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Record number of motorists returning to classrooms to escape

Record number of drivers returning to classrooms to escape points on their driver’s licenses: speed awareness and driver retraining courses attended by 1.5 million people in 2021

  • More drivers took retraining courses in 2021 than any other year since 2014
  • The previous annual peak was 1.3 million in 2020 and the most attended virtual sessions due to the pandemic
  • More than four in five of these were speed awareness courses, data shows
  • Some drivers are offered retraining sessions as an alternative to points and fines for violations



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A record number of drivers avoided fines and gained points on their license by choosing speed awareness and other retraining courses last year, a record.

Figures from the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme, consulted by the PA, show that 1.5 million driver’s license holders took a course in 2021 as an alternative to a fine and possible penalty points.

That’s an increase of 1.3 million from the previous year and represents the highest annual total ever, although these numbers have only been tracked since 2014.

Back to the classroom: A record number of drivers took retraining courses last year to avoid having points added to their licenses and hefty fines for offenses such as speeding

Back to the classroom: A record number of drivers took retraining courses last year to avoid having points added to their licenses and hefty fines for offenses such as speeding

Of all driver training courses taken last year, 86 percent was a speed awareness session offered to motorists caught breaking a limit but within an ‘acceptable’ range.

The aim of the courses is to help people recognize speed limits and recognize the possible consequences of speeding.

However, only those who have not completed a speed awareness course in the past three years will be given the option to take one – at a cost of between £73 and £95 – to avoid adding points to their license and minimum fines of £100 .

Courses are offered to drivers at the discretion of police forces in the UK and most given last year have been virtually held due to the pandemic.

Education is seen as a big part of the Department for Transport’s efforts, with official figures showing speed was a factor in a quarter of fatal crashes on UK roads in 2020.

Of all driver training courses completed last year, 86% was a speed awareness session offered to drivers who exceed a limit but are within an 'acceptable' range

Of all driver training courses completed last year, 86% was a speed awareness session offered to drivers who exceed a limit but are within an 'acceptable' range

Of all driver training courses completed last year, 86% was a speed awareness session offered to drivers who exceed a limit but are within an ‘acceptable’ range

The other most frequently attended retraining courses are those that focus on motorway driving, seat belt wearing and the causes of risky and inconsiderate driving.

Steve Gooding, director of the automotive research charity, the RAC Foundation, said: “On the face of it, the increase in the number of people taking courses indicates that our driving habits have deteriorated despite last year’s Covid-induced travel restrictions.

But there is a message that motorists need to accept: at least 1.5 million people were caught breaking the law last year, so if you’re tempted to speed up, remember you’re the next driver. who gets caught.’

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