THE total amount of cash Durham Police received from speed awareness courses in County Durham and Darlington has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request, submitted by The Echo, has revealed that a total of £123,000 was received by the force in latest data available. 

The data, which related to speed awareness courses over a seven month period, spanned dates between November 2019 and June 2020.

Under current rules, any money raised from speeding fines - Fixed Penalty Notices - are sent to central Government.

But only part of the revenue that is generated from speed awareness courses are sent back to the police force where the driver was caught.

Explaining where the money generated from speed awareness courses is spent, Durham Police said: “We do not receive any money from fines paid by speeding drivers, which are issued by the courts and are then sent to central government.

“We only receive part of the fee paid by drivers to attend a speed awareness course and all of that money is used to manage the costs of managing the safety camera function and is also reinvested back into road safety measures to make our region’s roads safer for all.”

The figure comes as the UK last year saw its highest number of drivers undertake a speed awareness course.

In 2019, a total of 1,492,236 people completed a course following receipt of a Fixed Penalty Notice, up from 1,445,817 the year before.

The data, which was published by the RAC Foundation, said there had been a major increase in the past decade with 467,601 courses completed in 2010.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “It would be good to think that as more and more people pass through the doors of these courses so our roads are getting safer. For some, at least, that appears to be true.

“The challenge is in making the lessons stick once the motorists attending them are back out in the often all-too-aggressive world of modern traffic.”