Drivers to be offered speed awareness courses instead of points

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC

Drivers are to be offered courses on the dangers of speeding instead of license points in a bid to curb the number of speeders.

The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, has granted Police Scotland permission to begin planning courses as offender numbers reach an all-time high.

The courses would be an alternative to prosecution and would see drivers avoid the £100 fine and automatic three-point penalty.

New figures show that 80,000 motorists are caught every year on Scotland’s road, with charges rising steadily.

A Crown Office spokeswoman told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “The Lord Advocate has granted permission to Police Scotland to commence preparatory scoping work on the possible introduction of speeding awareness courses as an alternative to prosecution for speeding in Scotland.

“A decision on whether to consent to such courses being carried in Scotland will be made after the results of the UK Government’s evaluation into their effectiveness are published.”

Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, told the newspaper: “Drivers tell us they never see a police car, so what we are seeing is the growth in automatic enforcement. That’s a missed opportunity because it does not give us the opportunity to educate people about the dangers of speeding.

“We still don’t have speeding awareness courses in Scotland, which are a really good way of reaching hard-core offenders and challenging their driving behaviour in public. Research from down south shows that people who go on these courses are less likely to reoffend.”

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to making our roads safer, and are working towards an ultimate vision of zero fatalities and reduced number of serious injuries.”