Change behavior of repeat traffic offenders and save lives!
Attitudinal defense driving courses for the courts
In North Dakota and the nation, collisions are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for most age groups, and the #1 cause of death for teens. Unsafe driving costs communities more than $250 billion a year nationwide.
As of July 2021, North Dakota reported 56 deadly crashes in the state, higher than the same period in 2020. In all of 2020, 8,834 crashes and 100 traffic related deaths occurred.
While some crashes are unavoidable, far too many are due to distraction and unsafe behaviors. Studies find that unsafe drivers are often habitually unsafe. Repeat offenders aren’t swayed by fines alone, and so traffic courts see the same people again and again and preventable collisions and deaths continue.
One of the best ways to prevent collisions and save lives is by creating lasting behavior changes. In many states, the courts partner with their local safety councils (in North Dakota that would be the NDSC) and leverage the nationally-known Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving (ADD) courses to retrain drivers – establishing better skills and improved attitudes. In Massachusetts where ADD was incorporated into the court systems in 2011, a four year study into the results made the benefits clear:
All participant groups had significantly fewer violations in each of the three years after taking DDC ADD than in the year before (regardless of age group or sex).
Minor traffic violations decreased an average of 84% during the third year following DDC ADD participation compared to the year before training
Major traffic violations decreased an average of 78% during the third year following DDC ADD participation compared to the year before training.
According to the National Safety Council, states with these court and safety organization partnerships see many benefits including:
Reduced Court Congestion: When drivers pay court fines and sign up for a safe driver program through the education partner, judges have far fewer traffic cases to hear each day and roads become safer
Reduced Administrative Costs: When courts allow an education partner to take on some or all of the tasks for managing the safe driver program, the partner takes on those administrative costs
Improved Driving Skills and Behaviors: Drivers learn better driving conduct and choices through unique and effective NDSC defensive driving courses
Safer Roads: As more drivers are trained, roads become safer and collisions, injuries and deaths are reduced
ADD leverages curriculum based on research into best driving practices, techniques and choice theory. And for courts’ flexibility in sentencing, a variety of additional effective, relevant courses are available to address the retraining needs of drivers of all ages, driving records and violation severity.
A goal of the NDSC in the coming year is to work with the courts to establish partnerships that will make a true difference in North Dakota. We stand ready to work with our court system to implement the behavior-changing courses that will save lives in North Dakota.