(1)(a) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall approve the courses of all driver improvement schools, as the courses relate to ss. 318.14(9), 322.0261, and 322.291. The chief judge of the applicable judicial circuit may establish requirements regarding the location of schools within the judicial circuit. A person may engage in the business of operating a driver improvement school that offers department-approved courses related to ss. 318.14(9), 322.0261, and 322.291.
(b) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall approve and regulate courses that use technology as the delivery method of all driver improvement schools as the courses relate to ss. 318.14(9) and 322.0261.
(2)(a) In determining whether to approve the courses referenced in this section, the department shall consider course content designed to promote safety, driver awareness, crash avoidance techniques, and other factors or criteria to improve driver performance from a safety viewpoint.
(b) In determining whether to approve courses of driver improvement schools that use technology as the delivery method as the courses relate to ss. 318.14(9) and 322.0261, the department shall consider only those courses submitted by a person, business, or entity which have approval for statewide delivery.
(3) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall suspend accepting proof of attendance of courses from persons who attend those schools that do not teach an approved course. In those circumstances, a person who has elected to take courses from such a school shall receive a refund from the school, and the person shall have the opportunity to take the course at another school.
(4) In addition to a regular course fee, an assessment fee in the amount of $2.50 shall be collected by the school from each person who elects to attend a course, as it relates to ss. 318.14(9), 322.0261, 322.291, and 627.06501, which shall be remitted to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and deposited in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund to administer this program and to fund the general operations of the department.
(5)(a) The department is authorized to maintain the information and records necessary to administer its duties and responsibilities for driver improvement courses. Where such information is a public record as defined in chapter 119, it shall be made available to the public upon request pursuant to s. 119.07(1).
(b) The department or court may prepare a traffic school reference guide which lists the benefits of attending a driver improvement school and contains the names of the fully approved course providers with a single telephone number for each provider as furnished by the provider.
History.—ss. 2, 6, ch. 91-200; ss. 2, 5, ch. 92-195; s. 61, ch. 93-120; s. 37, ch. 94-306; s. 3, ch. 95-326; s. 2, ch. 97-178; s. 14, ch. 99-5; s. 6, ch. 99-234; ss. 78, 250, ch. 99-248; s. 19, ch. 2000-313; s. 5, ch. 2002-235.