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Creating safer drivers.

Bamford, D R, Syme, G, Tynan, D, Faulks, I

General

ACRS conference 2007

The Blacktown Traffic Offenders Program (TOP) Inc. is a pre-sentencing educational Program with the mission ‘To educate traffic offenders to change their attitudes and demonstrated behaviours to their driving’.

Blacktown TOP has been run every year since it was implemented on 5th March 1992 and after it was developed by a concerned NSW Ambulance Officer, Mr Graham Symes. Since then, as Co-ordinator of Blacktown TOP, Graham has seen over 9,600 offenders develop an understanding of the harsh reality of their driving offences. Traffic Offender style programs such as the Blacktown and PCYC TOPs have been shown to be a practical part of the solution to managing the NSW road toll. However, without clear evidence and scientific evaluation, the extension of the effectiveness of all TOPs is limited. Therefore, the impact on reducing the burden on the community is also limited.

In October 2006 Blacktown TOP approached the NSW Roads Minister, The Honourable Eric Roozendaal MLC, with proposals to make the Traffic Offenders Program more effective.

This paper outlines a way forward for the Government to make a positive contribution to reducing trauma caused by vehicle crashes in NSW.