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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 02:38 
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Soaring speed awareness courses paying for new cameras
By David Millward, Transport Editor - 10:00PM GMT 30 Nov 2012

More than half of motorists caught breaking the speed limit are now taking driver awareness courses with their fees of £100 being used to pay for a new generation of enforcement cameras, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Income raised by safety camera partnerships from running the courses has more than doubled in a year, reaching nearly £21 million in 2011-12 compared with just under £9 million for the previous 12 months.
All of the money raised is kept by the partnerships. After the cost of providing the courses is deducted, the rest is being ploughed into installing new digital cameras under a programme expected to see numbers increase by 50 per cent in the next year.
At the same time, fewer speeding fines are being issued with income falling by more than a quarter in a year. Money from fines, which are £60, goes straight to Treasury.
On taking office the Coalition axed Whitehall funding for speed cameras as part of ending what the it described as Labour’s “war on the motorist.”

There was a belief that the number of cameras would drop dramatically especially when cash shortages led to many being switched off across the country.

However the sharp rise in speed awareness courses has provided a lifeline for partnerships wanting to replace their obsolete wet film cameras with new digital devices.
“Quite simply the extension of speed awareness courses plugged the gap left by the scrapping of Whitehall funding for cameras,” said Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport
The partnerships keep the cash they get from motorists attending the courses, while the money paid in speeding fines has gone straight to the Treasury since 2007.

While course income has soared, there has been a drop in speeding fines anyway. In 2008 motorists paid £73.7 million. By 2010, the last year for which figures are available, this had fallen to just over £59 million.
More than half the safety partnerships are now installing new digital cameras, replacing the old wet film cameras which are reaching the end of their useful life.
The surge in cameras, which are expected to increase by 50 per cent in the next 12 months alone, is being financed by a dramatic rise in the cash partnerships are raising by offering offending motorists the chance to take a speed awareness course.

During 2010-11 41 per cent of drivers caught speeding went on a course, in the following year this had jumped to 54 per cent.
In Cambridgeshire, for example, two out of three first time speeders now go on a course. while in neighbouring Suffolk 62 per cent have done so.
The courses have been growing despite some scepticism among leading insurers about their effectiveness.

Admiral, for example, treats drivers who have been on a course in the same way as a driving who has earned penalty points for speeding.
“Our statistics show that a driver that has been caught speeding and has attended a Speed Awareness Course is, on average, roughly 10% more likely to have an accident in the next 12 months than a driver who has never been caught speeding. This is reflected in our rates,” a spokesman said.

While motorists caught speeding face a £60 fine, the courses can cost as much as £100. But drivers who participate do also avoid points on their licence.
Currently speed awareness courses are offered to first-time offenders caught driving up 10 percent plus nine mph, for example 42 mph in a 30mph zone.
Despite the scepticism of some insurers, there is also support for the use of speed awareness courses as an alternative to points

A poll of 11,000 AA members showed that 79 per cent approved of the courses and more than 89 per cent said they would take on if offered.

Research commissioned by Thames Valley Police found that, six months after attending a course, drivers were 50% less likely to re-offend than those who opted to pay a fine and accept points on their licence.
According to Northumbria Police suggested that 95% of drivers changed the way that they drive as a result of the course.

But Claire Armstrong, of the anti-camera group, Safe Speed, was more sceptical. "If they are educating after the event and providing a money stream, it is hard to see the courses as anything other than a cash cow."

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 08:48 
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Admiral wrote:
Our statistics show that a driver that has been caught speeding and has attended a Speed Awareness Course is, on average, roughly 10% more likely to have an accident in the next 12 months than a driver who has never been caught speeding.

Thames Valley Police wrote:
... six months after attending a course, drivers were 50% less likely to re-offend than those who opted to pay a fine and accept points on their licence.
... 95% of drivers changed the way that they drive as a result of the course

This seems strangely inconsistent unless the drivers attending the course drive more slowly afterwards, lose concentration and have more accidents.

There is no mention anywhere if safety is increased by either cameras or these SACs. I thought this was the purpose.

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:53 
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It's just beautiful isn't it?! Well done to the article for putting both statistics in - it really does show up what a load of rot this all is! So much for all the SCP rhetoric of the past - "speeding drivers are all dangerous and the points on their licence will put an end to their driving around terrorising the public if they continue...

...oh, er, hang n a minute, we're running out of drivers to fleece..

...I know, we'll take MORE money off them but let them keep their licences a bit longer"! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 18:21 
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So, to sum it up. Drivers who take speed courses, will afterwards, drive slower, change their habits and have an accident (so the slower drivers are more dangerous then?) Says a lot for speed courses and slower driving doesn't it?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 00:15 
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Read my posts on this . This is something I've been predicting for a long time. next prediction - higher & higher limits for folks to be placed on these courses. Of course ,once the bubble of soaking HMG on returns on Safety camera work was discovered, and grants only, given back to SCP , they had to find new ways to pay for the empire. SO the empire turned to "safety" courses, with the "fees" taken in lieu of fines/points. As one chief actor in Minder might say "nice little earner". It's not about road safety ,but about propping up the SCP empire. But ,if this collapsed ,how many more would be on thew dole , and how much would the redundancy fees cost the county councils. ( Cue one ex submariner ,on the gravy train as an expert to throw /pee cold water ( warm P) on this suggestion).And therby he'd make my point by replying, so I'd sugest he will stay submerged .

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 18:01 
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There is another problem rearing it's ugly head too and that is that people are being offered MORE courses than one in 3 yrs.
Even a solicitor who I spoke to recently thought the 1 in 3yrs only applied to each County !
I am now hearing that people can have done 4 courses in 3 years ! They don't want to promote the fact as if they do and the Courts (as they should) turn round and refund the courses and award the points then the chap is on 9 points with higher insurance premiums and only one more chance before a ban and/ or a hefty fine and Court fees to avoid the ban!

It is all very well to offer a token of a course, to try to curb bad behaviours in motorists but it is a whole different matter when the courses are being used as an 'earner' for technical infringements. With course times running at a bare bone and selective data being imparted the whole course purpose is under question as anything other than a brief reminder of a few points.

People have an interest in driving and so it is nice to hear and discuss things of course ! And add that it stops a few points on a license that persuades most people.
it is the same nasty process when Speed Watch people apply letters from the Police and when Community Speed watches include children to preach nonsense.
It fails to do any good, and fails to improve anyone's, skills knowledge or abilities long term.it's whole onus is wrong.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 18:10 
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malcolmw wrote:
Admiral wrote:
Our statistics show that a driver that has been caught speeding and has attended a Speed Awareness Course is, on average, roughly 10% more likely to have an accident in the next 12 months than a driver who has never been caught speeding.

Thames Valley Police wrote:
... six months after attending a course, drivers were 50% less likely to re-offend than those who opted to pay a fine and accept points on their licence.
... 95% of drivers changed the way that they drive as a result of the course

This seems strangely inconsistent unless the drivers attending the course drive more slowly afterwards, lose concentration and have more accidents.

There is no mention anywhere if safety is increased by either cameras or these SACs. I thought this was the purpose.

I think this is the whole point. There is NO evidence that the courses offer any benefit whatsoever but do raise a healthy profit for the Companies involved.
The article is a little wrong as the Police get paid every time they hand over someone's name and address so they do obtain some funding from this process.

Of course teaching people that a specific speed is the way to stay safe is wrong.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 22:29 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
There is another problem rearing it's ugly head too and that is that people are being offered MORE courses than one in 3 yrs.
Even a solicitor who I spoke to recently thought the 1 in 3yrs only applied to each County !
I am now hearing that people can have done 4 courses in 3 years ! They don't want to promote the fact as if they do and the Courts (as they should) turn round and refund the courses and award the points then the chap is on 9 points with higher insurance premiums and only one more chance before a ban and/ or a hefty fine and Court fees to avoid the ban!
.

AH ,BISTO- hello gravy boat .( Sorry wrong vehicle ,I should have said train). :D

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 02:49 
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Indeed this is a really bad step.

Although I want more education and improvement to skills and abilities the fact that it happens after the event and delivered in a non conforming and profiteering manner is a big issue. There are few carrots and may sticks/hammers with no proven verification of benefit to road safety.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 23:30 
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SafeSpeedv2 wrote:
Indeed this is a really bad step.

Although I want more education and improvement to skills and abilities the fact that it happens after the event and delivered in a non conforming and profiteering manner is a big issue. There are few carrots and may sticks/hammers with no proven verification of benefit to road safety.


After the event provides no real educational value. What we've got noiw is a group of zealots shouting"thou shalt not exceed the limit as per pole".Not "it's dangerous to exceed a safe speed for the occasion". And then when the moment has passed, send out a pumnishment. In days of old ( ok, we might not have had toilet paper as the rhyme suggests) we had upholders of the law to educate ( and dish out punishment if the act warranted it), AT THE TIME .Problem is that the bean counters needed the educators to justify their existance. There was no monetary value in accident prevention, to those with calculators as their only tool, so monetary justification came in . And ,sadly ,road safety went out the window. Now everything's fine, if there's a fine to cater for the event. And sadly any money brought in by the lads in blue went straight to HMG, NOT local County purse . So who's to blame. Well primarly (IMHO) HMG as they pocket the cash and ( as revealed in one PCC husting meeting ) fail to return a sufficient amount to LA. Perhaps we need a single UK police force .Think of it- only one CC,so saving lots of money. And only a few PCC ,so saving a bit more.

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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