Driving fines and points could be replaced by awareness courses


Drivers who are caught speeding marginally over the limit could be enrolled in awareness courses instead of being fined or handed points, it has emerged.


The Scottish Conservatives asked ministers to consider the alternative given the increase in traffic convictions reported at the turn of the year, particularly for those who were only just above the threshold.


And in a letter to justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell, the Scottish Government confirmed it was now considering such a move.




Transport minister Derek Mackay said he supports “the concept of offering driver education as an alternative to prosecution where appropriate” and that evidence was now being collected to see if such a move may be feasible.


Similar alternatives exist in England and Wales for motorists caught speeding at the minor end of the scale.


The changes could come in as places like Edinburgh move towards reducing speed limits in streets right across the city, which could lead to yet more convictions.


In December, it emerged the number of traffic crimes had increased, meaning they now account for four in every 10 convictions.


Scottish Conservative justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said:“Given the increase in traffic convictions, it is surely time to consider an alternative for those who are not significantly over the speed limit.


“Offering speed awareness courses would be a more effective alternative to points and a hefty fine.


“Involvement in such a scheme is aimed at helping improve safety by promoting better driving behaviour.


“In addition to this, motorists – many of whom rely on their car for work and family – consider they are being disproportionately targeted by overzealous crackdowns.


“I’m glad therefore that the Scottish Government is now looking at this in an effort to put in place a fairer system which prioritises safer driving.”


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