Traffic Offenders Program – Inquiry Into Transport Legislation

Over the years, we have welcomed young drivers to complete our program. Parents have also urged these drivers to complete our program before committing offences.

Inquiry Into the Transport Legislation

(Road Safety & Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2019

Submission by Traffic Offenders Program (QTOP & ATOP)

The Queensland Traffic Offenders Program (QTOP) and Australian Traffic Offenders Program (ATOP) were incepted in 2006 on the Gold Coast and commenced operations in Brisbane in 2012.

QTOP and ATOP are Court diversion programs/road safety education programs designed to protect the community from road trauma, offering the following:

Intervention/ rehabilitation to traffic offenders charged with drink/ drug driving, speeding, inattention / mobiles, dangerous driving or any traffic offence.

  • Qualified, Professional, experienced presenters to deliver a road safety topic to attendees weekly at lectures Gold Coast, Brisbane and ONLINE.
  • Our Qualified Professional Presenters consist of Lawyers, Emergency personnel, Qualified Drug and Alcohol counsellors,. Victims and Driver safety educators.

In Queensland, QTOP is the only recognised education, rehabilitation, and intervention program for traffic offenders in Queensland. QTOP demonstrates reality, including shock and impact methods to encourage drivers to reform their dangerous habits, and therefore reduce their risk of re-offending. QTOP reminds offenders, it is not only them who is affected by the trauma associated with one road traffic crash.

Australia Wide

The program was then further expanded to include all other states around Australia except Victoria. This includes New South Wales (NSW), the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT) except for any court orders or otherwise from the Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) now known as Transport for NSW (TfNSW)1.. In addition to these states, ATOP also servers South Australia (SA), Northern Territory (NT), Western Australia (WA) and Tasmania (TAS).

From our research, with over 10,000 people enrolled to date, QTOP and ATOP maintains a recidivism rate of less than 2%. This low recidivism rate demonstrates our education is effective. Currently, attendees ages have ranged from 14 to 83.

All clients are required to complete paperwork to demonstrate to the Court they have educated / rehabilitated themselves after the offence. Paperwork is submitted to the Magistrate on their plea. Magistrates read firsthand what they have learnt and can be confident the offender has addressed their offending behaviour through education/rehabilitation to deter and reduce the risk of any re-offending.

In reports of crash statistics for 2018, it is illustrated that speed, alcohol/drugs remain the biggest contributors to traffic fatalities. State Government research demonstrates that a core group of people charged with road offences are recidivists. The introduction of a mandated traffic offenders program can only help to educate / rehabilitate these recidivists.

Preferred Traffic Offenders Intervention Program

In 2017, the Under the Limit (UTL) program, which was for repeat drink drivers, closed after some 10 years of operation. QTOP and ATOP worked closely with UTL over the years. We note that the UTL was ordered on Probation and Parole Orders for repeat drink drivers, where the cost of the program varied from $600 — $800 over the years. Due to the high cost, clients were unable to afford the fees, clients were breached by Corrective Services, returned to Court and re-sentenced. In other cases, the UTL was removed and replaced with QTOP and ATOP.

QTOP / ATOP and its structure was thus induced and finalised, and collateral checks were conducted directly from Corrective Services. Officers from Corrective Services all over Queensland conduct collateral checks daily on clients attending QTOP. Since the closure of UTL in August 2017, ATOP / QTOP has replaced UTL to become the main ‘go to’ traffic offenders program for repeat offenders. When people are subject to further drink-driving and drug driving charges, especially when currently on Probation and Parole Orders; the courts will now refer these repeat offenders to the ATOP and ATOP programs.

Since the closure of UTL in August 2017, ATOP / QTOP has replaced UTL to become the main ‘go to’ traffic offenders program for repeat offenders.

Studies demonstrate that quick fix programs of 2–3 hours or even (one) 1 day programs, do not assist in changing the mindset of the offender. Recently, New South Wales legislation was amended to reflect that 1 day programs are no longer accepted in New South Wales Courts. All programs are extended in length for this same reason. Offenders need to absorb the information delivered to assist in behavioural change.

Over the years, QTOP has had many instances of fraudulent cases of attendees paying others to attend on their behalf. In the early days of our program, QTOP instigated strict identification procedures with both face to face and online to alleviate this issue.

There is an urgent need for road safety education programs in high schools. We consistently deal with young drivers in the age group of 18-25 who are charged with traffic offences. This age bracket of offenders makes up 35% of our attendance rates. Road safety education together with driving hours should be mandatory as part of licensing for Learners and P Platers. This education will assist in lowering the rate of offending for this age bracket.


Young Drivers – Driver Safety Program

Over the years, we have welcomed young drivers to complete our program. Parents have also urged these drivers to complete our program before committing offences.

Over the years, QTOP has established strong strategic partnerships and connections with the judicial systems, keeping the best interests of our clients in mind.

Examples of these are:

  • Magistrates who refer offenders to the ATOP programs
  • Lawyers who recommend their clients to participate in the ATOP programs; and
  • Government Agencies who refer to ATOP as being a registered stakeholder.

ATOP has established clinical pathways for offenders with alcohol and drugs (or other similar issues), that need to be addressed through professionals. Daily we are referring clients for further intervention.

We believe we have designed the program to:

  • Alleviate fatalities on our roads
  • Educate recidivists on the consequences of re-offending
  • Educate our young drivers to make the right choices while driving, and
  • Ultimately save lives on our Queensland roads.

Award Winning

In 2017, due to the requests and interest from jurisdictions throughout Queensland, QTOP developed an online version of the program which has been described as “world leading”.

In 2018, QTOP was then awarded an Australian Road Safety Award for being an innovative program in road safety. QTOP was honoured to receive this award, considering all the road safety programs around Australia. QTOP and ATOP are the only traffic offenders programs in Australia to win this award. QTOP and ATOP are currently educating attendees in Queensland, Australia, and Worldwide.

Due to the success of our online program, QTOP has now received interest from Europe and America in the development of our program to reflect their traffic laws. Our software allows for all attendees to be monitored on their attendance and official certified reports are then issued to the Court.

With interest from around Australia for our online program, in 2018, we developed the Australian Traffic Offenders Program (ATOP) similar to QTOP. As mentioned above, ATOP now includes attendees from Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Norfolk Island.

QTOP and ATOP cover all current traffic offences, and attendees will be presented with the following aspects:

  • Drink Driving — ranging from 0.05 to 0.48 readings
  • Drug Driving
  • Unlicensed Driving
  • Disqualified Driving
  • New Drivers as a road safety education program
  • Refresher Course
  • Corporate entities
  • Youth Justice Offenders
  • Work Licence Applications — Magistrate Ordered or Lawyer Referred
  • Restricted licence; and
  • Special Hardship Order Applications — Either ordered from the Magistrate, Transport Authority or Lawyer referred.


♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program is supportive of the recent proposals for a mandated traffic offender program in Queensland.

♦ As an already established Traffic Offenders Program, QTOP / ATOP can assist in the delivery of the mandated program with our online program. Our online program allows offenders in all jurisdictions of Queensland to attend;

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program is willing to run as a pilot program to determine the success of having a mandated program in Queensland.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program would welcome further discussions with Queensland Transport to roll out a mandated program to alleviate road trauma in our communities.

♦ We note the suggestion for first time offenders to attend a 1-hour program. QTOP / ATOP suggests they attend the full program to deter re-offending. This can only alleviate a recidivist re-offending and will assist in preventing another fatality on our roads. As mentioned, statistics demonstrate, a core percentage of drivers are recidivists.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program is a Court Diversion Program and Court Intervention Program. This can be assessed as a Brief Intervention Program or an in-depth drink-driving program for repeat offenders.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program is willing to adapt our program to any curriculum recommendations should this be required. However, all Presenters are Qualified Professionals who educate on all aspects of road safety, choices, law, trauma and academic studies and research etc.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program has worked closely over the years with CARRSQ (Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety — Queensland) to assist in their studies on offenders and has allowed CARRSQ to personally attend and interview our clients.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program ensures the program meets both national and international best practice standards and follows the CARRS-Q guidelines.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program ensures all participants complete feedback forms. These are reviewed to ensure that a best practice quality assured program is in place. QTOP / ATOP understands what elements of the program influences the participants most.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program supports the interlock program for repeat offenders; however, we are surprised at the number of clients who are not aware of this interlock program. The interlock program needs to be advertised widely to our community. Our clients are additionally surprised at the cost of this program, and we have had many clients opt out due to the expense.

♦ QTOP / ATOP – Traffic Offenders Program has had many discussions with Magistrates over the years who have enquired as to why QTOP is not noted Under Section 82 of the TRANSPORT OPERATIONS (ROAD USE MANAGEMENT) ACT 1995 – SIECT 82.

For Course Enrolment, please click here.

Statistics demonstrate, a core percentage of drivers are recidivists.

1. Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) was formed on 1 November 2011 by the amalgamation of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and NSW Maritime. Later, these agencies became Transport for NSW (TfNSW).

Traffic Offenders Program
Traffic Offenders Program
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