DRIVERS offered classroom or practical courses instead of penalty points for breaking the law will have to pay more from next month.

The cost of courses, offered in lieu of penalty points and a fine for minor offences, is to go up from £70 to £95 from March 1. It means offending motorists will completely fund the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety’s speed enforcement activity, rather than taxpayers.

The courses offered will still be cheaper than the £100 fixed penalty fine.

There are four courses drivers can go on, depending on the offence committed.

A speed awareness course is offered to motorists driving over the speed limit within a certain threshold and is a four-hour interactive classroom-based course.

Driving 4 Change is for those committing minor offences, such as contravening a no-entry or stop sign, and is a two-and-a-quarter hour road session.

For drivers deemed to need a better attitude on the road, the What’s Driving Us course is a three-hour fifteen-minute classroom course, while RIDE is offered to motorcyclists riding in a careless or inconsiderate manner and is a seven-hour classroom session.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki, chair of the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety executive board, said: “We carefully considered this decision to increase course costs and feel it is right to reduce costs to local tax payers and ensure local budgets are used for other local services. I must stress that only motorists who have committed an offence, either through speeding or unsafe driving of their vehicle will pay.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “The decision to increase the cost of these courses was not taken lightly, but it seems only right that those drivers who put others in danger by speeding should be the ones to fund enforcement, as oppose to local taxpayers.”

Last year, 32,718 motorists attended a driver education course in Lan- cashire as an alternative to prosecution.