Record number of drivers attend retraining courses in 2017

14.03 | 15 January 2018 | | 12 comments

New figures show that more than 1.4m drivers attended driver retraining courses in 2017, a record high.

The figure of 1,413,598 – provided by the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) – represents a year-on-year rise of 2% and is almost a million more than in 2010, the first year retraining courses were offered.

NDORS is an alternative to prosecution for drivers who have committed road traffic offences. Courses are provided by private companies on behalf of the police.

 width=There are a total of nine NDORS courses, the most recent of which – the Motorway Speed Awareness Course and the National Motorway Course – were introduced in 2017.

The vast majority of offenders in 2017 (1,195,356) attended the national speed awareness course.

A further 92,386 people completed What’s Driving Us? – a short classroom based course for drivers who have committed a wide range of offences including using mobile phones and going through red lights.

The RAC Foundation says the emergence of new courses highlights ‘the increasing complexity’ of the UK road network, and warns that imminent enforcement of ‘Red X signals’ on motorways could lead to the figure rising again in 2018.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The emergence of so many courses partly reflects the increasing complexity of the road network and rise in restrictions drivers now face.

“From 20 mph zones in towns to variable speed limits on motorways the rules of the road are growing in type and number, and there now seems to be a course to match every eventuality.

“The record number of courses run last year could be topped this year as police step up enforcement of Red X signals on motorways.”


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    Money and ego.

    I suspect both central government and vox pop wouldn’t contribute the money to put several million people through refresher courses.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Why don’t we have any training for drivers who haven’t committed offences? Is it good that you can drive for 50 years plus without any further training or being given a road safety refresher course. E-learning is coming in for Drone users, why not have on line refresher courses for all drivers. Why is so much road safety effort focused on prosecution rather than education and prevention?

    Derek Hertfordshire
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Have you audited their accounts David? Don’t see a problem anyway – I’m sure they spend it wisely.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (3)

    A) I don’t see any issues with how course attendees are selected at present.
    B) By the attendees paying a reasonable fee (to cover only admin, course and hospitality fees), with perhaps a punitive penalty going directly into HM Treasury.

    This particular issue, for those who haven’t had guessed, is more with police forces using the £35 or so that is returned from a successful attendance of a course as a means of covering massive gaps in funding.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    So do you agree driver education should be offered in leui of a straight fixed penalty? If so, how would you go about
    A) identifying those who need it most?
    B) funding it?

    Martin Evans, BRISTOL
    Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

    Well, without using phrases such as “administration fee” (which I admit, it basically is) or “hypothetication” (which it isn’t, honest!) without the use of a thesaurus I’m struggling to determine what the correct word would be for the action of passing on a portion of a payment made to a third party organisation to say, the Police, where the payment was made to divert the [paying] offender from either a full prosecution or the acceptance of a Fixed Penalty Notice – especially as this diversion route is not codified in law, but exists and functions purely due to the discretion in enforcement that the Police have.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (8) | Disagree (5)

    NDORS kickbacks?

    Rob Tollier
    Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

    No doubt there have been courses available Bob, but they are voluntary and no doubt those who chose to attend them were of a reasonably good standard anyway and were willing to learn more. This story is about NDORS however i.e. Driver Offending Retraining Schemes i.e. identifying those who need training via offences committed and steering them towards learning more. Getting drivers to improve via enforcement is relatively recent as far as I know.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    The cynic in me would suggest that there is almost £50m worth of reasons why the uptake of NDORS courses are increasing.

    Notwithstanding my problem with NDORS kickbacks I do not disagree with them in principle. Every couple of years or so I like to go on advanced driving courses as it’s always good to practice things that you’d hope to never experience.

    And the amount of people who don’t know even what the basic signs in the Highway Code mean is quite staggering.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (11) | Disagree (1)

    Hugh there has for many decades been driving and riding courses available through many independent and charitable organisations and also through the DVSA. In the main they have concentrated on mature drivers/riders and have been basically useful to train/instruct so called Advanced Drivers or Riders. It’s a pity that something like the RAC/ACU gave up their role as a motorcycle training organisation in the 70’s but the government of the time only wanted professionals to do it and that required those persons to undertake training and become subsequently qualifications. So that is perhaps why there has been little or no progress made for the general public to undertake what may be considered ordinary training in that there has been none.

    I will agree that it absolutely ludicrous to require a rider to undertake a simple get to know how your vehicle works CBT and then leave them totally alone to get on with it. To do whatever they may want to do on a two wheeled vehicle on our roads and as one, if not the most vulnerable road user there is.

    Your argument re more drivers are responsible for more killing and maiming than airline pilots, gas fitters and electricians is no doubt correct but something of an erroneous comparison as all others will recognise and therefore not really a justifiable comment.

    bob craven
    Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

    If one is regularly involved in an activity which has personal and public safety implications – anything from an airline pilot to a gas fitter or electrician – routine retraining, refresher courses and regular assessments are taken as being necessary and accepted and yet driving a vehicle on the highway which is capable of killing and maiming requires one test or assessment and that’s it – for life. More killing and maiming is done by drivers than pilots and gas fitters and electricians however and yet only in recent years has ‘retraining’ been deemed worthwhile and only then randomly via offences or incidents – bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted in other words.

    Trying to get some egotistical drivers to admit they need retraining and to attend voluntarily would be almost impossible however and unfortunately that then leads to reluctant and possibly resentful attendees on such courses, having been persuaded to attend by the authorities…still better than no re-training at all I suppose.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (10) | Disagree (4)

    The roads are changing all the time and for a driver education never stops, you need to keep up with these changes and regulations, making use of the Highway Code and the internet…….there is no excuse for not knowing about them.

    David Brown, SHEFFIELD
    Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

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