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More than 1.5 million drivers took speed awareness and other training courses in 2021. This option is given to motorists to allow them to avoid fines and having points added to their driving licence.
Figures from the National Driver Offender Retraining scheme show that 1.5 million licence holders completed a course in 2021 as an alternative to a fine and possible penalty points.
This is up from 1.3 million during the previous year and represents the highest annual total on record – although these figures have only been held since 2014.
Of the 1.5 million training courses attended last year, 86 percent were speed awareness sessions, according to the data accessed by PA.
These are offered to motorists caught exceeding a limit, but within an “acceptable” range.
The aim of the courses is to help people identify speed limits and recognise the potential consequences of driving too fast.
However, only those who haven’t attended a speed awareness course in the previous three years are given the option to take one.
These courses generally cost between £73 and £95 and help drivers escape having points added to their licence and minimum fines of £100.
Drivers cannot complete more than one course within three years.
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Most courses are run by private companies and usually last two hours and 45 minutes.
Courses are put forward to drivers at the discretion of police forces across the UK and most carried out last year were held virtually due to the pandemic.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, commented on the figures.
He said: “On the face of it, the increase in the number of people doing courses indicates that our driving habits have got worse despite the Covid-induced travel restrictions of last year.
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