Tue, May 29, 2018 9:23 PM
Drivers in Scotland could be given a slap on the wrist in the form of an official warning if caught speeding in a planned shake-up of motoring offences.
The proposed changes by Police Scotland would see the introduction of written warnings for drivers who go over the limit in 20mph and 30mph areas. If drivers don’t offend again within three months then the warning will disappear from the record and also there is no need to notify the insurance company.
“If you stop someone for a motoring offence, the chance is no one has given them a row since their schooldays,” said Stewart Carle, head of road policing in Scotland.
“If you have an opportunity to say ‘speeding is one of four fatal factors and we’re not going to prosecute on this occasion, we’re not going to give you a fine. Will you accept this warning?’, I think most people will say ‘Yes, absolutely’.
“This will benefit the prosecution authorities, so they can focus on the most serious cases.”
Drivers in Scotland who speed currently face a minimum fine of £100 and three points on their licence, unlike in England where drivers have the option of a speed awareness course.
Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, likes the idea of the warnings, but only alongside other penalties such as speed awareness courses.
He said: “We like the idea of a range of penalties, including verbal and written warnings, fines and speed awareness courses.
“Yes, the death rate has fallen in Scotland but it’s flatlined in recent years and there’s a couple of obvious things they could do - including speed awareness courses.”
However, some of suggested that the introduction of warnings could be a cost-cutting measure, reducing the number of cases being taken to court. Mr Carle said: “It would take cases out of the system - not just for police but the Crown. If it was a one in 20 reoffending rate, you’ve taken 19 cases out of the system.”