Who decides who should receive an NIP when a driver is caught speeding?

I had my photograph taken on an unfamiliar road in Bournemouth, which for miles had been subject to a 40mph limit but, unnoticed by me, at a junction the limit changed to 30 mph and I was duly clocked by a Gatso at 40.2mph on a wide open road. Unlike DS of Eccleshall I realised that to accept the NIP and pay the fixed penalty would not only result in an endorsement on my unblemished licence, but also result inevitably in a surcharge on my insurance premiums, so I elected to pay £105 to Dorsetshire Police and attend a “Safe Driving Course.”

Unlike Mrs DS, although some eight years older, I far from felt I had nothing to learn but reckoned, after sixty years' driving, a refresher course would do nothing but good. The course, held at police HQ, Winfrith, was excellent. The three hours was shared between two experienced WPC drivers who had taken some of the illustrative film whilst on duty. I wrote congratulating our Chief Constable on the quality of the course that put into perspective the small part that speed plays in accident situations and concentrated on lack of concentration, distraction, unawareness and the other sins of omission that lead to accidents.

Nevertheless I am uneasy that, however excellent and worthy these courses are, they should be funded by speed cameras and the commercial interests behind them, with a proportion of the money from the courses going back to these same interests. There is also the question as to the legality of the “scamera” operators being able to decide who should or should not pay a NIP? Who exactly now decides which laws of the land apply? Once upon a time this was the prerogative of judges.

Asked on 17 November 2012 by WW. Mappowder

Answered by Honest John
Speed Awareness Course are increasingly providing employment for police traffic officers made redundant by the post-Olympic Games cuts now occurring.
Similar questions
I'm emailing following a speeding ticket I acquired on the M4 in Wales. I was timed at 4mph over the 50mph limit and received a ticket. I was told I could either attend a course in Wales, saving me points,...
I was recently stopped by an unmarked police car and accused of exceeding a temporary 40mph speed limit on a dual carriageway at 9.45am. I maintained 40mph throughout the road works and accelerated to...
At age 73 and after 57 years without a traffic violation I finally hit the headlines with an "alleged excess speed offence" of 35mph in 30mph zone recorded by a mobile camera device in a leafy suburb of...