As a former police officer with traffic management experience, I get no pleasure from criticising speed awareness courses (“Motoring offenders are a windfall for the police”, last week). My big gripe is that they target motorists caught driving at speeds that do not meet prosecution criteria. You will not see the drunk, disqualified, uninsured or downright dangerous speeder in class. Your picture said it all — attentive and well-dressed transgressors, their lives seemingly otherwise blemish-free.
Of course the police and their “partners” offer the courses, because they get their cut — it’s symptomatic of the tick-box, target-driven mentality that passes for law enforcement in 2014. Having abandoned our streets, the police have deserted our highways too, being replaced by community support officers on the former and cameras on the latter.
Malcolm Brockman, Loose, Kent
So the funds received from driver re-education courses are ringfenced for road-safety “enforcement operations”. If that’s the case, why do I see two out of every three motorists blatantly defying the ban on using a mobile phone while driving?
Barry Borman, Edgware, north London
Save and prosper
What exactly is the problem with the police enforcing the law and having an incentive to do so, if it makes the roads safer for all of us? I know one thing: both my wife and I are better drivers for having attended a re-education course.
Paul Carroll, Wigan, Greater Manchester
More than 1m drivers took an awareness course in 2013 yet still we see widespread contempt for speed limits, the use of handheld devices at the wheel and in London a failure to comply with mandatory signs such as “No U-turns”. Maybe “driver attitude” courses are needed to tackle the impatient and aggressive behaviour of certain motorists.
Peter Salter, southeast London
I’m sure that many motorists are sick of seeing drivers breaking the law by texting and lane-hogging and wish the police would do something about it. Travelling on the M25 last week other road users and I were treated to a display of truly disgraceful driving.
A Mercedes was weaving in and out of traffic at high speed across all four lanes, with total disregard for anybody’s safety. Just as I had finished cursing, a blue (unmarked) police car moved in front of me, turned on its lights and pulled over the miscreant. My prayers that the occupant would get his just deserts were, for once, answered.
John Ingram, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Surely Renault should have come up with a better name for its eco-car — the Eolab — than one so obviously an anagram of ebola (Car of the Week, last week).
David Lederman, northwest London