Problem drivers will have to undergo a psychotherapeutic course iRADIO

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From April, therapeutic courses await dangerous drivers. Everyone who refuses an alcohol or drug test will have to take them. Then also those who have committed a serious offense for which they will be banned from driving for at least a year and a half. Therapy can also be ordered by the court. These are five four-hour sessions with a psychotherapist, for which problem motorists pay over 13 thousand crowns. And if they want to drive again, they won’t get their license back without therapy.



Prague
4:49 p.m April 1, 2024

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Problem drivers will have to pay for therapeutic courses themselves and they will cost almost 13 and a half thousand crowns | Photo: René Volfík | Source: iRozhlas

Courses for problem drivers start on Monday, April 1st, and anyone who wants to return a driver’s license that has been lost for at least a year and a half due to a serious offense will have to take it.

Listen to Luďek Hubáček’s contribution

“It is often seen that they become aware of things that they never had time to realize before, because most of the clients have not only not been in therapy, but also do not have much space to talk about themselves, to think about themselves. A typical result is that they leave and say that they suddenly look at their driving or life completely differently,” says psychologist and therapist Veronika Kurečková from the Center for Traffic Research about the courses.

Up to 15 thousand per year

There are already over a hundred trained therapists divided into regions throughout the Czech Republic. Drivers who have to take the courses simply sign up for them on the website.

“There is a link to sign up for a therapy program, a person pays the amount for the course and then chooses a specific course according to location and time options,” explains center director Pavel Řezáč.

At the same time, they are not tests or exams on road traffic rules, but really therapy. Only after completing the course and passing the driving school can the driver go to the office to apply for a driver’s license.


During March, 23 people died in traffic accidents in the Czech Republic, a third less than last year

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According to statistics from the Transport Research Center in Brno, only about eight percent of the most serious accidents on Czech roads are caused by problem drivers. According to Řezáč, they discovered this while testing how the courses could work.

“In some pilots, we reached a 90 percent success rate of the program. We measured clients’ recidivism twelve months after the end of the program, whether they have any record in their driver’s card or criminal record,” explains Řezáč.

According to the Ministry of Transport Martin Kupka (ODS), about fifteen thousand drivers should go through therapeutic courses every year.

“Courts and prosecutors can now also directly order the completion of a therapeutic course, and finally a therapeutic course will be mandatory for those who refuse a breath test or a test for the presence of breath substances,” explains the minister. The drivers will have to pay for the courses themselves and they will cost almost 13,500 crowns.

Ludek Hubacek

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