Road Safety News

Camera partnership focuses on education rather than prosecution

Monday 17th September 2012

More than 25,000 motorists attended speed awareness courses in Kent and Medway last year as the county’s safety camera partnership stepped up its efforts to educate, rather than prosecute, those who transgress the speed limit.

The Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership (KMSCP) says the courses are being offered to more people after research showed that they are more effective than fines or penalty points in improving long-term driver behaviour.

Delivered by Kent County Council Road Safety on behalf of Kent Police, the courses are not an option for those guilty of more serious speeding offences.

Katherine Barrett, KMSCP communications officer, said: “We’re educating not prosecuting, giving motorists a fair chance. Feedback from the courses is hugely positive, with drivers learning potentially life-saving lessons about the dangers of speed and poor driving behaviour.”

Steve Horton, Kent County Council’s road safety team leader, said: “By attending a course, drivers have the chance to take something positive from what could have been a negative experience – prosecution. Drivers who attend may significantly cut their chances of being involved in a crash, and of being caught for the same offence in the next two to three years.”

Chief Inspector Andy Reeves, from Kent Police, said: “The course is not a soft option – motorists can only go on a speed awareness course once every three years and if they are caught speeding again in this time then points and a fine or a court referral will result.”

For more information contact Jeff or Leah at Edwards Harvey PR on 01622 604600.


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25,000 drivers at £85 per course, yes nice little earner for all those involved. Many ex/retired police - see Companies House for directors of NDORS or RSS Ltd.

Best way to stop 'speeding' is to get rid of all speed limits. Getting people to drive safely requires education, effort, thought, financial input for road safety advertising.
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Speed cameras which take a snapshot of any person exceeding a specific speed achieve zilch. Better to install average speed zones. This might eliminate the 100 mph brigade who persist in the high speed chase between speed cameras.
Jim, Aberdeen.

Agree (5) | Disagree (7)

I support the initiative and presume that speeding offenders can choose between paying the fine or attending the course (providing they are not guilty of more serious speeding offences). Let's hope that the scheme can show some measurable benefits in future studies of its effects. It is worth remembering that Kent County Council, through Malcolm Bulpitt, pioneered the idea of Road Safety Auditing in the 1980s, which is now a formal process adopted in many countries throughout the world, including here in Australia. That initiative has no doubt saved countless lives and paid for itself many times over. If this initiative can further reduce the death and injury on our roads then let's applaud it rather than cynically mock it as some form of revenue raising exercise.
Don Veal, Australia

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)

"Camera partnership focuses on education rather than prosecution". Of course they do! The fines paid by those prosecuted go to the Treasury, the fees paid by those who take courses go to the course providers and the profits to the police!

See "Parkinson's Law" of the 1950s - "The first priority of any organisation is its own continuation" or words to that effect. Or as Eric put it more succinctly - "cash flow". That is why eligibility was increased both in terms of interval between courses and degree of speeding.
Idris Francis Petersfield

Agree (4) | Disagree (15)

Once again analysis seems concentrated on speeding rather than accidents - which are what really matters.

I am wary of the claim that those who attend courses are less likely to be caught speeding again than those who do not - because the first group is defined by the eligibility criteria as being those who break limits by more modest margins.

The comparison I would prefer to see (though I doubt that the data is available to do it) would be the subseqent accident records of those who take courses against those who do not.

But if it turned out that those who did not take courses went on to have more accidents, would it be due to the benefit of the courses, or that those eligible were inherently less likely to have accidents?
Idris Francis Petersfield

Agree (5) | Disagree (11)

KMSCP could be on the right track. For an understanding of the reasons for the controversy surrounding automatic detection and prosecution, read:
Andrew Fraser, STIRLING

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

Cash flow? If you don't want to pay a speeding fine don't speed past a camera. It's an optional thing - there's even a big dial on your vehicle to help you. If no one got caught speeding there would be no funding for camera partnerships.

Surely lesson one of good driving is to obey traffic law? Is it OK to disobey double white lines a little bit? Or just jump the occasional red light?
Dave, Leeds

Agree (20) | Disagree (6)

"2 dislikes"? What is there to dislike about an initiative which helps motorists to focus more on their driving and avoid accidents? Too productive? Too sensible? Nothing there to rant about? Some people are never satisfied!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (4)

This is less about educating motorists and more about cash flow (the police and partnership make money from speed awareness courses which have limited value in terms of collision/casualty reduction). It's also a self-promotion exercise for the Kent Partnership - note that the contact is a PR company! What a pity they spend money on polishing their image rather than doing a proper job.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (7) | Disagree (28)

Taking this one step further, something we used to do in the area I worked, was to stop the speeders and simply chat to them at the roadside, in a non-patronising, non-preaching way. i.e ask them why they were speeding, point out the benefits of not doing so, point out their accident risk, explain defensive driving etc. It was like a ten-minute speed awareness course without them having to leave their vehicle. Most motorists appreciated it Ė they learnt something and one likes to think that somewhere down the line, a collision that might otherwise have happened had been prevented. I learnt that if you say the right thing, in the right way to people, itís possible to get them to alter their behaviour and in the case of improving driving, itís an initiative that should not be underrated and more enforcement authorities should consider doing it.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (16) | Disagree (4)