A survey of 2,000 motorists showed a total of 44% of drivers have been caught speeding, 54% of these more than once.
Of those who attended speed awareness courses, 40% went on to be caught again. That compares to a re-offending rate of 58% for drivers given a verbal warning and 55% for those handed three penalty points and a fine.
A staggering 90% of motorists given the maximum of six points went on to re-offend, according to the study by Kwik Fit. Motoring groups believe this is because drivers who speed excessively are more likely to be habitual speeders.
Speed awareness courses are offered to drivers who have gone over the limit but not excessively as an alternative to points and a fine. They are offered to drivers, but only a quarter think that they will affect their driving behaviour.
By contrast, 39% of drivers think penalty points are more effective, and 43% think a driving ban is the best deterrent.
They cost around £100 and involve showing a ‘positive attitude’ during a session on car stopping distances and speeding dangers. The survey found only 24% of drivers think the courses will affect their behaviour.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said ‘One of the biggest dangers on our roads is excessive speed, and the findings of our research indicates that speed awareness courses have a greater impact on drivers’ behaviour than many perceive.
‘Of course, while any measure which reduces the number of drivers repeatedly speeding is hugely welcome, we must focus on educating drivers not to speed in the first place – drivers should not need to be caught to be given a wake up call’.