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Douglas Ross keen to bring speed awareness tests to Scotland

By Jonathan Clark

MORAY MP Douglas Ross has written to the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, QC, to ask if awareness courses could be introduced as an alternative to prosecution for speeding offences in Scotland.

Mr Ross raised the issue after being contacted by a constituent who wanted to take the course, before being told they would have to travel to England to do so. Similar courses are available around the United Kingdom.

Douglas said: "I was aware the alternative to prosecution for some speeding offences in the rest of the UK was a speed awareness course but a constituent contacted me to explain that they would have liked to have taken this course but it wasn’t available in Scotland.

"I firmly believe that education plays a key role in terms of improved road safety and I think such courses would be beneficial and it’s a shame they’re not currently available in Scotland.

"During the four hours of education offered, the offender is made more aware of the possible tragic outcomes of their driving habits. This has more of an impact on the individual and is likely to produce a better outcome than prosecution."

Lord Advocate James Wolffe responded to Douglas' email, confirming a group is working on introducing the courses in Scotland.

He wrote: "I can confirm that I have agreed in principle but subject to the detailed proposal being approved by me in due course, to a Police Scotland proposal to introduce speed awareness courses, where appropriate, as an alternative to prosecution for offences committed in Scotland.

"A working group comprising Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Safety Camera Programme are working together to devise the infrastructure and guidance required for the introduction of speed awareness courses in Scotland along with identification of potential course providers.

"This work must be completed prior to my possible agreement being given to individuals being referred to such courses for offences committed in Scotland."

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