Moray MP and road safety campaigner, Douglas Ross, recently wrote to the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, QC, asking if speed awareness courses could be introduced as an alternative to prosecution for speeding offences committed in Scotland. A similar alternative is available in the rest of the UK. The local MPs intervention followed a constituent contacting him after they had been offered a speed awareness course as an alternative to receiving a fine and penalty points, but they would have had to travel to England to take part as there were no courses in Scotland.
Commenting Douglas said “I was aware that the alternative to prosecution for some speeding offences in the rest of the UK was a speed awareness course but a constituent contacted me to explain that they would have liked to have taken this course but it wasn’t available in Scotland. As a result I wrote to the Lord Advocate to ask if such courses could also be offered as an alternative to prosecution in Scotland.
“I firmly believe that education plays a key role in terms of improved road safety and I think such courses would be beneficial and it’s a shame they’re not currently available in Scotland.
“During the four hours of education offered, the offender is made more aware of the possible tragic outcomes of their driving habits. This has more of an impact on the individual and is likely to produce a better outcome than prosecution.
“I’m pleased the Lord Advocate has now set up a working group comprising his office, The Procurator Fiscal Service, Police Scotland, and others, to devise the infrastructure and guidance that would allow these courses to be introduced in Scotland. This is a very positive and welcome step.
“For too long Scotland has been left behind the rest of the UK by not offering these courses which is why I welcome this response and the work that will now be done to introduce them here.”