Fee rise for motorists

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MISBEHAVING motorists in Wigan will have to fork out more cash to attend driver education courses after police forces increased the cost.

The cost of the Speed Awareness, ‘Driving 4 Change’, ‘What’s Driving Us’ and the ‘RIDE’ courses will increase by £25, from £70 to £95 from March.

The courses offered will still remain cheaper than the £100 fixed penalty fine.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki, chair of the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety executive board, said: “We carefully considered this decision to increase course costs, and feel that in the current financial climate and with the difficulties that all agencies face, it is right to reduce costs to local taxpayers and ensure local budgets are used for other local services.

“I must stress that only motorists who have committed an offence, either through speeding or unsafe driving of their vehicle, will pay.

“Reducing the number of people who are killed and injured on our roads is one of our main priorities.

“While we carry out enforcement activity across the county on a daily basis, we would also say that education, and ultimately prevention, is key to making our roads safer.

“For this reason, we are pleased that we are able to continue running these courses which help to change driver attitudes and behaviour, ultimately helping to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads.”

In 2013, 32,718 motorists attended a driver education course in the region as an alternative to prosecution.

If the motorist is eligible for a course, it provides an alternative to a £100 fine and three penalty points for drivers who commit offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and going through a red light.

The courses are designed to reinforce the consequences of their actions, ultimately aiming to improve their driving skills.