The Traffic Offender’s Intervention Program (TOIP) is typically a pre-sentence course for people who have committed traffic offences.
The Magistrate or Judge may refer you to the program or you can book in directly. If you undertake to complete it, your court proceedings are typically adjourned by the Magistrate (at your request) until after you have finished the program. Completion involves attending and participating in the course, completing a workbook and providing personal comments. (If you have difficulty writing this can be accommodated). Attending the course costs about $130.
I have been involved in the program by way of presentations since about 1995, however it has been operating in NSW for much longer than that. I am involved in the PCYC program run over a number of evenings at Bateau Bay PCYC; this is an excellent program with various speakers including police and people injured or affected by motor vehicle incidents.
There is also a one day program known as ‘SAVE’ run across NSW on Saturdays (which is sometimes easier to attend for those without transport and due to work commitments). The contact number to book into this course is 0408 910 025 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the Court allows you to attend the traffic offenders intervention program then it will take your participation ‘into account’ when sentencing you; you should receive a more lenient penalty than if you did not attend the course. While attending the program does not automatically entitle you to a non-conviction (section 10 – with reference to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act) it certainly augurs well for a better outcome in your court proceedings than if you had not attended and could help to persuade a court not to convict and disqualify you.
The program ‘opens the eyes’ of offenders. Most participants say: ‘this program should be offered to all people gaining their driver’s licence for the first time’. In fact, it is often likened to ‘AA’ in that the participants seem to become champions of the cause despite any ‘court outcome’. There is almost a religious reaction to it in relation to the impact it has on participants.
I am involved with the ‘legal side’ of the traffic offenders course however the part of the program with greatest impact is the police and emergency services section. I have had clients physically faint in this section of the course. It shows the very real, possible outcome of a traffic offence, such as accidents, injuries, death.
Traffic law is complex and open to tricky interpretation and clever manipulation in order to avoid legal sanction. However, when it comes to the ‘crunch’, traffic law is highly legislated with the sole purpose of reducing deaths on the roads.
If you have the opportunity to attend the traffic offenders program, I suggest that you embrace that opportunity and share what you learn with your peers, work colleagues and family. Do not be ashamed, but be an advocate so that injuries and deaths on the road are reduced due to education and mindfulness executed in the practice of driving.
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If you need help with a traffic offence, Conditsis Lawyers can provide you with advice on the best strategy for your case. Contact Conditsis Lawyers today.