District Attorney of the 30th Judicial District, Mike Bonfoey, has partnered with the community colleges of Western North Carolina to offer a Safe Driving Program, Defensive Driving Course. The four-hour course may prevent assessment of insurance points or insurance premium surcharges on insurance policies and/or points on a North Carolina driver’s license for those that have received a citation or ticket for certain traffic violations.

This program is available for the 30th Judicial District which includes Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Clay, Cherokee, Macon, and Graham Counties. To receive the benefit of this program, the course must be completed at least five working days before the final court date.

The following traffic violations qualify for the Defensive Driving Course: speeding (up to 20 mph over the limit in 35 mph zones, or up to 15 mph over the limit in 40 mph zones), driving left of center, failing to burn headlamps, motorcycle only violations, driving without two headlights, red light violation, crossing median, following too close, too fast for conditions, failing to reduce speed, stop sign violation, unsafe movement, exceeding a safe speed, wrong way on one-way road, improper passing, wrong way on dual lane, leaving vehicle unattended, failing to yield right of way, city traffic code violations, failing to dim headlights, exceeding posted limit, failing to stop for RR warning, overloading violations, speed less than minimum, failing to give turn signal, improper use of traffic lane, and seatbelt (drivers).

Drivers are not eligible for this program if: the charged offense is not listed above, a safe driving course has been taken within the last3years in North Carolina, the citation/ticket has been paid prior to class, there are 2 or more moving violations on the same citation/ticket, the violation that requires a mandatory court appearance, the driver has a Commercial Driver’s License and the violation occurred while operating a commercial vehicle, or involvement in an accident which resulted in personal injury to someone or resulted in property damage in excess of $1,000.00.

Participants must enter into a written Plea Agreement and plead guilty to a lesser charge. The Plea Agreement will be completed in the class after successful completion of the course. Participants must pay court cost of $121.00 and fine (the fines are set in accordance with the schedule of fines as established by the District Court Chief Judge and published online as the NC Magistrates Association Waivable Traffic Offenses). Participants must also pay as agreed to in the Waiver for Personal Appearance after completing the class. If an accident has occurred, points may go on insurance. Check with your insurance agency on any questions.

Participants are required to register in person at the Safe Driving Education office located in Building 1500 on the HCC campus (the first building on the left as entering campus). (Update: for up-to-date location information, please visit the Continuing Education Schedule of Classes page or contact Continuing Education at 627-4669) Registrants must have the following at registration: traffic citation/ticket, driver’s license, $60 for the class in cash, money order or certified bank check. Personal checks will not be accepted. No late arrivals will be admitted to class. Please call 627-4500 for additional information.