Speed awareness courses have bigger impact on reoffending than penalty points

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Drivers who attend a speed awareness course are less likely to reoffend, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Transport.

An analysis of data on 2.2 million drivers found that those who go on the National Speed Awareness Course instead of accepting three penalty points and a fine are up to 23% less likely to speed again in the next six months.

What's more, the course appears to have a lasting impact: the reoffending rate is still up to 13% lower after three years.

Last year a record 1.4 million motorists attended the half-day course, which costs around £100 and is provided by private companies on behalf of the police. Since last September, £45 of each course fee paid by drivers goes straight to the police.

The findings also suggest that drivers who go on the course may be less likely to be involved in a serious collision that causes injury.

Welcoming the report, roads minister Jesse Norman said it shows that the National Speed Awareness Course "is clearly working well in preventing drivers from putting other road users at risk by breaking speed limits."

David Davies, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Road Safety, added: "These findings are a win-win for motorists and for road safety. We knew that drivers who attended speed awareness courses found them useful and preferred them to penalty points which have no educational value.

"Now we know that speed awareness courses also have bigger safety benefits."

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