DRIVERS caught speeding in West Yorkshire can now escape getting points on their licence but they will have to ‘go back to school’.
Huddersfield has just become the base for the first course to slow speeders down.
The speed awareness course is aimed at offenders who drive just above the limit, not those who go at crazy speeds.
Normally they would have to pay a £60 fine and have three penalty points put on their licences.
But now they can opt to pay £60 and go on the four-hour course. If they do that the three points will be waived.
Police who stop the errant drivers will decide if the motorist should go on the course and give them the chance to do so.
Chief Insp Christopher Moorhouse-Everett, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “The course is intended to educate drivers as to the true dangers of excess speed on the county’s roads.
“Drivers caught speeding to a minimal degree can benefit far more from a little education than from prosecution.”
The course is run by Kirklees Council at its highways headquarters on Flint Street in Fartown and will take drivers who have been caught speeding anywhere in West Yorkshire.
It tells drivers about the importance of keeping to speed limits, along with the human, legal and financial consequences of speeding offences.
It has been tested and developed over two years by Kirklees Council and is backed by the Government’s Transport Department.
Kirklees already offers a national driver improvement course, an older driver’s course and the Pass Plus course for newly-qualified drivers at Flint Street.
Chief Insp Moorhouse-Everett added: “By offering this speed awareness course as an alternative to automatic prosecution we hope the driving public in West Yorkshire will understand that the police simply want drivers to be aware of the risks in order to improve their driving and safety on the roads for the future.
“We’d much rather educate drivers than attend the scene of a collision involving damage, injury and worse.”
The theory behind the course is that drivers would become safer and so would be less likely to speed or have accidents in the future.
And it could save their insurance costs going up.
“It should benefit motorists in that they will be able to avoid suffering hikes in insurance premiums,” says Chief Insp Moorhouse-Everett.
“The scheme should also prove to be positive for the authorities.
“Fewer speeders mean fewer collisions, fewer casualties and a reduced administrative burden associated with any subsequent investigation.
“As the scheme potentially involves tens of thousands of speeders in the coming years it could also reduce the prosecution burden on the Courts and Crown Prosecution Service,” added Chief Insp Moorhouse-Everett.