The Traffic Offenders Program aims to provide Offenders with the information and skills necessary to develop positive attitudes towards driving and develop safer driving behaviour. It enables Magistrates to refer offenders who have pled guilty to, or been found guilty of, a traffic offence to an approved traffic course.
Who is eligible for the Program?
Programs are available to offenders charged under Road Transport legislation with summary offences or indictable offences that may be dealt with summarily.
A person can be referred by the Local Court to a Traffic Offenders Program if:
- The person is a traffic offender; and
- The person has not been sentenced for the traffic offence; and
- The person enters into a written agreement to participate; and
- The Court considers the person a suitable candidate.
When determining suitability the Court will have regard to the following factors:
- Extent to which the offender’s character, age, health and mental condition would be likely to prevent effective participation;
- Nature of the offence committed;
- Extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed;
- Impact of the offence on the community and the victim (if any); and
- History of convictions for traffic offences.
Referring an Offender to the Program
The offender or his/her legal representative is responsible for identifying the preferred course provider. The process is as follows:
- Local Court determines whether an offender is suitable to be referred to the program
- Court makes a program participation order provided an approved traffic course is available
- Offender enters into written agreement to participate in program as a condition of bail or deferral for sentence
- Offender complies with requirements of approved traffic course.
Approving participation in the program means that depending on the stage of proceedings the court will grant bail or adjourn the matter for sentencing, allowing sufficient time for the program to be completed.
Successful completion of the program can potentially lead to a lesser sentence, though this is at the discretion of the Magistrate. Failure to comply with the requirements of the course or to complete the program may result in the offender being returned to Court.
Course Content will include:
- Measures that aim to improve the understanding of course participants of their legal obligations as road users
- Measures that aim to develop safe driving behaviour by course participants
- Measures that inform course participants about the potential impact of traffic offences on the victims of such offences and on the community generally.
Course content may also include:
- Drinking/drug abuse and driving
- Maintenance of safe vehicles.
Approved courses contain a minimum of six (6) individual sessions and a maximum of ten (10).
Sessions should run for a minimum of 60 minutes and a maximum of 120 minutes.
Course providers charge fees on a cost recovery basis and not for profit. Fees generally range from $90-$150.
Details of the various programs available can be found at the following link. To obtain further information about a particular program or enrol you will need to contact the provider directly:
The Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) is the largest provider of Traffic Offender Intervention Programs in New South Wales. Their courses are run one day a week for a 6-8 week period. Their program incorporates 8 sessions, with topics including: The Legal System, Dangerous Behaviours, Drug and Alcohol Accidents Outcomes and Understanding the Victim’s Perspective:
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