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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 24 Aug 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
National Speed Awareness Scheme Speeding

The National Speed Awareness Scheme is an innovative scheme that has been put in place by police forces across the UK to allow motorists caught speeding to complete a workshop rather than be issued with three penalty points and a £60 fine.

Each force appoints a member of the ANDISP (Association of National Driver Improvement Course Providers) to oversee and deliver the courses in their particular area. ANDISP has been established to make sure that such courses have a quality standard and are consistent in their teachings. The format and content of courses may vary from area to area but all have to meet stringent requirements so that they achieve their objective of ensuring the driver understands the dangers of speeding and does not speed in the future.

Interactive Speed Awareness Course Checker

If you think you've been caught speeding recently and want to see whether a Speed Awareness Course might be offered to you as an alternative to penalty points, try our interactive Speed Awareness Course checker:

Who Can go on the Course?

The National Speed Awareness Scheme is offered to a number of offending motorists after they have been Caught Speeding. The decision over whether to offer the course to you, is at the discretion of each police force.

example of a letter offering a Speed Awareness Course
 

Usually the drivers eligible will be those who have exceeded the legal limit but not by a huge amount and each individual police force will decide what their margins are. Approximately two thirds of drivers regularly exceed the urban 30mph limit, a third of them travelling faster than 35mph. Where a pedestrian might sustain survivable injuries if hit by a car at 30mph or below, these are more likely to change to fatal injuries when a pedestrian is struck by a car at 35mph. People caught speeding in the high risk 20 mph zones are very unlikely to be offered a place on a speed awareness course.

If you are invited to attend such a course, you will be given a specific date, time and location and you will need to accept the offer, or decline and take the fine and the Points On Your Licence instead.

What if I Accept But I am Late or Can’t Make it on the Day Specified?

Please make sure that you leave in plenty of time and try to arrive early on the day of your course. If you are late, you will not be allowed to join the class and will forfeit your place. If you cannot attend due to illness, you will need to let the course organisers know at the first opportunity (there will be a contact number on your offer letter) and you will need to provide a doctor's note as evidence. Your case will be reviewed by the police before they come to a decision on whether you will be offered another place or if the offer will be withdrawn.

Do I Have to Pay?

Yes. The course fees are usually between £60 and £100 (depending on which course provider you use) which you pay to the course provider direct – a similar price to paying the fine, although of course, avoiding penalty points can keep your insurance premiums down and save you money in the long run.

What Does the Course Cover?

The idea behind the course is the belief that if a person's attitude and behaviour can be changed, then this is more likely to prevent them from re-offending than simply paying a fine and receiving points on their licence. The course objectives will cover things like:

  • Why the person was speeding
  • To help them understand the consequences of speeding - and that those consequences are the driver's sole responsibility
  • To help them to learn and identify different speed limits and the areas they are likely to apply
  • To ensure they can identify hazards, and how road speed should be altered to accommodate them

How Long Does it Last?

In most cases, the course will be between 4 and 5 hours long and will vary, though it will usually consist of a combination of the following:

  • Classroom based theory training
  • In-car practical training sessions with approved driving instructors (some areas do not include this practical element of the course)
  • Workshops

Do I Have to Take My Own Vehicle?

If your course involves the practical element (which not all the courses offered do), then a training vehicle will be used. It will be provided by the training centre, will be fully insured for course attendees' use and will be a standard, modern vehicle similar to those which most people will have already driven. If your car has been adapted for a special need, then you will need to contact the centre in advance to make necessary arrangements. If you're a motorcyclist, you will be expected to take your own motorbike along.

How Often Can I go on One of These Courses?

Once you have attended a Speed Awareness Course you are not allowed to do another for a minimum of 3 years. Remember also that if you choose to take the speed awareness course instead of penalty points, you must complete the course within four months of the offence.

If I Appeal Against my Offence and am Unsuccessful, Can I Still go on the Course?

No. If you decide that you want to Appeal Against The Offence you are free to do so, but as soon as you do, the offer to attend a course will be withdrawn.

Important Things to Remember:

  • You must take your driving licence with you (if you hold a photo card licence you must bring both the card and the paper part) or you will not be allowed to take your place on the course.
  • You are not going to have to take a driving test but you will be expected to take part in discussions between the group to pass the course.
  • There will be around 15-25 people on an average driver improvement course.

What if I Accept But I am Late or Can’t Make it on the Day Specified?

Please make sure that you leave in plenty of time and try to arrive early on the day of your course. If you are late, you will not be allowed to join the class and will forfeit your place. If you cannot attend due to illness, you will need to let the course organisers know at the first opportunity (there will be a contact number on your offer letter) and you will need to provide a doctor's note as evidence. Your case will be reviewed by the police before they come to a decision on whether you will be offered another place or if the offer will be withdrawn.

Your Time, Money and Behaviour

Any expenses you incur for time you have to take off work, travel to and from the centre, or to pay for child care, will be your own responsibility - there no allowances for reimbursing expenses or facilities for child care.

Bad behaviour during the course will not be tolerated, so if you're rude, disruptive or use bad language you'll be asked to leave - and you won't get your money back. You'll forfeit your right to the speed awareness course and your case will go to court.

More Information on Appealing

If you want to appeal against the decision, this will be done through a magistrate's court and you'll need to write to the police to let them know. Details of how to do this will normally be included in your letter from the police. We have lots more information on Challenging Your Speeding Ticket on this site too.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hello, Couple of months ago I was caught speeding so I was invited to attend a speed awareness course, done that no problem so no points on my license. But last week I was pulled for due care and awareness. I no that if you get caught for the same offence within 3yrs the next time your get the 3 points and no invitation for a course. Will this be the same for me even though I've been caught for 2 different offences ? So will I get invited to do a course for that particular offence ?
Matt - 24-Aug-16 @ 6:27 PM
dragon - Your Question:
I have just received a speeding ticket doing 37 in a 30 the problem was that it was in a different area to where I live can I take the course in the area that I live or do I have to travel to that area

Our Response:
Yes you can choose to do the course in your own area if you are offered the option of course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Aug-16 @ 2:21 PM
Mandy - Your Question:
I got a speeding letter as I drove at 35 on a 30 road. I filled in the form to do the speeding course but paid a fee over the phone of £100. Now the police are saying because I paid £100 I cant do the course and have to have 3 points. This is unfair. I dont even want the £100 back. Iv never been done for speeding in my life and never been on a course. Do I have any rights?

Our Response:
No as you've agreed to accept the fine/points the case is closed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Aug-16 @ 2:20 PM
I have just received a speeding ticket doing 37 in a 30 the problem was that it was in a different area to where I live can i take the course in the area that I live or do I have to travel to that area
dragon - 20-Aug-16 @ 3:45 PM
I got a speeding letter as i drove at 35 on a 30 road. I filled in the form to do the speeding course but paid a fee over the phone of £100. Now the police are saying because i paid £100 i cant do the course and have to have 3 points. This is unfair. I dont even want the £100 back. Iv never been done for speeding in my life and never been on a course. Do i have any rights?
Mandy - 20-Aug-16 @ 3:13 PM
I'd like to know why all the above people I've read about are all doing WELL over ten miles MORE than the speed limit, and then there are people who are caught doing 33 in a 30. Seems to be an awfully wide margin for those to make life or death situation far more likely than those whose pointer is hovering over the 30 line on Speedometer.
ok - 18-Aug-16 @ 3:31 PM
I had caught 44 on39 within 20 yead can I take the course? Could I please have number to contact?
Reeb - 17-Aug-16 @ 2:35 PM
JACK - Your Question:
I would like to know if the course is on a Monday or Tuesday could I ask to do a Thursday course as I work sunday Monday Tuesday night I work 10hr shifts so I would be realy tierd through the course and I live quite fore from the course center.thank you

Our Response:
You can usually choose a course that's convenient for you...you contact the course provider yourself to arrange it anyway.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Aug-16 @ 10:43 AM
I would like to know if the course is on a Monday or Tuesday could I ask to do a Thursday course as I work sunday Monday Tuesday night I work 10hr shifts so I would be realy tierd through the course and I live quite fore from the course center.thank you
JACK - 15-Aug-16 @ 9:06 AM
My son has just got 2 nips through for speeding on the m5 he was doing 67 and 69 in a 50 mph roadworks any ideas can he just get 1 offence as they were with in 12 minutes of each other
Scainey - 13-Aug-16 @ 5:47 PM
My son has just received 2 nip for speeding on the m5 within 12 minutes of each other he was doing 67 and 69 in a 50 mph zone any comments please
Scainey - 13-Aug-16 @ 4:45 PM
trish - Your Question:
Hi I drive a company car and got caught doing 64 in a 50 my boss only gave me the notice a month after he got it, will I still be able to do the course or will I not be offered one

Our Response:
There's still a slim chance you might be offered a course, but 64mph is right at the top of the limit in police guidelines for offering one.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Aug-16 @ 10:52 AM
hi i drive a company car and got caught doing 64 in a 50 my boss only gave me the notice a month after he got it, will i still be able to do the course or will i not be offered one
trish - 9-Aug-16 @ 2:00 PM
Daughter - Your Question:
My Mother, 86, was involved in an accident and has now received the letter offering driver awareness or court. She no longer owns a car (written off) and has no intention of driving again. Basically she is too old and I have been trying to dissuade her from driving again for some time now. Taxis are fine for the occasional journey she requires.Does she have to do the Driver awareness I wonder?

Our Response:
She will still have to accept a penalty (driver awareness course) or attend a court as a result of this offence. Attending the awareness course will probably be less stressful for her.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Aug-16 @ 2:07 PM
My Mother, 86, was involved in an accident and has now received the letter offering driver awareness or court. She no longer owns a car (written off) and has no intention of driving again. Basically she is too old and I have been trying to dissuade her from driving again for some time now. Taxis are fine for the occasional journey she requires. Does she have to do the Driver awareness I wonder?
Daughter - 4-Aug-16 @ 5:47 PM
I have just been caught doing a 46 in a 30. This is my first offence so licence is clean, is there any way i can get the speed awareness course instead.
tommy - 28-Jul-16 @ 12:51 PM
I been speeding in a 50mph at 59mph, will I be offered the course???
Jack - 26-Jul-16 @ 12:42 PM
I was doing 39 in a 30 zone and received my letter of prosecution. I sent back the form that you need to fill out within 2 weeks of receiving the letter but I have not yet heard anything back. I know i qualify for a speed awareness course and would like to get this sorted as soon as possible, but they haven't yet replied and it has been around 2/3 weeks. Is there a time frame in which they need to reply offering me my different options?
Tay1 - 25-Jul-16 @ 10:58 AM
usergd - Your Question:
I got caught on camera entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited on june 29 at 9.49 am. the penalty charge notice is dated 13/7/16 but I didn't receive it until the 15th. Do I stand any chance of disputing Notice of intention to prosecute?this is my second attempt for a response.Regards usergd

Our Response:
What was the date of the offence? If you have not changed your address or vehicle in the past month or so, and you are the registered keeper (i.e it's not a company car/lease car etc) then it might be worth a try. See our guide for more information
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Jul-16 @ 11:31 AM
I got caught speeding in a 30 doing 36, I sent away the forms to see if I was able to do the course but still haven't heard anything back its been nearly 2weeks & I'm getting worried how long does it normally take?
Ms - 19-Jul-16 @ 11:09 PM
I got caught on camera entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited on june 29 at 9.49 am. the penalty charge notice is dated 13/7/16 but I didn't receive it until the 15th. Do I stand any chance of disputing Notice of intention to prosecute? this is my second attempt for a response. Regards usergd
usergd - 18-Jul-16 @ 9:30 PM
My sister hsd a speeding fine and has sent away for a course then she has received another in the same area as she did not now it was a 30 z0ne will she still be allowed to go on the coursefor the first offence and have the points for the 2nd
George - 15-Jul-16 @ 8:26 AM
Dave1 - Your Question:
I waiting to hear , got a ticket in a 30 mph area doing 43, what will I get

Our Response:
This is slightly over the level at which you might be offered a speed awareness course. You may receive a fixed penalty of £100 and 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Jul-16 @ 10:41 AM
I got caught doing 34 in a 30 when I was a alearner and had to go on a course. This was 2 or years ago. I passed just after about 2 years ago now and I was wondering if, because I did the course when I was a learner, that the 3 year timer resets once you pass?
James - 13-Jul-16 @ 9:47 AM
Re to my earlier question I also have no points on license either and was last caught 9 yrs ago
Dave1 - 11-Jul-16 @ 9:36 AM
I waiting to hear , got a ticket in a 30 mph area doing 43, what will I get
Dave1 - 11-Jul-16 @ 9:33 AM
Zannah - Your Question:
Hi, I got caught doing nearly 40 in a 30 area (just before it turns into a 30 at the bottom of the hill). I paid the £100 fine immediately. I forgot to send off my license until a few days after the 28 day limit. I have fibromyalgia which causes forgetfulness. My license was returned telling me court proceeding have been started against me. Should I have received a reminder about sending off my license? Will my license be revoked? Do I need to turn up in court or can I just send a letter? Also my £100 wasn't refunded. Who do I contact to get this back?

Our Response:
You don't generally receive a reminder but it seems a bit ridiculous to prosecute if it was only a few days late and you had already paid the fine. We don't think your licence will be revoked because of this. Check the details of the summons to find out the procedure for pleading by post/in court etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-16 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, I got caught doing nearly 40 in a 30 area (just before it turns into a 30 at the bottom of the hill). I paid the £100 fine immediately. I forgot to send off my license until a few days after the 28 day limit. I have fibromyalgia which causes forgetfulness. My license was returned telling me court proceeding have been started against me. Should I have received a reminder about sending off my license? Will my license be revoked? Do I need to turn up in court or can I just send a letter? Also my £100 wasn't refunded. Who do I contact to get this back?
Zannah - 4-Jul-16 @ 11:15 AM
Hi just seen some guidance.. I have 3 points on my license from a speeding offence(sp30) in my first two years of driving.. I have recieved a letter for exceeding 30 mph zone where I was at the speed of 42mph. Would I still recieve the speed awareness course, bearing in mind that I have 3 points on my license already?
Adam - 2-Jul-16 @ 8:36 PM
Hi I've been driving for just under 2 years and I think I may have just been caught speeding. Would I automatically get 3 points and a fine or would I be given the opurtunity to take the course ? Many thanks
Millie - 2-Jul-16 @ 6:21 PM
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