Speed classes for Irish drivers

Police in Northern Ireland are planning to offer classes to speeding motorists rather than slapping fines and penalty points on them.

Motorists who are found to be exceeding the speed limits by just a few miles an hour are to be given speed awareness courses in a bid to educate careless drivers and prevent road tragedies.

However, those who break the speed limit by large measures will not be offered the scheme.

Northern Ireland saw 115 deaths from road accidents in 2009, with the figure for 2010 so far being 18.

Assistant chief constable Duncan McCausland said: "These new diversionary courses will re-educate speeding road users and graphically illustrate the very real dangers and consequences of breaking the speed limit."

DriveTech (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of the AA, will run the classroom-based speed awareness scheme that will run for four hours.

Each course will cost motorists £85 inclusive of VAT - to cover the cost of administering and delivering the programme. The scheme will only be available to drivers who meet certain eligibility criteria.

The speed awareness scheme and young drivers scheme will not be offered to drivers who exceed the speed limit excessively, or those who have attended a national speed awareness course in the past three years.

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