Police set to earn £54 million from speed awareness courses
Money received by police forces for every driver that attends a speed awareness course jumped from £35 to £45 last month
Money received by police forces from motorists attending speed awareness course has increased by nearly a third.
The Press Association found that constabularies were receiving greater contributions for every driver they sent on a course, with payments rising from £35 to £45 last month.
Those contributions are assigned as a cost recovery fee to reimburse forces for the costs associated with catching speeding drivers.
Approximately 1.2 million motorists take part in speed awareness courses each year, meaning police forces are set to earn £54 million annually.
It was also found that the fees motorists pay to attend such courses varies greatly from region to region.
Offending motorists in Northamptonshire pay £75 to attend a speed awareness course, while drivers in Essex will pay £99 – an increase of 32 per cent.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “Most people attending speed awareness courses sing their praises but what they might not realise is the postcode lottery they face in terms of the costs involved.
“Surely there is no other part of the criminal justice system where fines and penalties vary by as much as a third across the country?
“Intuitively, people would expect to pay a fixed price for doing wrong, not an arrangement that offers rewards for shopping around or penalises partly because of where people live.”
According to a spokesperson for the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme, course providers tried to absorb as much of the 29 per cent rise in the police cost recovery fee as possible. Because of this, prices for speed awareness courses increased by less than £1 on average to £88.90.
The rise in police cost recovery fees was “in line with Treasury requirements”, the spokesperson said, adding that pricing of courses was a “complicated issue” because of varying attendee numbers, locations and durations.