New figures show that attendance of driver retraining courses as an alternative to penalty licence points is up by a more than a third in the past five years.
Data from the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) found that 1.45 million UK drivers completed one of their courses after having committed a motoring offence in 2018.
That’s an increase of 36% since 2013, when a total of 1.07 million completed a course. Since 2010, over 10 million people have attended a course from NDORS.
NDORS courses are offered to drivers who commit a minor offence as an alternative to penalty points and a fine, at the discretion of police forces. Drivers cannot attend more than one course within three years.
The busiest courses in 2018 were the speed awareness courses, which had 1.19 million attendees. To qualify for a speed awareness course, drivers will typically need to have been caught driving between 10% plus 2mph and 10% plus 9mph over the speed limit. So someone in a 30mph zone will qualify for a course if they were caught driving a speed between 35 and 42mph, and someone on a motorway will qualify if they are caught travelling at 79 to 86mph.
Some 110,000 drivers were sent on recently introduced motorway awareness courses, which aim to improve understanding of smart motorway laws, such as variable speed limits and adhering to red X’s indicating lane closures.
Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, said, “This data suggests that, astonishingly, as many as one in four drivers has now been sent back to the classroom for breaking road traffic law – hopefully to emerge as ambassadors for better, more responsible motoring behaviours.
“While the logic of sending drivers who commit minor transgressions back to the classroom is clear, it begs the question of what should be done in a similar vein to tutor those found guilty of more serious breaches of the rules of the roads before they injure or kill themselves or others?”
A spokesman for UK Road Offender Education, the organisation responsible for managing NDORS, told the Press Association that recent independent research showed the courses were more effective at reducing speeding over a three-year period than issuing fines and points.
Source: ADI News
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