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COPFS

Road Traffic Act (05/10/2016) (R014247)

Thank you for your e-mail of 9 September 2016 in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

“Can you please answer the following with regards motoring offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988 S3, driving without due care and attention that have been dealt with by the Procurator Fiscal in Dundee in the past two years.

1). How many motorists have been recommended for the driver improvement scheme by a Police officer?

2). Of the motorists who pleaded guilty, how many of them did the Procurator Fiscal allow to go on the driver improvement scheme?

3). What criteria does the Procurator Fiscal use in order to decide who should or should not be allowed to go on the driver improvement scheme?”

 


I will firstly refer you to the Lord Advocate’s Guidelines for Chief Constables - Driver Improvement Scheme.

I will now answer the points in your request in turn:

1). How many motorists have been recommended for the driver improvement scheme by a Police officer?

I have interpreted this point as referring to the “Officers Opinion” as set out in the Lord Advocate’s Guidelines I have referred to above. Over the period of your request there were 245 offences contravening Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Dundee.  In order to establish whether the reporting police officer provided an opinion regarding the driver improvement scheme within the Standard Prosecution Report (SPR) would involve COPFS staff manually considering individually the SPRs relating to each charge as this information is not captured electronically.

Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under Section 12. I hope you will appreciate that in this instance the costs involved would exceed the upper cost limit of £600 and I am unable to answer this aspect of your request.

It is open to you to direct this aspect of your request to Police Scotland as they may electronically record this information on their case management system in a way which would be easier to access.  I attach a link below to the Police Scotland web-site with information on how to make a request.



2). Of the motorists who pleaded guilty, how many of them did the Procurator Fiscal allow to go on the driver improvement scheme?

I must firstly explain that the purpose of the driver improvement scheme is to provide an alternative to prosecution for the driver by giving them the opportunity of participating in the scheme by attending a driver improvement course.    As a result the driver has not been required to submit any plea as this is a process related to court procedure. In answer to this point, I can advise that having carefully considered the circumstances of the offences, 22 drivers were given the opportunity by COPFS of participating in the scheme.


3). What criteria does the Procurator Fiscal use in order to decide who should or should not be allowed to go on the driver improvement scheme?”

You will find the criteria for referral to the driver improvement scheme contained within the Lord Advocate’s Guidelines referred to above.