Scottish drivers could avoid penalty points and fines under new plans

There have been calls for the introduction of speed awareness courses in Scotland as an alternative to penalty points. Picture: Greg Macvean/ TSPL
There have been calls for the introduction of speed awareness courses in Scotland as an alternative to penalty points. Picture: Greg Macvean/ TSPL
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Law-breaking motorists could avoid penalty points by signing up to speed awareness courses (SACs) if new plans get the green light.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, has called for the introduction of SACs in Scotland - bringing the country in line with England and Wales - and a working group involving the Crown Office will now examine the suggestion.

IAM RoadSmart policy director Neil Greig said: “We have been calling for this for many years. There’s no reason we should not have [SACs] in Scotland, when they have been such a big success in England.”

The courses, which usually run for four hours and cost under £100, aim to show that lives can be saved by reducing speeds on the roads. They have been running south of the border for more than a decade.

A Crown Office submission to the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee said: “These proposals have been considered carefully by the lord advocate, who has agreed in principle to the diversion at source to SACs by Police Scotland as an alternative to prosecution in appropriate cases.

“This is subject to approval of the specific arrangements which are to be put in place. A multi-agency working group will devise the necessary infrastructure and guidance required to support the introduction of SACs in Scotland.”

Police Scotland and Transport Scotland will also be members of the working group. Police Scotland said: “We have received approval in principle to commence work to introduce SACs to Scotland. Only once this has been completed and approved by the lord advocate will we be able to consider implementation.”