HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc387-8W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what studies into the incidence of repeat offending by motorists and ways to reduce such repeat offending his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) received the results of in the last five years. [96640]

Mr. Hill

Research is currently in progress to study the effect of the Road Traffic Act 1991 on prosecutions for dangerous driving. Among other topics, this includes a comparison of sentencing trends before and since the 1991 Act and monitoring of the behaviour of persons convicted of serious driving offences. The aim is to improve understanding so as to deter poor driving more effectively. The project began in May 1998 and is due to be completed in October 2000.

A project has recently been completed for the Department to monitor the effectiveness of the experimental drink-drive rehabilitation scheme. The research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory and published as "Drink/driver rehabilitation courses in England and Wales" (TRL report 426) suggests that offenders who have attended an approved rehabilitation course are three times less likely to re-offend. The scheme is to be made permanent throughout Great Britain from 1 January 2000. Consideration is currently being given to further research and monitoring.

A research project has also recently been published on "The High Risk Offenders Scheme for drink-drivers" (TRL report 394). This covers, among other categories, drivers who have been convicted more than once of driving over the limit within a 10 year period. The research has shown that reoffenders have different characteristics to the other High Risk categories.

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