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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 31 August 2015 | 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, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
lelly - Your Question:
Can anyone explain what actually happens on a course. Do you sit a written exam ? How are you assessed for passing the course. Can you f actually fail the course ?

Our Response:
No there are no axams or tests, the course is usually half a day long and consists of presentations from the training provider and collaborative discussion/workshops. Some courses offer in-car training but not all. You cannot fail it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Sep-15 @ 2:01 PM
toddy - Your Question:
Hi, recently got caught speeding 38mph in a 30 limit. 48 hours later it happened again. What will happen to me? Many thanks.

Our Response:
If you're lucky you may be offered a speed awareness couse for one of the occasions - and points for the other.
NoPenaltyPoints - 1-Sep-15 @ 11:24 AM
Hi, recently got caught speeding 38mph in a 30 limit. 48 hours later it happened again. What will happen to me? Many thanks.
toddy - 31-Aug-15 @ 3:51 PM
Can anyone explain what actually happens on a course.Do you sit a written exam ? How are you assessed for passing the course. Can you f actually fail the course ?
lelly - 30-Aug-15 @ 9:28 PM
firstly I had an offence in april I booked a course and due to my husband been held up at work in Scotland I was unable to attend . I have paid £90 for this course. secondly I was sent a penalty notice of a further £100 which I paid within the agreed time frame .I was told that I would get £60 back for my awareness course and never did. today I have received a court order for the same affence . how can you be charged after you have paid the fee to the court already I do not understand. sue
suzy - 29-Aug-15 @ 10:45 PM
I am taking a driving awareness speed course this Friday but I can not find start time. It is in Swanley can you tell me the start time. Thank you James
Jim - 26-Aug-15 @ 10:38 PM
Jade - Your Question:
I have my speed awareness course tomorrow and can not find the paper part of my license anywhere!? Will I still be able to do the course?

Our Response:
Call the training centre (where your course is due to be held) as soon as possible and ask them what to do.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Aug-15 @ 12:20 PM
I have my speed awareness course tomorrow and can not find the paper part of my license anywhere!? Will I still be able to do the course?
Jade - 16-Aug-15 @ 7:32 PM
help, im a disabled driver, i have a new mobility car up until now i have no points on my liscence, 4 days ago i was caught doing 61 in a 50mph stretch of dual carriageway, will i be able to take the speed awareness course?
mum51 - 11-Aug-15 @ 7:44 PM
I received a NIP last Saturday for doing 36 miles in a 30mph area. I returned NIP on Monday and would like to know how long reply comes back either offering a speed awareness course or fixed penalty fine. Reason I want to know is that I would like to book holiday for September and it is now 8 August. Different postings say that there are lots of speed awareness courses -including evenings and weekends, and you can choose one to suit yourself, others, like this one, say you have to take date offered and if you cannot make it (eg on holiday) you will then have to pay fine and have 3 points on licence. Never had anything before in 47 years of driving. I only want to go away for about 6 days but am afraid to book anything in case I have the offer of a course and it will be when I am away. Thanks in advance.
pinkie - 8-Aug-15 @ 3:25 PM
Hi I've received a speeding fine for doing 5mph over the speed limit, do you how far away from the van does my car get clocked at doing the speed as I looked while passing the van and I was doing just under the 30mph speed limit
Corkey - 8-Aug-15 @ 10:28 AM
Hi I have just responded with the form identifying me as driver. I was doing 40 in a 30 my second ticket in 34 years driving. Is this too high for a conditional offer? what is the usual time for the police to respond ? I beleive you have 28 days to respond to a conditional offer if made. If the speed awareness course is offered once you respond how soonmust the course be taken. Many thanks
PMO - 7-Aug-15 @ 9:30 AM
bjh - Your Question:
Can I ask a question relating to the Speed Awareness Course.Three years ago I committed a lower level speeding offence.I received a NIP with the offer of a course alternative.I opted for the course, however all the courses at that time were booked up.I eventually managed to secure a place on a course at Stafford, however this was sometime after the date of the offence.I have now regrettably received another NIP again for the lower speed.I was hopeful of another course as it was three years between offences, indeed when I spoke to the Saftety partnership the lady told me to write in and appeal for a further course.I have today been told that I can't appeal as it is the date of the course that counts rather than the date of offence.I have looked at various Police websites and they do appear somewhat ambiguous around this subject.Can anyone assist please ?

Our Response:
We're not 100% sure on this, but we've looked at two examples and the wording says: "The offer is not available if you have attended a Speed Awareness Course anywhere in the country within the last 3 years" That suggests it's the date of the course rather than the offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Aug-15 @ 2:30 PM
Can I ask a question relating to the Speed Awareness Course. Three years ago I committed a lower level speeding offence. I received a NIP with the offer of a course alternative. I opted for the course, however all the courses at that time were booked up. I eventually managed to secure a place on a course at Stafford, however this was sometime after the date of the offence. I have now regrettably received another NIP again for the lower speed. I was hopeful of another course as it was three years between offences, indeed when I spoke to the Saftety partnership the lady told me to write in and appeal for a further course. I have today been told that I can't appeal as it is the date of the course that counts rather than the date of offence. I have looked at various Police websites and they do appear somewhat ambiguous around this subject. Can anyone assist please ?
bjh - 6-Aug-15 @ 1:31 PM
The posh- Your Question:
I am booked in for one speed awerness course but have yet to take it. Unfortunately I have received another speeding ticket and have been offered another course. If I accept the second awerness course without disclosing I am already due to do one am I in breach of the law? I am of the understanding you can only do one in a three year period and thus I will have to take the points. Thank you.

Our Response:
It sounds like the booking for the course is not yet showing on the police records and so the second offence has attracted a course as an option. They will find out in time, so it's best to accept the points/fine for the second offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Aug-15 @ 11:46 AM
I am booked in for one speed awerness course but have yet to take it. Unfortunately I have received another speeding ticket and have been offered another course. If I accept the second awerness course without disclosing I am already due to do one am I in breach of the law? I am of the understanding you can only do one in a three year period and thus I will have to take the points. Thank you.
The posh - 5-Aug-15 @ 5:05 PM
I recently received a speeding fine through the post, before reading the letter properly I panics and called up and paid the fine. After reading it I realised if I do the speed awareness course I won't get the points. Is there anyway of me cancelling my payment so I can do the course instead?
Ccd - 1-Aug-15 @ 9:07 PM
Hi, Great site. I have a question regarding a anomaly from my experience. I was caught speeding, I attended the course, paid a fine but I still was given points. Would the DVLA be best to contact about this as to me it seems like an error?
rob_h - 31-Jul-15 @ 10:23 AM
@catcar. If asked about any offences or speed awareness courses you have to be truthful so it really depends on how the questions are phrased.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Jul-15 @ 10:11 AM
I have recently been caught speeding and have booked onto a speed awareness course; do I still need to declare this when applying for insurance?
catcar - 27-Jul-15 @ 5:15 PM
@poly. Traffic light offences usually attract 3 penalty points (unless a discretionary ban is thought more appropriate). You cannot request a course - these are offered entirely at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Jul-15 @ 12:18 PM
I had speeding fine as you torn right for hills lane thier no speed limit signs they were tarmacked over and the day after on left hand side of road they put a sign up thats you can see when your turning onto bridge street all other roads have got suggested speed signs so what im saying every body takes it as 40.As no permamant signs either end of this road which isnt a built up area
badger - 26-Jul-15 @ 2:08 PM
I would like to ask if i get 6 points because i went through a red light is there a chance to do a course of some sort so the 6 points does not go on my license?
poly - 24-Jul-15 @ 11:53 AM
I received a letter because i was doing 37 in 30mph zone. I admitted it as I didn't realise it was 30mph area. I've been given option to take the course or to get 3 points on license with £100 fine.if i choose option 1 speed awareness course, £80 , so how many times should i have to attend class,
cha - 19-Jul-15 @ 12:29 AM
Hi I've just been caught speeding, I completed a course for a mobile phone offence a couple of months ago, will I be able to take a course again being as though it's a different offence?
Jam - 18-Jul-15 @ 1:52 PM
Hi, I attended a speed awareness course 8 months ago and I think I ve just been caught again. If my assumption is confirmed what will be my fate? Thanks
Ed - 17-Jul-15 @ 11:40 AM
we have had a letter through at work about my van doing 44 in a 30mph zone, it was me. I know I was speeding but I wondered what the chances were of me doing the awareness course. I've never had any points or convictions in 23 years.
Paulw - 16-Jul-15 @ 8:37 PM
i was recently caught speeding in a 30mph zone I was done by a speed camera at 35mph I was unaware n thought it was a 40mph with it being a two lane road. I have just recently passed my test this year I expect my insurance may go up now but im more worried about 3 points on my clean licence can I apply to do speed awareness course, n also will it affect me as im sure your only allowed up to six points as a new driver. could anyone offer me any info thanks
micky - 9-Jul-15 @ 5:40 PM
I received a letter from the police saying that I could attend a speed awareness course instead of having 3 points on my licence - but I have stupidly mislaid the letter and can't remember which county it was issued from. Can I trace it on-line somehow? Thankyou
Sarah - 8-Jul-15 @ 12:21 PM
@MB. Your insurance should not really be affected but different companies seem to treat this differently. Some still treat it as an offence and some seem to consider that you will be more speed aware having been on a course. Many companies do not ask specifically if you have attended a course anyway.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Jul-15 @ 12:13 PM
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