We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:
Why ‘training courses’ for motorists who have committed minor speeding offences are priced at £83 - cost of the fine (£60) plus £10 and VAT.
Where the money goes and who benefits from the cash - HM Government, the local authority or local Police Authority.
We released the following information on 16 July 2012.
There is no prescribed standard cost nationwide for these courses and their intention is not to raise money. In appropriate cases, some forces enable their officers to offer a person detected apparently committing a speeding offence the opportunity to attend at his or her own expense a speed awareness course. Rather than punish those who break the law or seek to deter, the intention is to help educate a motorist to be a better driver and avoid further offending. This has direct benefits for road safety and avoids undue pressure on the criminal justice system. It also benefits the motorist because completion of a course means there is no further action and no fixed penalty, fine (up to £1000, or £2500 on a motorway ), or penalty points (up to 6). Attendance on the course is entirely voluntary for motorists. They may choose instead to accept the offer of a fixed penalty or to contest in court the allegation of speeding. It is only if they freely agree to attend a course that they make any payment: making the payment is part of their agreement.
Speed awareness courses are run for the police by external providers. Format and content of courses may vary from area to area according to the individual requirements of each force. Arrangements are matters for and between the provider and the local chief officer of police. The charges on those attending courses may vary, taking into account the different costs that are necessarily incurred.