Motorists urged to be considerate of younger drivers sticking to the speed limit
Motorists have been reminded to be considerate of other drivers on Staffordshire’s roads – including younger people sticking to the speed limit to avoid affecting their insurance.
Rather than the stereotypical ‘boy racer’ it may be older drivers who feel frustrated to be stuck behind slower vehicles, senior Staffordshire County Council members have heard.
And those motorists diligently observing the speed limit may well be younger people who have just their speed limit and are having their driving monitored by electronic devices as a requirement for cheaper insurance, Councillor Alan White said at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.
Road safety was under the spotlight as cabinet members were asked to enter an agreement with 15 National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS)-licensed driver trainers to ensure that courses could continue in Staffordshire in the coming years.
Around 35,000 motorists undertake an NDORS course in Staffordshire each year. And a panel of NDORS licensed trainers is needed to deliver the courses.
The contracted sessions for 2019 were 1,512 National Speed Awareness Courses, 129 National Motorway Awareness Courses, 15 Safe and Considerate Driving courses and 32 What’s Driving Us? courses. What’s Driving Us? is a course for drivers who committed a deliberate or intentional act, such as those who knew their actions were an offence.
Councillor Helen Fisher, cabinet member for highways, said before the meeting: “Staffordshire has one of the safest road networks in the country and members of the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership are committed to maintaining that.
“The training courses provided are an important part of that work and it is essential we have enough qualified trainers in place to deliver them.”
Driving courses can be offered to motorists who have committed minor offences on the road, such as exceeding the speed limit, as an alternative to prosecution.
NDORS offers a number of courses covering areas including speed awareness, motorway awareness, safer cycling and motorcycling and they aim to change driving behaviour and prevent motorists from re-offending.
Councillor Alan White, the authority’s deputy leader, said: “I think this is a welcome contract. I have been on one of these training courses and I think the awareness course has more value than getting points. Going to the course is a very useful thing to do.
“Councillors are keen on putting speed awareness signs up and having people in fluorescent jackets pointing speed guns at people and I think it is communities taking responsibility.
“My eldest sons had a black box when they first qualified and they had to rigidly stick to the speed limit or they would have to forgo £500 extra money they had to put in. This creates an interesting dynamic – young drivers don’t go over the speed limit and middle-aged drivers are getting frustrated behind the younger drivers.
“I would remind everybody on Staffordshire’s roads to make sure your driving is safe and be considerate to other road users and younger drivers who are having to manage their speed through electronic devices.”
Councillor Mark Winnington also called on drivers to be considerate – this time to farmers going about their winter work on the county’s rural roads.
“In my rural Stafford division I have seen floods which number into double figures now and they have been there 18 weeks. I know the teams are trying to do their best but there has been a massive amount of rainfall. Be nice to farmers because they are under a spot of pressure.”