With nearly 700,000 residents potentially on the road at any given time, driving in El Paso can be challenging. In Texas’s sixth-largest city, driving can sometimes get as spicy as the salsa at Carlos and Mickey’s.
El Paso can be a dangerous place to drive, both physically and fiscally. El Paso averages 17,000+ collisions per year, with nearly a third resulting in injuries or fatalities.
Since most accidents are caused by a failure to control speed, law enforcement does its best to slow this trend by writing tickets. In the US, 100,000 speeding tickets are written every day, and, no doubt, El Paso drivers get their fair share. At an average cost of $150 a ticket, the nation’s speeders pay out nearly $5.5 billion dollars in fines, and each of them faces a 22-25% increase in their car insurance premiums for the next three years.
All of these costs could be drastically reduced with better driving by all. El Paso drivers can bring these numbers down by taking defensive driving (also known in Texas as a “driver safety course”). Tips and reminders of how to navigate the roads safely are the main topics of any driving course. The started purpose of a TDLR-approved course is to teach drivers to “change their perceptions, attitudes, and skills to make Texas roads and highways a safer place to drive.” Other benefits of taking a defensive driving course include ticket dismissal and insurance savings, all at a reasonable cost.
The Easiest Way to Take Defensive Driving in El Paso? Do it Online
Since there’s no way of knowing if the world will ever return to a “pre-Covid normal,” the easiest (and safest) way to complete a course would be to take one online. The ability to work at your own pace from your own place makes it the most convenient way, too. Any of the schools listed below offer courses approved for ticket dismissal and/or insurance discount. And you can choose any of them with confidence that they are fully certified by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
El Paso’s Best TDLR-Approved Online Defensive Driving Providers
Tired of Being Cooped Up?
If you’ve seen enough of the inside of your house lately, you can still get out and take defensive driving in a classroom. Be ready to mask up and work around some limited schedules, but these guys are still “doing the deal.”
Depending on the school, classroom defensive driving has always been fun; being in the presence of humans again might even make it more so. Now I’m not gonna lie; classroom defensive driving in El Paso is hard to find anymore. Here are some schools where you can still make that happen.
ANP Driving School has served the El Paso area with professional driver instruction since 2003. A leading provider of driver education courses for teens and adults, they also offer defensive driving ticket dismissal courses that are regularly available throughout the week.
657 Horizon Blvd Ste J, Socorro, TX 79927 or call (915) 858-6259
After several months of pandemic shutdown, Sunny Day is back, offering Saturday classes. Their TDLR approved courses can be used for ticket dismissal and/or insurance discount. Classes are held at the eastside Golden Corral located at 1460 N. Lee Trevino Dr, 79936.
Call 915-585-8300 to register
In the bygone B.C. (before Covid) days, schools like Comedy Guys, Funny Bone, and My Improv were famous for their defensive driving classes that were more or less dinner and a show. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon.
If You Have Received a Ticket in El Paso
Defensive driving courses can be used to improve driving skills and earn insurance discounts, but the benefit most people look for is ticket dismissal.
The first step to taking defensive driving is receiving permission to do so. The El Paso process for asking “pretty please” can happen:
- At your court hearing
- By mail
- In-person at one of the following locations:
- Pebble Hills – 10780 A Pebble Hills
- Mission Valley – 9011 Escobar
- Northeast – 9600 Dyer Northeast Municipal Annex
- Westside – 4801 Osborne
Dismissal for most citations is possible unless the ticket was written:
- For speeding 25 miles per hour (or more) over the posted limit
- Passing a stopped school bus
- In a posted construction zone while workers are present
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Fleeing police
Ticket dismissal is also not a possibility if you are the holder of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) or if you have dismissed a ticket with defensive driving in the past 12 months.
Driving in El Paso
If you love the occasional road trip, El Paso offers some beautiful scenic drives.
- El Paso Scenic Drive—A two-mile stretch offering views of both El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. When the weather is clear, you’ll see the mountains, the Rio Grande, Gadsden Purchase, and miles into Mexico.
- Rim Road—From downtown, take a right onto Rim Road from Stanton Street North for more views of El Paso and Juarez. Rim Road also winds through Manhattan Heights, one of El Paso’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods.
- The Trans-Mountain Highway—Winding through the Franklin Mountains home to an ancient pictogram confirming human presence in these parts dating back nearly 12,000 years.
More Cool Stuff About El Paso
Besides beautiful drives, Texas’ fifth-largest city has a lot to offer. Here are some fun facts you may not know about “El Chuco.”
- El Paso was once known as the Six Shooter Capital
- El Paso is the boot capital of the world
- El Paso is one of the sunniest locations in the US, averaging 302 days of sunshine a year
- In 1598, the first Thanksgiving celebration in the US was held in the town of San Elizario in El Paso County (before the Mayflower pilgrim-landing in 1620)
- Marty Robbins’ classic song “El Paso” was inspired by a stop at Rosa’s Cantina
- The Wyler Aerial Tramway was the third tram built in the United States. A ride on it offers a 7,000 square mile view into three states and two countries
- El Paso features many museums including the only Border Patrol Museum and the only bilingual Holocaust museum in the US
- Lit by more than 400 light bulbs, El Paso has a gigantic manmade star on the side of the Franklin Mountains. How gigantic? It’s 400 feet tall and more than 300 feet wide!
- The city’s landmark Plaza Hotel (the city’s first high-rise hotel) was opened in 1930 by Conrad Hilton
- El Paso Street, the city’s first and oldest street, has been walked by the likes of Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, President William Howard Taft, and Pancho Villa
- El Paso claims to be the birthplace of the margarita, allegedly invented at Tommy’s Place Bar in 1945 by bartender Francisco “Pancho” Morales
Whatever you decide to see or do in El Paso, be careful driving to get there. Without question, the driving environment here can pose some real traffic challenges. Consider taking a defensive driving course to make sure you get to your “whatever” safely.
John FabelI have a long and checkered history with defensive driving. I took my first "court invited" course at age 15 and realized immediately that there had to be a better way. Since that first experience, I have gone on to teach defensive driving classroom courses and to author four internet courses in 2 states. After nearly 25 years in the industry, I can help you find a course that will be the best fit for you.
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