By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Getting a speeding ticket can be aggravating, and finding the time to fight it only adds to the frustration.

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But get in some minor traffic trouble with the Centennial Lakes Police Department and you have options.

Whether it’s for speeding, blowing a stop sign or not wearing a seat belt – people who get a ticket can take a safety course online.

Russel Blanck, the administrative sergeant for Centennial Lakes Police, says the program is a hit.

“So far, it’s been very successful. People seem to really like it,” Blanck said.

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Kurt Glaser is the city attorney for Lexington and Centerville. He’s also the computer programmer that came up with the idea for the course which is considered the first of its kind across the country.

“They type in their citation number and then we already have their ticket data in the system,” Glaser said. “They get a good education, but they get their ticket dismissed. It’s also cheaper than going to court and paying the scheduled fines that you would see in court.”

Low-level offenders who log on pay ten percent less than the ticketed price. Pass a short quiz and the offense won’t show up on your driving record.

“You can go to get college course credit, high schools do it – why can’t police departments do it? And, that’s what we decided to try,” he said.

In the year Centennial Lakes has been using it, more than 1,000 drivers have taken the course.

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Dozens of other departments are signing up with the hope of making it less of a hassle to send a message.

Liz Collin