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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 15 September 2014 | commentsComment
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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Leave a Comment...
[Add a Comment]
@yousef. It will be up to the relevant police force to decide whether to send you on a speed awareness course. However, it is fairly unlikely that you would be offered one if you were actually doing 9-95mph.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Sep-14 @ 2:06 PM
@Help. Speed awareness courses are offered at the discretion of the relevant police force and some do not offer them at all. If your ticket does not mention the course, then assume you have not been offered it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Sep-14 @ 10:31 AM
Hi I received a nip saying I was flashed doing in excess of 50mph in a 40 mph zone on a dual carriageway in essex. they did not state on the nip in which direction I was travelling and as there is also a camera on the opposite carriageway is this a reason to contest the nip
dimdog - 15-Sep-14 @ 9:03 AM
hi im taxi driver in leeds and i never had point in my licence so last night drive take them customer to manchester airport so on m62 motarway 70zones but i was i thing 90 or 95 im really warry about this if any one help me if the camera catach me shal i go forcourse and i dont want point
yousef - 14-Sep-14 @ 1:47 AM
Hello all i just got a ticket was on a 30 was caught speeding at 39time was 00.54 I am a first time offender would a speed awareness course be offered many thanks
Help - 13-Sep-14 @ 1:50 AM
@jahman. Try the interactive course checker above and see what it comes up with!
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Sep-14 @ 12:40 PM
37mph on a 30mph road. live in Northants but caught in London, will I be offered a course please?
Jahman - 12-Sep-14 @ 12:17 PM
Two years ago I undertook a drivers awareness course after an accident, I now have a speeding ticket for 70 in a 60 mile zone, will I be able t undertake a speed awareness course?
Midge - 8-Sep-14 @ 10:07 AM
Hi I was caught speeding in company car. Got fine and offer to do course from police-chose the latter and returned. Then had response saying it had been rescinded!! Discovered employer had taken over 2 months to respond so may me out of the time. Annoyed because given a choice by police then had it removed. Feel discrimated against due to employers failing and police or not chasing for a response. Have written but getting nowhere. Do you think I have a case to fight this? Lol
Lolly - 6-Sep-14 @ 1:58 PM
@Jay. Some areas do not offer speed awareness courses at all - and yes, it is entirely within the jurisdiction of each constabularly. You cannot request to do a SAC unless you are specifically offered one in yourNIP.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Sep-14 @ 2:37 PM
I am a first time offender that did 46mph on a temporary 40mph motorway on 01/05/14. I have filled and sent two driver admission forms (accepting offence) to the ticketing office, I have proof of postage and even called them. Yet I was given a Conditional offer of Fixed Penalty just yesterday without the option of attending the speed awareness course. I understand it's at the discretion of the constabulary but since my offence is within the threshold limit of the awareness course and I have followed and obeyed their instructions adequately, can I plead to be given the course option?
Jay - 3-Sep-14 @ 10:33 AM
Hi I did a speed awareness course in 2008. Last year I got 3 points on my license, and just sent a payment for £100 for another 3 points - but just realised - instead of sending off for another 3 points can I do the awareness course if I ring them up? Thank you for your help in advanced. Tim
Tykanator - 27-Aug-14 @ 3:27 PM
@Mike. It depends on how many points you already have, how long ago you got them and whether you have been offered a speed awareness course already in the past 3 years.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Aug-14 @ 1:57 PM
@Sausage. Some course providers do offer the opportunity to pay by instalments but you usually need to have completed the final instalment by the course date. You would need to contact the course provider directly to find this out.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Aug-14 @ 2:38 PM
Do you have to pay for the course all at once or in installments? If in installments, how much can you pay each time.
Sausage - 25-Aug-14 @ 3:07 PM
I have 6 points on my licence got clocked doin 37 in a 30 the other week would a speed awareness course be offered to you if you already have points on your licence
Mike - 25-Aug-14 @ 2:39 PM
Hi, after 15 years clean license been caught twice by same camera in same week, doing 35 in own car and 36 in daughters by a 30mph camera, no flash or would not have been caught twice. Can I only accept 1 speed awareness and 1 points or just e 2 sets points?
tony - 22-Aug-14 @ 5:24 PM
My friend just got caught doing 62 in a 50 zone. It was 12.30 at night on a trunk road somewhere around the Dartford tunnel area. He had been trying to follow the speed signs carefully and noticed at one point that the national speed limit sign came up, when he thought he was already in a national speed limit zone. He has a completely clean license & has never done a speed awareness course. Is there any chance at all that he might be offered one?
leapfrog - 21-Aug-14 @ 6:41 PM
Caught doing 40 in a 30 yesterday, already did speed course earlier this year, does this mean I'll receive more points for being caught again? Or will it be 3?
Hello89 - 21-Aug-14 @ 2:51 PM
Received notification that I was travelling at 71mph on a dual carriage way having a speed limit of 70mph. However I was driving a hired transit van (less than 7.5 tonnes) which I now believe has a speed limit of 60mph.Is a speed awareness course likely?
Unlucky-Jim - 19-Aug-14 @ 1:44 PM
Hi, I think I may be eligible for the speed work shop I was doing 35mph in a 30mph zone however I find it very difficult to take time off of work because of the line of work I am in. so I would like to know number one if they run a course on a Saturday anywhere or if you have the option of when this is taken? I would really appreciate if someone could get back to me. Thanks
becky - 14-Aug-14 @ 6:09 PM
Hi Just want to know if the course is offered to you if you have been caught speeding before? I didn't see the back of the first offence to see that the course was an option instead of points and a fine, so was wondering if it is offered every time you are caught speeding? Thanks
Kt26 - 12-Aug-14 @ 6:49 PM
Are speed awareness courses not offered ifyou were speeding anywhere in london? Or just in the City of London? I was caught doing 37 in Limehouse tunnel in stead of 30. What's the most likely outcome?
Mikey - 6-Aug-14 @ 3:02 PM
I have been caught speeding 3 times in two weeks by 3 different police forces, all marganal, each force paper work has come through at the same time , my driving licence is clean with no points , each force has said I can do a speed awareness course, Devon and cornwall police, avon police and south glous police. Because they have all offered me courses can i do the three courses. because i have no points and have not done a course all three forces say i can do one but if i accept all three how do i stand legaly. advise would be nice --thanks
Mark250461 - 5-Aug-14 @ 7:52 PM
@Paida. You've not said what kind of road it is. If it's a dual carriageway then the speed limit is 70 UNLESS there are clearly visibile signs to indicate a 60mph limit. If it's a single carriageway the speed limit is 60mph unless it's in a built up area (street lighting) or speed limit signs indicate otherwise.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-Jul-14 @ 2:06 PM
hie. Got 4 tickets arrive roughly at the same time.been travelling on this road for the past 4 years and never had a ticket.To my surprise i got a ticket through saying i was doing on four diff days on a 60 mile.i honestly have always thought its a 70 mile limit.Have a clean licence.what are my chances.
Paida - 25-Jul-14 @ 1:13 AM
I am slightly confused - Have had two NIP's in two weeks (79 in a 70 & 38 in a 30) but these are only asking who was driving at the time - Does the offer of the course come once they confirm the driver of the vehicle?
neetc - 20-Jul-14 @ 12:04 PM
@Fed Up. Back luck on this and as you say whichever choice you make will have its negatives. If you think the signage was ineffective or inappropriate, you could try appealing. Although if a road is a 40mph and not a 30mph, that is when you will almost certainly see 40mph signs displayed as this type of road would be 30mph by default.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Jul-14 @ 2:04 PM
Debating speed course or take points (making 6 in 3 years, over 33 years of trouble free driving). Not much difference in costs. Will lose money by not working though. Course will just be 'preaching to the converted' as I was doing 37 in an area which anyone would think was a 40, being a main road. Whichever I choose, my hard earned cash will be filling the coffers of the police and buying yet more of these evil machines instead of some proper signage to say categorically what a road's limit is instead of a driver having to guess, or being zapped just where a limit changes down. Not happy.
Fed up - 17-Jul-14 @ 7:12 PM
@exasperated. It looks like the decision's already been made and put in place if you've been asked to send off your licence for endorsement. How long were you out of the country for? Did you have your post re-directed? It is not the police's responsibility to find you if you are not living at the registered keeper's address.
scampi fries - 17-Jul-14 @ 11:46 AM
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