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Police stop adding Gatsos and start offering alternatives to points

Published: 08 July 2001

While police in London call a halt to adding to the capital’s Gatsos, Northants police seem to be making life marginally easier, too.

In the capital the force says it is concentrating its budgets on serious crime rather than piling more resources on heavy-handed approaches to speeding.

Northant pioneering scheme is just as enlightened – and if it’s successful, it could be rolled out across the rest of the UK.

Instead of three points, you have to agree to go on a half day seminar on road safety.

The force says the idea reflects its commitment to education as well as enforcement. It will run until at least March next year and then its influence will be assessed.

Peter Shipley, spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said: " I suspect other forces will be watching closely to see how successful the pilot scheme is. The police are always looking to find new ways to educate riders and encourage them not to speed. If it is a success, we’d certainly want to see it used on a wider basis. "

To be eligible to choose the workshop instead of points you have to be caught travelling at less than 6mph over the limit in a 30mph zone. You still pay the standard £60 fine, but the money goes towards paying for the scheme.

Vince Yearly, spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: " Northamptonshire police is to be commended for its approach, " he said. " I think it would be very good to see a similar scheme rolled out across the country. People seem to have forgotten about education as a means of preventing speeding. "

Yearly would like to see a similar approach taken with national speed limits, though he’s glad urban roads are being addressed first.

And RoSPA’s Tony Carter, said:. " If it’s going to stop people getting points on their licences for minor indiscretions, then it’s got to be a good thing. Points can damage careers, and there’s no evidence they’re effective as a deterrent. "

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