The 1988 North Report, submitted to parliament by academic lawyer, Sir Peter North, comprised a set of proposals for traffic-law reform. Within this report was a proposal for the systematic re-education of drivers who commit minor traffic offences. Sir North suggested that education would have a more positive effect on the behaviour of drivers than punitive measures alone.
Now, more than 30 years after the initial proposal, the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) is a well-established tool in traffic law enforcement. This article will explain what NDORS courses are available and what offences are they target.
What is the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme?
NDORS is provided by UK Road Offender Education (UKROEd), the trading arm of the Road Safety Trust. The Trust, which describes itself as an independent grant-giving Trust working hard to reduce the numbers of people killed or injured on our roads, gives financial support to road-safety initiatives in the UK. NDORS fees cover the costs of providing the courses, and the surplus is fed into the Trust’s grant fund.
The sole purpose of the seven NDORS courses – all rigidly structured in terms of content and delivery – is to make UK roads safer through the education of road users.
NDORS courses: how long do they take, and how much do they cost?
|National Motorway Awareness Course (NMAC) (classroom)||Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway and other infringements on a motorway||3 hours 45 minutes||£78.00 – £92.00|
|Rider Intervention Developing Experience (RIDE) (classroom)||Dangerous, anti-social or careless riding of motorcycles||5 hours||£69.80 – £132.00|
|National Speed Awareness Course (NSAC) (classroom)||Speeding offences||4 hours||£75.00 – £95.00|
|Safe and Considerate Cycling Course (SCCC) (online)||Cycling offences||30 minutes||£37.20|
|Safe and Considerate Driving (SCD) (classroom/road)||Carelessness leading to an accident||1 day||£120.00 – £200.00|
|What’s Driving Us? (WDU) (classroom)||Deliberate misdemeanour||4 hours||£75.00 – £95.00|
|Your Belt Your Life (YBYL) (online)||Failure to use a seat belt or appropriate child seat||30 minutes||£52.80|
How to book an NDORS course
If you’ve committed an offence and been caught by the police, they may offer you an NDORS course instead of points on your licence. You’ll receive a letter from UKROEd, which will direct you to the NDORS offer portal, and you’ll be taken through the process of logging in (using a given reference number and PIN), selecting a venue and date and making full payment. Your NDORS course booking is not confirmed until payment has been received.
You can book your course at any NDORS course location, anywhere in the UK, as long as it’s available at that particular venue. You don’t have to do the course in the area where the offence was committed.
What do I need to take to an NDORS course?
When you attend an NDORS driving course, the instructors will need to see your driving licence. If you have a photo-card licence, this is the only documentation you need. If, however, you have the old-style paper licence, you must also take some form of photo ID, such as a passport, citizen card or student ID card.
The registration process includes an eyesight test, so if you need glasses or contact lenses for driving, you must have these with you, especially if your licence includes the code 01, which refers to corrective lenses.
Can I fail the course?
Yes, you can fail the course if you:
- Don’t attend
- Arrive late
- Leave early
- Don’t participate
- Are asked by an instructor to leave (for example, if you behave in an anti-social manner).
Will an NDORS have an impact on my insurance?
Taking an NDORS course will most likely have some sort of impact on the price of your insurance.
There are insurance companies around who lump an NDORS course into the same category as a conviction. After taking your course, you could see your premiums rise – and in many cases, drastically.
Other insurers look on an NDORS driving course as a positive sign that a driver is aware and educated. With these insurers, post-NDORS premiums will be only fractionally higher. In some cases, there’ll be no difference at all.
If you’re asked directly whether or not you’ve attended an NDORS course, you must tell the truth. However, you’re not obliged to volunteer the information if the insurer doesn’t ask. Records of NDORS courses are kept by the police, and not the DVLA, so an insurer can’t independently obtain the information.
Do you have points on your licence?
Most drivers, at some point in their lives, will be saddled with penalty points on their licence. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are insurance policies out there that cater generously to convicted drivers.