What is the Restorative Drivers Programme?

Extern’s Restorative Drivers Programme (RDP) is a driver rehabilitation programme used by the courts in the Republic of Ireland. It is aimed at enabling motorists who have been convicted of road traffic offences to face up to their actions, and to modify their behaviour going forward in order to prevent further offences.

The programme’s design is based on international best practice in the field of restorative justice and driver rehabilitation, and has emerged through extensive work with recognised experts in Austria and the UK.

Who is it for?

The target audience of the RDP is drivers, aged 17 and over, who have been charged with, or convicted of, a road traffic offence. It is also aimed at those who may wish to have their licence restored following a ban exceeding two years.

The range of offences covered by the programme is at the discretion of the judiciary, but may include dangerous and careless driving offences, and driving under the influence.

What does the project do?

Driver rehabilitation programmes are systematic measures for traffic offenders aimed at changing their behaviour to prevent further offences.

Many existing drink-drive or speeding courses are focused on specific offences. The RDP takes a more holistic approach, whereby the broader causes behind, and implications of, road traffic offences are examined.

The programme consist of four modules, with one three-hour session each week for four weeks. The course takes place in a non-judgmental environment, where participation and discussion are encouraged to bring about peer learning, empathy, and an understanding of the human consequences of risky or careless driving behaviour.

The modules are generally delivered on weekends or evenings to facilitate those who are in education or employment. Areas covered include Skilled Thinking, Safer Communities and Impaired Driving.

The final module is called Restoration, where those who have been affected by road traffic offences speak with RDP participants to create a sense of empathy for potential victims of inappropriate driving behaviour.

What have past participants said?

“This course has made me really address my attitudes and my behaviour. I have learned to not blame other people for my mistakes and bad decisions.” Dara, Offaly.

“Even though I have a lot of years driving, I think the course brings home to you the damage any road offence can do.” Eamonn, Laois.

“I learned more about the impact driving irresponsibly can really have on people. I also learned to think about how I need to remain calm in certain situations and not react.” Pat, Laois


Where is the project being delivered?

The RDP is currently available in counties Offaly and Laois. It is anticipated that it will be available in other counties soon.

Who pays for the project?

The cost for the RDP is paid for by the course participants.

What is the cost of project?

The project costs 220 which is payable in full before the start of the programme

Get involved?

If you would like to get involved, or make a referral to the Restorative Drivers Programme, please contact the number or email below.

SUPPORTING: Communities

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS SERVICE? Referrals to the service are via both statutory and justice agencies.


Gary Doggett
Tel: 00 353 (0)86 130 4780
Email: [email protected]