Awareness courses better than heavy-handed prosecutions, AA tells European police
Speaking at the event, King told European police chiefs that in some respects the UK has taken the lead in trying to re-educate drivers and riders as part of the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS).
The most common police course is on ‘speed awareness’. New research from an AA Populus poll of 29,660 UK drivers in August shows that 14% of drivers in the past three years have attended a course – on a national scale this equates to approximately 4.5m drivers.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “The UK has taken the lead in trying to re-educate errant drivers. We believe that education is more effective than prosecution as it produces converts rather than criminals. The fact that almost 90% of those that have been on a speed awareness course would recommend it is a great endorsement. Perhaps contrary to popular opinion 77% of our members accept the use of cameras.”
King also outlined how educational awareness campaigns can help to protect vulnerable road users. He cited the case of the AA Charitable Trust’s “Think Bikes” sticker campaign, which has gone global and is being used in 25 countries from Lithuania to Iran.
He concluded: “The UK has one of the best road safety records in the world yet 1,775 people still died last year. The police identified ‘failed to look properly’ as a factor in 44% of crashes and ‘loss of control’ as a factor in a third (32%) of fatal crashes. Better education of drivers and riders can radically help to cut this carnage.”