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Increased Traffic Offender Penalties

What is ITOP?

The ITOP initiative is a new scheme of education requirements for traffic offenders in NSW who repeatedly exceed their demerit point limit. This has been established since 2015 but appears to be rarely mentioned in the courts.

This affects NSW licence holders in these ways:

  • Unrestricted licence holders: drivers who exceed their demerit point limit twice in five years will re-sit the Driver Knowledge Test, and complete a driver education course;
  • Provisional licence holders: drivers who twice exceed their demerit point limit will re-sit the Driver Knowledge Test;
  • Habitual offenders: drivers who have spent more than two years off the road (including Habitual Offenders) must also resit the Driver Knowledge Test and attend an education course;
  • Any licence holder: drivers who commit a second or subsequent drink driving offence in five years must pass an appropriate knowledge test before they can get their licence back.

NB ** The new ITOP requirements are in addition to other penalties that the offender is subject to under the demerit point scheme**

What is the Traffic Offender Intervention Program (TOIP)?

TOIP is an existing court-based program targeting offenders who have pleaded guilty to, or been found guilty of, a traffic offence.

The goal of the program is to provide offenders with the information and skills necessary to develop positive attitudes towards driving and develop safer driving behaviours.

The program is regulated under the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 and administered by the Department of Justice. A register of approved course providers has been established and courses included on the Traffic Offender Intervention Program Register are approved for a period of three years.

These programs can be completed over a 6 week period, attending one session per week; or over a full day between the hours of 9am – 5pm. Both courses are the same in duration in time, and the same information and modules make up the content of the course. The course which is most suitable for you will be dependent on location, availability and schedule.

If you have already completed a Traffic Offender Program, you can speak to the provider of that course and be issued with an ITOP number, that when provided to the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS), will satisfy the ITOP requirements.

What next?

If you have committed and offence, exceeded your demerit point limit, received a notice of suspension, or have been declared a Habitual Offender, you may fall into the category where the ITOP provisions will be imposed. As soon as possible, contact Armstrong Legal for an obligation free consultation and one of our Traffic Lawyers will be able to assist you in regaining your licence in the soonest possible time. With licence appeals and traffic matters, in many instances, time is of the essence so do not delay.

Image Credit – Dolgachov ©

Written by Tyson Brown on December 8, 2017

Tyson has a down to earth, straightforward approach to life and the law, one which is well received by all who meet him. Tyson has the ability to relate to all clients on a personal level, having spent many years prior to his legal career in customer service and hospitality. View Tyson's profile

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