Posted on 12/04/2012
A motoring specialist has welcomed new regulations around rehabilitation courses designed to reduce reoffending on the roads.
Matt Reynolds, a solicitor at Just Motor Law, said that The Rehabilitation Courses (Drink-Drive and Other Offences) Regulations 2012 that will come into effect tomorrow [Friday, April 6] should regulate quality standards of such programmes across England and Scotland.
The new regulations appear to be an attempt to standardise the efficiency and quality of these courses in advance of the government’s plan to make it compulsory that every drink driver who is convicted and banned be sent on a Rehabilitation (DDRS) Course.
Matt said: “The purpose of the programme is too improve road safety and reduce reoffending and a report by Transport Research Laboratory found that satisfactory completion of a DDRS course goes some way to achieves these aims.
“However, according to the consultation, prior to the new regulations the course providers were not consistent in the quality of their lessons. Under the new regulations, the Secretary of State (SoS) may withdraw approval for a DDRS course where they do not come up to a level of consistent quality set out in guidance published by the SoS.”
In an attempt to increase the uptake of the courses in the period until they become compulsory, providers will also be given approval to conduct courses in geographically specified areas. It is hoped that the move will make it easier for offenders to access local schemes.
The other main change will see the offender, rather than the taxpayer, administering the scheme.
Matt said: “While around 90,000 offenders each year are convicted of a relevant drink-driving offence, about 60,000 of these are referred by the courts to courses under the DDRS, and agree to undertake a course. However, only around 30,000 offenders actually complete the course.
“We would hope that this enforced quality control can only be a good thing for all road users and the offenders themselves, and of course successful completion of the course will continue to lead to a 25% reduction in the period of the disqualification.”