Driving Course as an alternative to prosecution

On 1 April 2004 the National Driver Improvement scheme was introduced in Scotland. The purpose of the scheme is to provide an alternative to prosecution for drivers charged with careless driving. It is designed to correct poor driving behaviour arising from errors of judgement.

  • It is only available as an alternative to careless driving – Nothing else.
  • The final decision rests with the Procurator Fiscal, not the Police.
  • The charging officer must give his or her opinion in their report as to whether the Driving Improvement Course would be a suitable alternative.
  • The Procurator Fiscal may refer the accused to the Driver Improvement Scheme only where the following criteria are met: 

                  - There is sufficient evidence to support prosecution.

                  - The only offence being considered for prosecution is careless driving.

                  - The driver holds a full DVLA driving licence. 

  • An accused person can take part in the scheme only if they have not received a previous offer of participation in the scheme, anywhere in the  UK, in the previous three years.
  • Factors in favour of referral may arise where the incident appeared to be due  to any of the following: 

                    - poor driving skills.

                    - incompetence.

                    - lack of basic driving knowledge.

                    - lack of experience. 

  • Factors against referral may include the following: 

                     - The incident appeared to result from the accused’s medical condition e.g.senility.

                     - The incident appeared to result from deliberate and extreme risk taking by the  accused.

                     - The accused refused to accept having been at fault.

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