MOTORISTS travelling at up to 10mph over the speed limit are to be offered courses rather than points and fines.

Police are set to give drivers caught at up to 39mph on 30mph roads, the chance to take speed awareness courses rather than a fixed penalty notice.

The current guidance from the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership shows motorists will be given a warning at 35mph in a 30mph zone, at 46mph in a 40mph zone, and 57mph in a 50mph zone.

At the moment, speed awareness courses can be offered to drivers caught at 36, 37 and 38mph.

But new guidelines are being introduced from April 1.

The change means those caught at up to 39mph on a 30mph roads, 50mph on 40mph roads and 61mph on 50mph roads could be offered a course rather than a £60 fine and three penalty points.

Police said the ‘increased threshold’ at which the courses would be offered was aimed at educating more drivers in a bid to reduce the number of people killed or injured on the county’s roads. Amanda Anderson, of the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, said: “It is very easy to creep over the 30mph limit and there is a margin for error allowing for that.

“The threshold has been raised generally by a couple of miles per hour where the course will still be offered.

“Of course motorists can still just take the points and fine.

“This is good news for drivers. This is an opportunity to do something about it rather than just dish out fines. Yes, a couple of miles per hour extra over the limit is still too fast, but this course comes at a substantial cost and it is surely better if the driver takes away a changed attitude.”

Reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on Lancashire’s road network was one of the challenges set by a recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies.

It is anticipated an extra 1,950 drivers a year will now take the Lancashire County Council-provided course which costs £90.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cooke welcomed the move and said the statistics demonstrate the positive effects of the educating drivers about the speeding.

He said: “Research shows that just 35 out of 1,000 people who have attended the Speed Awareness Course in Lancashire have re-offended, but for motorists not attending the course the figure is 95 out of 1,000.”