Drivers in Scotland who are convicted of speeding offences may in future have the option of taking a ‘speed awareness’ course instead of a £100 fine and three penalty points on their licence.
This would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales, where motorists are allowed to take a course once every three years as an alternative to prosecution.
Quoted in the Scottish Mail on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Crown Office said: “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.”
More than 80,000 motorists were caught speeding in Scotland last year, up from around 65,000 in 2012/13 and 73,000 in 2015/16.
“These figures are disappointing,” Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists said. “They underline that we are some way off making speeding as socially unacceptable as drink driving. 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.”