More speeders opt to attend courses
MORE than half of all drivers caught speeding on the region's roads accepted offers to attend courses instead of penalty points and a fine, according to latest figures.
An annual report published today shows 53 per cent of offenders attended a speed awareness course in 2011.
In the previous year, 39 per cent of 36,336 drivers clocked speeding attended the course, run by Safer Roads Humber, which is designed to impress on drivers the dangers of speeding.
Drivers avoid three penalty points, which tends to push up insurance premiums, and a £60 fine if they attend and pass a half-day course, which costs £95.
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Ruth Gore, spokeswoman for Safer Roads Humber, which operates the region's speed cameras, said money raised from those who attend the courses has been used to pay for safety campaigns as well as the partnership's running costs.
She said: "We now have more than 50 per cent of motorists avoiding penalty points and fines by agreeing to attend a course.
"The money has been used to pay for future courses, as well as the annual drink-drive campaign, among others."
A total of 19,200 attended the course in 2011, according to the safety partnership.
Ms Gore stressed motorists caught travelling at excessive speed or in a dangerous manner are not offered the course and motorists caught speeding can only be offered a course once in a three-year period.
In 2010, Safer Roads Humber changed the criteria for eligibility for the course.
Ms Gore said: "The course is designed to make motorists aware of the possible consequences of their speeding."
Speeding motorists, who for whatever reason did not attend a course, generated £814,380 for the Treasury in 2011.
Edmund King, president of the AA, told the Mail most of its members would prefer to be offered a speed-awareness course as an alternative to points on their licence and a fine.
He said: "Our recent survey of 20,000 drivers revealed 79 per cent support the idea of the speed awareness course and 89 per cent said they would be willing to pay £95 to attend one if they were caught speeding.
"Education is more effective than prosecution in changing views on speeding. Most people who go on one of these courses tend to say they would think twice before speeding again.
"Although £95 is a lot of money, it is worth paying in the long-run due to increases in insurance premiums that would apply if you opted to accept the points instead."
Safer Roads Humber operates fixed and mobile cameras at 85 sites in Hull, the East Riding and North Lincolnshire and in recent months has been targeting reckless motorbike riders.
Campaigns such as Someone's Son, designed to show drivers the "face" behind the motorcycle helmet, have been credited with saving lives.