Drivers and riders in Wales are among the most likely to break the law, says the AA.
It has looked at the number of drivers and riders who attended speed awareness courses and found 19% came from Wales.
Educating drivers, riders and pedestrians about road safety risks will have more effect than heavy handed prosecutions, according to the AA president giving the keynote speech to police chiefs at the TISPOL European Road Safety Conference in Manchester.
Edmund King argued that improvements to vehicle safety and the road network have helped keep casualties down but that all road users have a vital role to play as ‘human error’ or ‘failed to look’ are factors in the majority of crashes.
He told the European police chiefs that in some respects the UK has taken the lead in trying to re-educate drivers and riders. The UK is unique as the police offer a number of awareness courses to drivers who have committed a road traffic offence or have been involved in an ‘at fault’ collision. The courses are offered nationwide as part of the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.
As well as supporting and providing post-offence awareness courses, the AA has offered free voluntary charity courses to tens of thousands drivers whose lack of confidence or understanding placed them in jeopardy of breaking the law and endangering other road users.
The most common police course is on ‘speed awareness’. New research from an AA Populus poll of 29,660 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.
- Males were slightly more likely to have attended (15% compared to 12% females).
- Older drivers over 55yrs were more likely to have attended (15%) than younger drivers (6% for 18-24 yr olds, 11% 25-34 yr olds).
- Drivers in the North East and Wales (19%) were most likely to have attended a course.
- Of those that had attended a course 87% were likely to recommend it to someone else with any opportunity to attend.
- Some 77% still think it is acceptable for the police to use speed cameras to identify vehicles involved in speeding offences.