What is a Traffic Offenders Program or TOP
A Traffic Offenders Program or TOP is a not-for-profit incorporated association and is an educational pre-sentencing option available to Magistrates/Judges after a person has been found guilty of an offence.
Pre-sentencing means that an offender attends the Program and then receives his/her sentence when they return to Court after completing the Program.
Who runs the Program?
Our Program is a community owned, community managed Program.The Program Co-ordinator is Graham Symes.
An Advisory Board, consisting of community members, administers the Program.
How do I get to attend the Program?
You have to be charged with a traffic offence, attend Court, plead guilty and it is up to the Magistrate/Judge as to whether you are allowed to attend the Program.
When the Court places you on our Program you are required to contact our Co-ordinator to confirm your attendance.
Answer 4 - Can my solicitor or I ask to go on the Program when I appear in Court?
Yes, but attending our Program is at the discretion of the Magistrate/Judge.
Why should I attend the Program?
If directed by the Magistrate/Judge you MUST attend.
From your point of view you will learn valuable information that will educate you and change your attitude and demonstrated behaviour to your driving.
How much does it cost to attend the Program?
Nothing, the Program is free to offenders because we believe that no-one should be precluded from attending because they do not have the money to attend.
Also, the valued sponsorship of the Blacktown Workers Club means that we don’t have to charge a fee like many other similar Programs.
How long do I attend the Program for?
The Program lasts for 8 weeks in total.
* there are 7 weeks when 8 presentations are given
* on the eighth week you bring in the completed assignment for the previous week’s presentation
How long do the presentations go for each night?
Normally for 2 hours finishing at 9.00 pm.
Some nights they may finish earlier if there aren’t many questions asked.
What happens for first time attendees?
Arrive before 6.30 pm.
* bring the Traffic Offender Guidelines stamped by the Court with you
* bring a pen and notebook to take notes during each presentation
* at 6.30 pm the Program Co-ordinator, Graham Symes, will inform you of what is expected of you and what you have to do while attending the Program
* you’ll be issued with a document outlining your obligations and requirements
What do I have to do when I attend the Program?
Be punctual, arrive early (by 6.30 pm); presentations commence sharply at 7.00 pm.
* if you arrive after 7.15 pm you will not be allowed to attend that evening’s presentation
* NO EXCUSES ARE ACCEPTED FOR LATE ARRIVAL
* if you aren’t allowed to attend because of your late arrival you will have to re-attend that presentation when it is on next, this will require you to contact your Solicitor/Court and have your ‘Return to Court’ date changed
* you must bring a pen and notebook to take notes during the presentation
* each night you attend you MUST register, your to print your name clearly, complete your Date of Birth, Date Going Back to Court and the Court you are returning to
* for each presentation you are required to complete an assignment (i.e. 8) answering questions given by each presenter
* hand in your completed assignment the week following the presentation
If I attend the Program will it help me when I return to Court?
There are NO GUARANTEES when you attend the Program. The outcome will be determined by the Magistrate/Judge.
We have been advised that the Magistrate/Judge does look at your assignments and summary prior to your attendance back at Court.
Who gives the various presentations?
Each presenter is an expert in their specific field and a brief biography for each can be found on the ‘Program Presenters’ page of this web-site