I’m gong to give you a ticket for 89mph so you can at least take traffic school. Slow it down because I’m going to radio in your car’s description for other officers to MAKE SURE you are at the speed limit. If another officer catches you doing triple digits again, they’ll arrest you.”

“Uh….ok. Thanks officer. I will definitely slow it down.” Needless to say, I slowed it down.

Traffic School is generally pretty lame. You are attending a class or reading something that you really do not want to be attending or reading. How do they expect you to learn anything under these conditions? If you do pay attention though, there is some interesting trivia that you can learn in traffic school however. Sometimes the traffic  school tests have DMV facts and trivia questions on them, but of the questions are common sense. I consider myself to have plenty of common sense and that’s about 80% of driving. The laws, street signs, etc. are the other 20%. On the traffic school chapter tests, you get questions like:

Example #1
Drinking and driving at any age is ________.


Legal if supervised.

A very wise thing to do.

If you don’t know the answer to this question then you are pretty lame.

On the other hand, sometimes you get dumb ass questions like this:

Example #2
It is your responsibility to ______ and protect the environment you enjoy.


tread lightly



What the fuck kind of dumb ass question is this? The answer is obviously not “destroy”, but “repair” or “use” could work. The answer to this one is TREAD LIGHTLY believe it or not. Sure I understand that the answers are basically a comprehension test of what you read in the chapter, but that’s just a dumb ass question in general.

Example #3

You drive defensively when you:

drive fast.

don’t look ahead.

leave yourself an out.

don’t pay attention.

Example #4
While performing a U-Turn you will….

turn right onto a two-way street.

turn left onto a two-street.

turn right onto a one way street.

turn 180 degrees and head the opposite direction.

On the other hand, most questions or pretty easy like these two. Common sense can answer these (if you have any). #4 is so easy, I can’t even believe it’s on a “test”.

I am actually taking a chapter test in another window while writing this. So how do you complete an 8 hour course in about 1 hour? First of all you have to pick an online traffic school that doesn’t have the countdown timer feature before you go to the next page. The idea here is to “force” you to read the pages. Those sites are ok too, but you basically have to wait 30 minutes before you are allowed to advance to the next page. If you don’t want to waste a half day sitting in front of your computer, then you have complete this over the course of several days. It helps if you have a multiple monitor pc because then you can just nerd out doing normal computer stuff while you have the traffic school open in another browser on the other screen. The best thing to do is to find an online course where there is no countdown timer. These sites are the best. I usually use

Countdown timer or not, there are two ways to speed through online traffic school. One trick is to open a new browser tab everytime you go to the next page. This leaves you with like 40 browser tabs open, but at each chapter test you can go back to a previous tab and use CTRL-F to find keywords. Some sites don’t allow you to open a new tab with each page so the trick here is to copy each page over to a word processor like Word. You’ll end up with a 120 page document, but then all the answers are available to you with a CTRL-F keyword search again. So far I’ve missed only 2 answers out of the 50 questions (5 chapter tests) and they were dumb ass questions like Example #2 that I was too lazy to look up. You should answer the common sense questions or the questions you know the answer to already. But remember that CTRL-F is your friend when you get a dumb ass #2 type question.

Here’s what I got on my final exam just now:

Eric Hsu: Your score is 100%.

Well Done, you have passed the final exam!

Well I’m sure I’ll do it all over again in 18 months…until then.

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