IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has responded to the Department of Transport’s (DfT) consultation to seek expert advice on the creation of a drug-drivers rehabilitation course. This will form part of a new high risk offenders scheme related to drug driving and other related issues to modernise their approach to the problem of drug driving.
Responding to the consultation, Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said:
“The need to cut reoffending is paramount to ensure the safety of all road users. The consultation information clearly demonstrates that driver intervention courses deliver real benefits in the form of reduced reoffending. This is well proven for the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course, but also for Speed Awareness Courses. IAM RoadSmart are in no doubt that a bespoke drug driving course will have the same impact.
“Rehabilitation courses often provide the first opportunity for offenders to face up to the impact of their offending and receive positive counselling support in relation to their driving. The course assists them in taking responsibility for their actions to allow them to put plans into place to change their behaviour before they get their driving licence back.
“We share the concerns of other course providers that alcohol and illegal drug offenders are different and feels strongly that a ‘drug driver only’ course should be developed and not to mix the two offender groups together in any way. Whilst there might be some similarities between drink driving and drug driving, we are not convinced that mixing two different types of offenders together int eh same room is the best way forward.
“IAM RoadSmart strongly believe that rehabilitation courses should be compulsory for all offenders convicted of drink or drug driving offences. The current system where offenders must choose to ‘opt in’ for a course on the day of their court appearance is unfair and unnecessarily stressful. Everyone caught ‘under the influence’ should expect a course as well as a fine and a ban. This approach should be adopted as soon as possible and not wait for the government’s decision on new drug drive courses.”
IAM RoadSmart already provide driver risk management solutions to businesses, and, through the IAM Driver Retraining Academy, they are one of the largest suppliers of Drink Drive Rehabilitation Courses (DDRC) in England and Wales.