Courses offered as alternative to prosecution: fees etc

Part of Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 21 March 2017.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport) 4:00, 21 March 2017

Let me make one final attempt to persuade the hon. Gentleman that we are in the same place on this matter. I am grateful for his assurance about anonymised data, but it is hard to know how we could analyse data until course and penalty data had been married up, and of course the fixed penalty will precede the course. I entirely agree with him about the measure of effectiveness, which is why we have commissioned the work. Of course that is right, and I am very surprised that it was not done before, because such diversion courses have been going for a very long time, as he will know. It seems absolutely sensible that we should check whether they are having an effect; it would be odd not to do so. We will therefore do that, and people can tell from what I said earlier that it is a thorough and studious piece of work, engaging organisations of a range of types, all of which have both expertise to bring to bear and an interest in these matters.

I do not think that there is much difference between us here. It may well be that the research necessarily samples data in the way that research into this kind of thing does. That is quite different from routinely collecting the data, in a way that proposed subsection (6A) would necessitate. I understand the principle and the intent, but the collection of these data on a routine basis with systems that may not yet be capable of marrying all the material together, and at an uncertain cost, is not something that I could commit to now, and I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman would do so if he was standing in my shoes.