SPEED AWARENESS COURSES
A campaign against the misuse of speed awareness courses (named AMPOW) was created because the actions of the police in offering such "Education Courses" as an alternative to prosecution for speeding and other offences are distorting road safety policy. It is leading to the proliferation of speed cameras and threatened prosecutions because the police now have a direct financial incentive to maximise their activities in this area. This is wrong.
There was previously no statutory support for this activity, and it was contrary to the normal principles of English law. In addition, it is a perversion of justice for the police to waive prosecution on the basis of money being paid to them.
There is also no hard evidence that putting people through a speed-awareness course has any impact on their subsequent accident record, or behaviour in general. So what we now have is an enormous industry dedicated to raising money to pay course operators, the police and other organisations who benefit from these arrangements.
The Government has claimed that the police only recover their "administration" costs but that is not in fact true. They are actually using their proportion of fees paid by course attendees to finance more cameras and more staff to operate them plus to fund other equipment and activities from the surpluses generated. We can provide evidence on this.
We asked the Government to put a stop to these arrangements but in 2022 subsequent legislation was enacted that condones and legalises the practice - see the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
Note that a web site dedicated to the AMPOW campaign was closed down because of the new legislation and because the campaign failed to get widespread support - people generally decided they would prefer to attend a course and avoid points on their licence despite the fact that such attendance is financing the speed camera industry.
This document gives a summary of the reasons for the campaign that was published in 2018: Speed-Awareness-Campaign-Summary
A blog covering the AMPOW campaign is still present here.