New skills test for speeding drivers in the North
Some speeding motorists could be sent back to the classroom to improve their driving skills, rather than picking up a fine and penalty points, police said today.
From tomorrow, speed awareness courses will be offered to drivers who are detected breaking the speed limits by just a few miles an hour.
Police hope it will educate drivers who have been careless and help prevent road tragedies, though the scheme will not apply to those who exceed the speed limit excessively.
In 2009 there were 115 people killed in road accidents, with 18 lives claimed so far this year.
Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said: "Excessive speed for the conditions is the single biggest killer of people on Northern Ireland roads. This is the final warning for those who continue to break the speed limits.
"From tomorrow, additional road policing patrols will be deployed across Northern Ireland to target people who take the completely selfish decision to speed and put other people at risk.
"These new diversionary courses will re-educate speeding road users and graphically illustrate the very real dangers and consequences of breaking the speed limit."
He added: "Drivers and riders who participate will find the interactive sessions very challenging. They will gain an insight to tragic and horrific consequences that often result from reckless driving and be urged to take more responsibility for their actions on the roads.
"There is no doubt that the roads would be a much safer place if more people took heed of this advice."
The four hour classroom based Speed Awareness Scheme follows a UK approved syllabus, and will be run by DriveTech (UK) Ltd (a subsidiary of the AA). Courses will be held in Omagh, Coleraine, Belfast and Newry.
Drivers will pay £85 inclusive of VAT to attend each course which covers the cost of administering and delivering the schemes.
They will only be available to drivers who meet certain eligibility criteria. The Young Drivers Scheme and Speed Awareness Scheme will not be offered to drivers who exceed the speed limit excessively, or those who have attended a national speed awareness course in the past three years.