Data has revealed the varying prices that people pay around the country to attend speed awareness courses.
Figures obtained from the Press Association show that the price of the driver training courses are different depending on region, and have been branded a “postcode lottery” by the RAC Foundation.
The cost of a speed awareness course in Northamptonshire is £75, whereas those doing them in Essex have to pay £99 – 32 per cent more.
Courses are offered at the discretion of the police to drivers as a means of education. They can also avoid motorists getting a fine or points put on their licence.
Courses are run under the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS). Private companies carry out these courses on behalf of the police.
However, the greatest differences in price was for motorcyclists attending Ride courses, part of NDORS. Prices ranged from £185 in Norfolk to Suffolk to just £80 in Lancashire – a £105 difference.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC foundation, said: “Most people attending speed awareness courses sing their praises but what they might not realise is the postcode lottery they face in terms of costs involved.”
“Intuitively, people would expect to pay a fixed price for doing wrong, not an arrangement that offers rewards for shopping around or penalises partly because of where people live.”
The figures also showed that the money that police forces receive each time a driver attends a course has jumped up from £35 to £45 in the past month. The changes are said to help reimburse the costs of catching speeding motorists in the first place.
The changes will now net police forces across the country £54 million a year, up £12 million on the previous year.
A spokesman for NDORS said the increase in money that forces will receive was “in line with Treasury requirements”, and that the charge had not changed since 2010. He added that the pricing of courses was a “complicated issue”.