Restorative Drivers Programme

What is it?

Extern’s Restorative Drivers Programme (RDP) is a driver rehabilitation programme used by the courts in the Republic of Ireland, which aims to change the behaviour of road traffic offenders 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 Extern’s RDP are drivers aged 17 and over who have been charged with, or convicted of, a road traffic offence. It is also aimed at those seeking the early restoration of their driving licence 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?

Between 2009 and 2014 there were 1,179 fatalities and 47,382 injuries on Irish roads. 2016 saw 6,491 people arrested for driving while intoxicated, with a further 7,082 arrests for dangerous driving and other road transport offences.
These figures do not include those who received fixed penalty notices for speeding, not wearing seatbelts and using mobile phones while driving.

Driver rehabilitation programmes are systematic measures for traffic offenders aimed at changing their behaviour to prevent further offences and to keep or to regain their driving licence.

Extern’s RDP is a four-week programme consisting of four modules, with one three-hour session per week. 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 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, and feature subject areas such as Skilled Thinking, Safer Communities and Impaired Driving. The final module is called Restoration, where we invite those who have been affected by road traffic offences to speak with our clients to create a sense of empathy for potential victims of inappropriate driving behaviour.

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.

Get involved?

If you would like to get involved, or make a referral to the Restorative Drivers Programme, please contact:

Gary Doggett, tel: 00 353 (0)86 130 4780 or email

Extern in Northern Ireland
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105869
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: 20055318
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333