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Speeding – positive reinforcement instead of punishment?

After receiving my second ever NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) recently I wondered – why not introduce a positive reinforcement message (even if it is aligned with the entirely misleading message of speed being directly responsible for accidents)?

At the moment everyone starts at 0 and collects points to a maximum of 12 at which point a ban could happen. Why not award plus-points for a good driving history. Say for 4 years with no infringements a driver is awarded 3 points, so they have an effective starting point of -3.

I don’t mean to do that indefinitely – for my 30 years of driving I don’t expect to have -30 or more points to play with, allowing me to go crazy for a few months – perhaps it works to a maximum number and doesn’t get taken into account for major offences – or at the very least can be used to judge the otherwise standard action and whether it’s appropriate.

Perhaps it would be possible to waive fines for minor offences when the driver uses part of their plus points balance (that below 0), or where plus points can be taken into account.

Positive reinforcement is far more effective than punishment – just ask any parent. And a side effect could be a positive shift in the perception people have of those enforcing the rules, even though the speed issue is on balance a straw man anyway. If the issue really is about road safety then this is worth discussion. If it’s not (and I don’t think it is) then the colossal fraud will continue.