Road Safety GB has welcomed the findings of a new report, which shows drivers who take a speed awareness course are as much as 23% less likely to reoffend in the six months after a first offence, compared to those who accept the fine and points.
Published by the DfT today (14 May), the study – carried out by IPSOS Mori and the University of Leeds – used speed offending data made available by 13 police forces in England for the period from 2012 to 2017.
The study found that drivers who attend the NSAC are between 12-23% less likely to reoffend within six months of committing their first offence – a figure which drops to 9-17% within 12 months, 9-11% within the first two-years, and 6-13% within three years.
Road Safety GB says speed awareness courses can help drivers who have “made a genuine mistake or error in judgement”.
Steve Horton, Road safety GB director of communications, said: “Most drivers who accept the opportunity to take a speed awareness course are likely to have made a genuine mistake or error in judgement; perhaps they struggle to work out what the speed limit is for the road they are on, perhaps they just don’t appreciate the significant impact on severity that even small increases in speed could have in a crash, or perhaps they were just driving on habit.
“In the main these ‘error makers’ can benefit from reasoned discussion to reflect on how they drive or from help to interpret the rules that identify speed limits. The research here shows that when this is done well ‘error makers’ can make their own choice to adapt their behaviour and better avoid breaking speed limits.
“Whilst speed isn’t the only risk factor in driving, there is no doubt that if you crash then the faster you travel the harder you will hit, so the basics of adhering to legal limits is the very least we should be doing to support safer roads. Once the limit is accepted, then it frees up drivers to judge the appropriateness of their speed for time and place.”
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