Have you ever been caught speeding? If so, have you secretly wished for a speed awareness course instead of points? Rumour has it the police may be hoping for the same thing.
The amount received by each constabulary for sending law breaking motorists on speed awareness courses has increase by more than 25% in the last couple of months as police forces are being accused of milking the system.
For every person an officer sends on a course the constabulary receives £45. The cash is designated by the treasury to cover the cost of catching speeding motorists, although chief constables are able to use the cash as they see fit.
With around 1.2 million speeding drivers attending awareness courses annually, police forces will now be in line to receive £54 million each year. This is in addition to the millions they also receive from other courses run under the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS).
At their discretion
Generally, courses are offered at the discretion of officers in place of penalty points and a fine. But could they be mistaken as a bribe?
Hugh Bladon of the Alliance of British Drivers, said:
“The incentive is clearly there for the police to get people onto these courses because they benefit financially. It does not accord with what our definition of justice is in the UK.
“It almost works like a bribe, saying to motorists we would give you the points but sign up to this course and you can avoid them.”
Not to be outdone in the condemnation of speed awareness courses, Clair Armstrong of the group Safe Speed, said:
“These courses are using the police as a sales mechanism for the speed camera industry. It is so far from being about road safety that they should be embarrassed.
“It’s high time we got police back on the roads rather than using automated cameras to enforce average speed limits which do nothing for road safety.
“Motorists are being bribed into doing these courses that are not improving road safety. It is a huge scam.”
A spokesperson for NDORS said that course providers have tried to absorb as much of the fee increase as possible meaning that on their end, speed awareness courses went up by an average of less than £1 last month to £88.90.
A national Police Chiefs Council spokesperson said:
‘Forces do not profit from these courses and the financial model provides for cost recovery only.’
Have your say
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