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Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Drivers given speeding 'lessons'
Traffic officer with mobile radar gun
Drivers caught on speed camera can avoid fines
Drivers caught speeding by Lancashire Police can avoid fines and licence points by going back to the classroom.

From Thursday, motorists who are stopped after slightly exceeding limits can opt to take part in a speed awareness course.

Last year 20 people were killed in accidents caused by motorists speeding on roads in Lancashire.

Chief Inspector Ian Bell said the aim of the pilot scheme was to reduce the tally of road casualties in the county.

'No soft option'

"We have identified that people who are more likely to be involved in road crashes on the roads are people who are marginally exceeding the speed limit.

"The course has been specifically tailored for that group of motorists," he said.

The six-hour course is a combination of theory and practical lessons with a driving instructor

Chief Inspector Bell denied the scheme was a "soft option" and said it aimed to change attitudes and driving behaviour.

When people are referred to the course it is probably because they have had a momentary lapse in concentration

Linda Sanderson, road safety officer
He went on: "It is split into two segments, one is back to the classroom, but the second and quite important part is a period of instruction with an approved driving instructor."

Only offenders breaking the limit by a small amount will be offered one opportunity to take part in the scheme.

It is hoped the course will help Lancashire hit government targets of cutting the number of deaths and serious injuries on the road by 40% over the next nine years.

Attitude change

Lancashire County Council road safety officer Linda Sanderson said: "When people are referred to the course it is probably because they have had a momentary lapse in concentration.

"It is easy for everyone to exceed the speed limit but we have to change our habits.

"The course is designed for people to identify what makes them speed and how to rectify that and maybe form further attitude and behaviour towards non-speeding

"People have to recognise ... speeding is a real issue and the public need to be made aware that it causes unnecessary problems in people's lives."

Chief Inspector Ian Bell
"The whole aim is to reduce casualties here in Lancashire"
See also:

13 Aug 01 | UK
Head to Head: Speed cameras
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