‘New generation’ of courses for traffic offenders

08.53 | 30 October | | 7 comments

Image: Safer Essex Roads Partnership

Three new re-education courses for traffic offenders will be introduced later this week, following a review of content and delivery methods.

The review was conducted by UKROEd – the organisation responsible for the National Speed Awareness Course and other driver education courses for low-end offenders across the UK.

Key changes include the introduction of new versions of the National Speed Awareness, ‘What’s Driving Us’ and ‘Safe, Considerate Driving’ courses.

A streamlining of the courses on offer sees an end to the current ‘NSAC 20’ 20mph speed awareness course and the ‘Driving 4 Change’ course.

Information relating to 20mph speed awareness will be included within the standard National Speed Awareness Course, and people who may previously have been offered ‘Driving 4 Change’ may now be offered the ‘What’s Driving Us’ course.

The new National Speed Awareness Course features a series of specially commissioned videos and animations – including a six-minute video tackling speed and stopping distances.

In addition, all courses will be centrally collated to ensure consistency and quality across all providers.

Dr Fiona Fylan, who heads the UKROEd course development unit, says the new courses are based on the latest research and have undergone ‘robust and extensive’ evaluation.

Dr Fylan said: “The current courses received a ringing endorsement from the highly-respected Ipsos MORI research group earlier this year, but we needed to know whether there was anything new in our understanding of driver behaviour and effective ways of changing it.

“This important process allows us to demonstrate that these new courses are ‘fit for purpose’.

“Before a course is rolled out nationally, it is piloted in a controlled environment. Changes can then be made before it is officially launched as a national NDORS course.

“We also made a commitment to take the course delivery to a new level of quality and engagement.

“That’s why we have included a suite of custom-made videos, animations and other resources that make the courses more enjoyable, client-focused and interactive.

“After all, If people are enjoying being there, then they are more willing to see and absorb a different point of view.”

Jerry Moore, UKROEd chief executive, said: “It is our responsibility to provide all trainers with the very best and appropriate presentations to ensure the courses are at the highest quality, consistent throughout the UK, and meet the needs of those attending.

“This new line-up of courses represents a significant iteration of our material and we hope the update will be welcome by the public who attend and benefit from courses.”

Research conducted earlier this year showed drivers who take a speed awareness course are as much as 23% less likely to reoffend in the six months after a first offence, compared to those who accept the fine and points.

The new courses will come into use on Thursday 1 November.


 

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    One other point… instead of ‘a suite of custom-made videos, animations and other resources that make the courses more enjoyable, client-focused and interactive’ can I suggest they use footage of real-life collisions, of which there are ample on You Tube, analyse them, work out who and what went wrong and most importantly, let the course participants realise that collisions DO actually happen as a result of the mistakes they are warned about i.e. too fast a speed, close following, impatience, risk-taking, not looking etc. and plan how they can avoid becoming involved in such collisions. Personally I find such videos educational…above all, expect the unexpected.


    Hugh Jones
    Agree (5) | Disagree (7)
    --2

    I was once part of a group doing a dry-run of a soon to be introduced Driver Improvement Course, the participants comprising people working in the field of road safety, traffic management and collision prevention/investigation. Scenarios on video were presented and each of us were asked to say what they thought would be an appropriate speed, taking into account hazards and stopping distance and the variations in the answers given varied by, typically 20 mph! Shouldn’t the motoring public be reasonably expecting those involved professionally to be er..more consistent?


    Hugh Jones
    Agree (4) | Disagree (1)
    +3

    > Great to see there is a 6 minute video on speed and stopping distances.

    Top Gear did one a few years back, if you wish to view that instead. Not sure that would subscribe to the same level of teaching offered as part of the NDORS scheme however.


    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
    +3

    We were involved for many years in the delivery of such courses.

    We constantly requested data from robust studies to see the long term effect of such courses.

    All we ever received were reports based on self reported statistics from the attendees before, immediately after and perhaps 6 months later.

    Although the Police did release statistics that 99% of those who attended said they would not speed again.

    Reading the 111 page report Impact Evaluation of the National Speed Awareness Course, Effects of Participating in the NSAC on Re offending – Summary of Results.

    It seems to suggest that there is no real benefit in attending compared to not attending.

    This seems to back up previous research from the US where significantly larger numbers were used to study those who were offered rehabilitation courses and those who were not offered such courses.

    Perhaps the statistic that 23% of those that attend a Speed Awareness course are less likely to offend in the following 6 months should read less likely to get caught.

    Will there ever be robust research where 2 groups of identical cohorts where one is offered the course and one refused the course ever be undertaken. Or is this against their human rights.


    Keith
    Agree (14) | Disagree (3)
    +11

    Section 39 Road Traffic Act 1988 appears to give Local Authorities real legislative empowerment to run their own driver training thereby rerouting speed awareness and other driver training monies back into public ownership.

    I wonder whether this is an opportunity for Road Safety Teams in local authorities to start addressing speed compliance education by providing National Speed Awareness Courses. Given that this also now includes 20mph offending, it would both provide the opportunity for both local police and local authorities to become far more pro-active in maximising compliance of 20mph and 30mph limits.


    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (4) | Disagree (7)
    --3

    So it seems we are seeing a huge investment in something that by its own evaluation does nothing for road safety.
    New material has been ‘Robustly evaluated’?
    Against what aims or objectives?


    Chris Harrison, Bristol
    Agree (12) | Disagree (4)
    +8

    Great to see there is a 6 minute video on speed and stopping distances. I hope it is hard hitting and makes no bones about the dangers created by tailgating not being confined only to the vehicle in front but a lack of visibility to and by all road users that causes greater danger to all.

    Would love to view it Would that be possible somewhere?


    R.Craven
    Agree (3) | Disagree (5)
    --2