More than 10MILLION of us have been on a speed awareness course

More than 10MILLION of us have been on a speed awareness course: Police accused of treating drivers as ‘cash cows’ as scheme rakes in hundreds of millions

  • In 2018, 1.45million completed a course after committing a motoring offence 
  • This means courses have been attended more than ten million times since 2010 
  • They cost between £75 and £99, and the cash is fed back into police budgets

Police were accused of treating drivers like ‘cash cows’ yesterday after the number of speed awareness courses taken since 2010 passed ten million.

An investigation has revealed a surge in the number of motorists who have paid to attend a course rather than incur a fine or points on their licence.

Analysis of data from the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (Ndors) found 1.45million completed a course after committing a motoring offence in 2018.

Police were accused of treating drivers like ‘cash cows’ yesterday after the number of speed awareness courses taken since 2010 passed ten million (stock photo of a course)

This is up 36 per cent from 1.07million in 2013.

This means the courses, mostly for speed awareness, have been attended more than ten million times since 2010. Given that they typically cost between £75 and £99, the courses are likely to have raised hundreds of millions for the police.

The Treasury feeds this cash back into police budgets to cover the costs of catching speeding motorists. Police said they do not ‘make money’ from the courses, which they say are designed to ‘educate’ drivers and ‘reduce deaths’.


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However, the surge in attendees has fuelled unease among motoring groups. The RAC said it was ‘astonishing’ that as many as one in four drivers had been ‘sent back to the classroom’.

Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK, said: ‘Surely such speeding offences are not increasing at the same rate, so why are police taking advantage of drivers? Simple, they are pure cash cows.’

Eight Ndors courses, including speed awareness, motorway awareness and ‘safe and considerate’ driving schemes, are provided by private firms on behalf of the police.

An investigation has revealed a surge in the number of motorists (pictured, stock photo) who have paid to attend a course rather than incur a fine or points on their licence

They are offered to drivers who commit a minor offence as an alternative to penalty points and a fine. Drivers cannot attend more than one course within three years. Steve Gooding, of the RAC Foundation, expressed support for the courses but stressed more needs to be done to educate drivers who commit more serious crimes.

He said: ‘As many as one in four drivers has now been sent back to the classroom for breaking road traffic law.

‘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 the National Police Chiefs Council, said: ‘More drivers are attending these courses as an alternative to prosecution … [they]are offered to people who commit low-level traffic offences. Police forces do not make money from the courses; they only receive processing costs.’ 

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