A traffic offender course will soon be offered in Forster.
Created by brothers and retired police officers Andrew and Mark McDonald, the two-part Aspire Traffic Offender Course will be held for the first time at Club Forster on the evenings of April 24 and May 1.
Aspire is one of only six accredited providers of the 'Traffic Offender Intervention Program' and Roads and Maritime Services' 'Driver Education Program' in NSW.
Covering a range of road safety issues over two evenings, the course provides education to those who have been charged with traffic-related offences, and according to the course's presenter and co-creator, Andrew McDonald, it has a number of favourable outcomes for those who undertake it, not least of all the opportunity to show they're willingness to be rehabilitated.
"I don't think there's been one person who hasn't gotten something out of it," he said.
"We've had a 100 per cent pass rate."
Aside from providing participants with a new outlook on the consequences of road accidents and traffic-related offences, Mr McDonald said the course also seeks to equip them with useful but often overlooked information, such as court etiquette and navigating judicial proceedings.
He also believes that with he and his brother's background, it can help to break down some of the prejudices or misconceptions offenders can have towards police.
"We don't judge anybody," he said.
"And by the third or fourth module people really start to open up."
Despite the stigma that often surrounds traffic-related offences, Mr McDonald was quick to point out that all kinds of people undertake the course, from P-platers to professionals right up to the elderly.
Recently a serving police officer was required to attend the program after being charged with drink-driving, which allowed him to not only reflect on his own actions, but also share his experiences in dealing with traffic-related offences.
"It's all about working towards safer drivers and zero deaths on the roads," Mr McDonald said.
While the course is only just kicking off in Forster, it has been widely provided across NSW over the past 12 months and has received a number of positive endorsements, including from ex-NSW police commissioner Ken Moroney.
Mr McDonald and his brother are also aiming to get their traffic education program introduced into high schools.
"Education is key," Mr McDonald said.
To find out more about the Aspire Traffic Offender Course, click here or call 0437 488 076.
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