‘We will be patrolling’ - Drivers warned not to speed despite some courses being cancelled
Drivers have been warned that police officers will continue to patrol roads during the coronavirus lockdown, amid reports that some speed awareness courses are being cancelled.
Nonessential journeys should not be made during lockdown, but national newspaper reports this week claimed that some lower level offences were not being punished in the usual manner, due to resources being stretched by the pandemic around the country.
In a local case, a letter sent jointly by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies to a driver who had a speed awareness course postponed said the course had been cancelled and their fee would be refunded, with no further action to be taken.
However, Gary Miller from the Roads and Armed Policing Team of Norfolk Constabulary, has warned drivers not to think they will be able to get away with speeding during lockdown.
Inspector Miller said: “Although we are clearly seeing fewer vehicles on the roads at this time we would remind drivers that all traffic rules, including speeding limits, still apply. We continue to patrol our road network and will take robust enforcement action against those that who break the rules.
“Given that Easter weekend is traditionally a popular time for leisure trips, including those by motorcyclists, we would reiterate government instructions that nonessential journeys are not permitted due to the coronavirus outbreak and would be in breach of the Health Act rules.
“We are urging the public to stay home and stay safe over the weekend.”
It was confirmed in March that all National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) sessions have been suspended until the end of June as it was “no longer appropriate nor proportionate for police forces to offer classroom based education courses” during the pandemic.
Speed awareness courses are offered as an alternative to three penalty points and £100 fines for some minor speeding offences and NDORS provided an update on Wednesday to that initial 12-week suspension.
Asking for patience from those who had been due to attend a course and revealing that the possibility of ‘digital classrooms’ being used to deliver courses online were also being explored, a statement explained: “We will now work with forces and course providers to establish options to deal with drivers who have already been offered a course.”
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