The award-winning three session Queensland Traffic Offenders Program (QTOP) is now available online. The online program, which aims to educate traffic offenders about the risks of unsafe driving costs $185 and must be completed on a laptop or desktop computer with a camera and a strong internet connection.
What does the program involve?
The program promotes safe drinking and offers strategies for drivers to use to avoid unsafe driving and driving when affected by alcohol or drugs. The program includes lectures by qualified drug and alcohol counselors who explain the consequences of driving under the influence and demonstrate the effects of alcohol and other drugs on a person’s driving, such as slower reaction times, distorted perceptions of speed and impaired concentration and coordination. The programs also includes talks by social works and traffic accident victims who discuss the trauma of being involved in a traffic accident and how this can affect one’s life and future. Lawyers and police officers provide discussion of traffic offences and the consequences of breaking the law. Emergency personnel will talk about the statistics on road deaths and the common causes of road trauma, including fatigue, speed, distraction, failure to wear seat belts and alcohol and drugs.
The course is relevant to all traffic offences and covers the following:
- Drink driving
- Drug driving
- Unsafe driving
- Driving while disqualified or unlicensed
Who can enrol in the program?
The program is available to all drivers but must be done voluntarily and at one’s own expense. The court cannot order an offender to participate in the program, but if you are pleading guilty to driving offences, you can inform the court that you wish to participate in the program and ask for your matter to be adjourned for a period to allow you to do so. Participants are monitored while watching the videos and can fail the program if they do not adhere to the rules. A report is submitted to the court in cases where the participant is yet to be sentenced for driving offences.
If you have been charged with a traffic offence but have not yet been to court for it, you can enrol in the QTOP program now. If you go to court for a traffic offence having already completed the program, you may be able to finalise your traffic matter at the first mention and have the court take your participation in the program into account. Just be sure to take along proof that you have completed the course when you go to court.
How will the QTOP program help me?
If you have traffic offences pending, completing the QTOP program will be looked upon favourably by the court. Successful completion and a positive report on your participation in the program is likely to reduce the suspension period the court imposes on your licence and will be taken into account when deciding on the appropriate sentence.
How do I enrol?
You can enrol in the online course by email or phone or on the QTOP website. You must sign an indemnity form and provide photo identification prior to commencing program.
If you would prefer to do the course face to face, you can do so in Brisbane or Nerang in three evening sessions run over three weeks.
Are there other similar programs?
The SAVE (Speed Alcohol Vehicle Education) Traffic Offender Intervention Program is a similar program, which targets young drivers and senior and corporate drivers. The SAVE programs aim to educate or re-educate drivers about road safety to reduce traffic infringements. Offenders can be referred to the SAVE program by a court or can enrol at their own initiative.
The SAVE programs are available at several locations in Queensland but are not currently available online.
If you have been charged with a traffic offence, or require advice about another legal issue, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.