'This is one way of doing it.' Drivers will be allowed to take only one course every three years, with regular offenders and those who speed beyond the limit facing automatic penalties.Road safety minister Mike Penning told the Guardian: 'The coalition government is committed to further improving road safety but it is right that local councils decide how best to tackle specific problems in their areas.'We ended central government funding for new fixed speed cameras because we don't believe we should dictate to councils that they use them as the default solution in reducing accidents.'In February, the Daily Mail revealed how road deaths dropped 14 per cent in three months while speed cameras were being axed or switched off.

The force said since the cameras were turned off, fatal accidents had risen by 50 per cent, with 83 people injured in 62 accidents in the six months after they were turned off.

There were 68 injuries in 60 accidents in the same period of the previous year.

Superintendent Rob Povey, head of roads policing for Thames Valley, told the paper: 'We know that speed enforcement does work as a deterrent to motorists.'And Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, welcomed the scheme, and said they thought other police forces would use money from courses to fund cameras: 'We believe that cameras have to be kept running.

Drivers who speed by more than 10mph will escape fines and points on their licences under new proposals which could see many speed cameras brought back into service.

Motorists who qualify will be able to choose to take a speed awareness course, with the money raised from higher fees going to funding for the cameras.

Under the guidelines, motorists can escape prosecution and choose to take a course if they are caught driving at 10 per cent above the speed limit, plus 9mph.

It means a driver in a 30mph zone could take the course if caught at up to 42mph, while someone on a motorway could take the option if clocked at 86mph, if police agree.

The new threshold is 3mph higher than than previously, and course fees have been raised to up to £100 to finance the network, The Times said.

The Times said the guidelines had been agreed by 37 of the 43 police forces, including Manchester, Lincolnshire and Thames Valley, with Oxfordshire becoming the first county to use the scheme to switch 'decommissioned' cameras back on yesterday.