Drivers less likely to reoffend after speeding course, study finds

NDORS course

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) has welcomed a new report which shows that speed awareness courses reduce re-offending rates.

Published by the DfT (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.

Data was provided for 2.2m drivers, of whom 1.4m had opted to participate in the National Speed Awareness Course (NSAC) – which is offered to drivers in Essex.

The study found that drivers who attend a 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.

Separate research carried out for SERP shows that in Essex, drivers who attend an NSAC course are 34% less likely to reoffend.

The NSAC is offered to motorists who commit low level speeding offences as an alternative to a fine and three points on their licence. In 2017, 1,195,356 offenders across the country attended the course, which costs £100.

Sally Plail, driver improvement manager at SERP, said:

“We welcome the rigorous scrutiny applied by the independent researchers and analysts to the content and delivery of the NSAC.

“The courses help drivers to be more aware of the speeds they choose and what might stop them from driving within the speed limit.

“They seek to provide drivers and riders with information that can help them make changes to the speeds they choose, how they use the road and how they think about risk.

“It is important to remember that every driver caught speeding will have chosen to participate in a course.

“The courses keep low-level offenders out of the penalty system, instead showing why speed limits matter and encouraging honest reflection and discussion in an entirely non-judgemental way.

“What participants do in the days and months that follow their course is up to them, and a course cannot force change on a driver unwilling to accept it.

“But the report shows that of the participants leaving the courses with good reasons for obeying speed limits, a majority had the desire to change their behaviour, too.”

The NSAC is one of a suite of driver retraining courses delivered by SERP. Other courses cover driver alertness, 20mph speed limits, motorway speed awareness, seatbelts, driving behaviour, and motorcyclist behaviour.

16 May 2018

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