16 December 2003

Autocar’s Talking Sense on Speed campaign, in conjunction with the RAC Foundation, today reveals a little-known scheme that allows some of Britain’s drivers to avoid points on their licences after speeding.

Police Constabularies are offering an alternative to a £60 fine and three points by offering the offender a ‘driver awareness course.’ Ten forces are currently taking part are taking part in the scheme where motorists are invited to pay for a course designed to improve their driving rather than take the usual punishment. Courses involve a mixture of theory classes and lectures, as well as on-road tuition. Neil Cunliffe, who heads the Lancashire scheme, said, ‘We provide two hours of theory and hazard perception training with DVD simulators, followed by three hours on the road. Cameras alone are not the answer to speeding, they are just one tool in the box. We aim to change attitudes and behaviour.’Research has revealed that motorists drive more slowly after attending a course, a fact welcomed by Autocar, which has called for increased driver education rather than mere punitive measures. ‘The majority of drivers on the road today pass their driving test at 17 and receive no further training,’ said Autocar editor Steve Sutcliffe. ‘An enlarged speed awareness programme would see an improvement of driving standards throughout the country,’ he added.

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