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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 4 Aug 2017 | 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 £80 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 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]
Ross - Your Question:
If I go to the speed awareness course do I pay my speeding fine and also the course fee?

Our Response:
No - if you are offered the speed awareness course, this is instead of a fine & penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:29 PM
If I go to the speed awareness course do I pay my speeding fine and also the course fee?
Ross - 4-Aug-17 @ 3:29 PM
Brownystar - Your Question:
Hi I have just received the nip and was caught on a 60 zone doing 79 would I be offers the chance to do the speed awareness course. This is also my first speeding offence thanks

Our Response:
It's unlikely you'll be offered a speed awareness course. The accepted upper limit for the offer of a course is 75mph. It's more likely you'll be offered a fixed penalty of 3 penalty points plus £100 fine, or a court summons.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-Jul-17 @ 10:38 AM
Hi I have just received the nip and was caught on a 60 zone doing 79 would I be offers the chance to do the speed awareness course. This is also my first speeding offence thanks
Brownystar - 27-Jul-17 @ 8:15 AM
I have sent the forms with my license and paid the fine by phone.I have changed my mind and want to go on a speed awareness course.Is this still possible?
Wildy - 22-Jul-17 @ 4:58 PM
Will I still be granted a speed awareness course when I am with my first two years of driving?
che1 - 21-Jul-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hi, I attended a speed awareness course (4hr version) last year in October 16 for doing 36 in a 40 zone. Recently I got caught doing 71 on a smart motorway when the variable limit was 60. I have been offered a motorway speed awareness course as an option (2.5 hr version). Should I notify the police to say I have already had a speed awareness course or does this qualify as a different type of course and can legally take this to avoid points on my license.
SP123 - 13-Jul-17 @ 10:49 AM
Chessie - Your Question:
I have been offered the speed awareness course and I would like to do it so that I have no points but, I have MS and it would be impossible for me to do a 4hr course as I am a single parent and this time on a course would knock me for 6 and would be impossible. It would not be possible for me to do a 4 hour course as I struggle doing very little on a normal day. What can I do? Please help?

Our Response:
You could accept a place on the course and call them beforehand to mention your MS, then leave or take a break if you feel you can't continue. Either that or accept the points - we don't think a scaled down version is offered unfortunately.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Jun-17 @ 2:32 PM
I have been offered the speed awareness course and I would like to do it so that I have no points but, I have MS and it would be impossible for me to do a 4hr course as I am a single parent and this time on a course would knock me for 6 and would be impossible. It would not be possible for me to do a 4 hour course as I struggle doing very little on a normal day. What can I do? Please help?
Chessie - 19-Jun-17 @ 7:45 PM
Further to my post of the 6 June regarding the Highway Code metric/medieval muddle The U.K. Is the only place in the whole world not to display km on our distance road signs and in the early 1980s our government legislated for km/h to be displayed on our speedometers (dual measurements) what is the purpose of this as we can't use km/h hear? Yet another muddle. On speed awareness courses we get subjected to the full force of medieval measurements evan though nearly the whole world has moved on including the Highway Code which now quotes metres in many instances. The ukma website has lots of information on why we have failed to move on.
Ron - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:11 PM
On a speed awareness course I was shown all the speed limits with their corresponding thinking and braking distances given in metres, feet and car lengths ( as shown in the Highway Code ). None of these measurements are used as distances out on the highway, as drivers we are supposed to use the medieval yard and mile, is the yard evan in the Highway Code? I think the Highway Code is a metric/imperial halfway house muddle , another example - m = metres ( bridge heights) and also miles! Two different meanings for the same symbol is very unprofessional. The very British mess continues!
Ron - 6-Jun-17 @ 12:16 AM
Clean license, caught doing 87mph in a 70mph limit, Could I get offered a speed awareness course?
Sammy knowles - 26-May-17 @ 4:01 PM
Hi! I got the provisional licence. Can I go to the course?
Maria - 20-May-17 @ 12:28 PM
Experts? You say you are... £60 fine increased to £100 some years ago! Suggest you update this article again, Tracy!
Matty - 19-May-17 @ 7:27 PM
Hi I've had my speeding ticket in the post to day it's saying I've got to pay 100.00 and get 3points but I was hoping I could go on a course I was doing 43in a 30mp
Trac - 17-May-17 @ 11:35 PM
Spike - Your Question:
Hi,I am 73 this year and a retired HGV driver. Have had a clean licence for several years now, but have just picked up a ticket for doing 39 in a 30 area.Letter was sent to the owner of the van I was doing deliveries in, and he was bound by law to forward my details to the Lincolnshire force, which is where I committed the offence, but I live in Wiltshire. The summons will come through my letter box within days. I am proud of my clean licence, so really would like to do the course and not get the dreaded points. What are your thoughts please.Many, many thanks, Raymond.

Our Response:
The speed at which you were travelling would qualify you for the speed awareness course, but all courses are offered at the discretion of the police, so we can't really say whether you'll definitely be offered a place on one, sorry.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
sam - Your Question:
Hi, I was caught speeding 36 in a 30 zone. as I have a previous 3 points for speeding 6 months ago, what are the chances that i'll be offered a speed awrebess course. otherwise i'll lose my license as two years hasn't passed since receiving my license. thanks

Our Response:
We really can't say unfortunately as the offer of a speed awareness couse is at the police's discretion.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-May-17 @ 9:33 AM
Hi,I am 73 this year and a retired HGV driver. Have had a clean licence for several years now, but have just picked up a ticket for doing 39 in a 30 area. Letter was sent to the owner of the van I was doing deliveries in, and he was bound by law to forward my details to the Lincolnshire force, which is where I committed the offence, but I live in Wiltshire. The summons will come through my letter box within days. I am proud of my clean licence, so really would like to do the course and not get the dreaded points. What are your thoughts please. Many, many thanks, Raymond.
Spike - 15-May-17 @ 8:16 PM
hi, i was caught speeding 36 in a 30 zone. as i have a previous 3 points for speeding 6 months ago, what are the chances that i'll be offered a speed awrebess course..... otherwise i'll lose my license as two years hasn't passed since receiving my license... thanks
sam - 14-May-17 @ 12:09 AM
I'm 22 years old have had my licence since march 2016. I have been caught speeding on the M25 motorway (variable speed limit it says) doing 79mph on a speed limit of 60 mph. As this is my first time getting a penalty. Will I be offered the speed awareness course?
HannahSums - 12-May-17 @ 4:46 PM
I am the named driver on someone elses car. I am sure I have just been caught speeding by a speed van (very difficult to spot until passing it) doing 35-37 mph. As I am not the car owner can I still be offered a driver awareness course? Also if I am not offered the course could I opt to plead guilty at the magistrates court and ask them if I can go on a driver awareness course? The reason is because I am unemployed and I am looking for driving jobs and points on my licence may affect this. I currently have a clean licence and have had for 30yrs driving.
Gillan - 12-May-17 @ 11:28 AM
My fault. - Your Question:
First time got penalty. Was going 71 on dual carriage way, limit was 50mil/h. Can I expect to get speed course or will get full penalty?

Our Response:
No, you will almost certainly not be eligible for a speed awareness course at this speed. Under the new system you may get a fine of between 75 and 125% weekly income and between 4 and 6 points
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-May-17 @ 1:47 PM
Jade - Your Question:
I've had my license 19 months and just got a speeding fine through the door was doing 81 in a 70 will I be accepted for the course? Or will it be the fixed penalty charge or Will I just lose my license? I'm a bit confused as in still in the first 2 years.

Our Response:
It's likely you will be given 3 points and a band A (25-75% of weekly income) fine. You might be offered a speed awareness course as the guideline limit is 86mph in a 70 zone. Courses are however, offered at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-May-17 @ 12:10 PM
First time got penalty. Was going 71 on dual carriage way, limit was 50mil/h. Can I expect to get speed course or will get full penalty?
My fault. - 10-May-17 @ 7:06 AM
I've had my license 19 months and just got a speeding fine through the door was doing 81 in a 70 will I be accepted for the course? Or will it be the fixed penalty charge or Will I just lose my license? I'm a bit confused as in still in the first 2 years.
Jade - 9-May-17 @ 2:08 PM
ernest bartlettI - Your Question:
I approached a Gatso speed sign it was on a steep incline at that point I was doing 33mph I decreased the speed to 25 mph along the white lines, I saw no flashing lightWould I get a speeding notice

Our Response:
It's not very often that further action is taken for speeds of below 35mph.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-May-17 @ 1:54 PM
I approached a Gatso speed sign it was on a steep incline at that point i was doing33mph I decreased the speed to 25 mph along the white lines, i saw no flashing light Would i get a speeding notice
ernest bartlettI - 7-May-17 @ 1:11 AM
cal - Your Question:
Hello, does the location of the course have to be taken were the speeding offence occured? Or can it be nearer to home? Thank you

Our Response:
You can usually arrange to take it nearer to home. There are one or two police forces which will not allow this, but we do not have specific details sorry.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-May-17 @ 2:26 PM
Hello, does the location of the course have to be taken were the speeding offence occured? Or can it be nearer to home? Thank you
cal - 5-May-17 @ 10:26 AM
Dan- Your Question:
If you have undertaken an awareness course last year for using your mobile phone and you recently receive your first speeding conviction. Will you be offered a speed awareness course ? Or not at all due to the mobile phone incident last year ? Do these courses stay on your records

Our Response:
Sometimes you can be offered a different type of course. Your speed would have to be within the guidelines and it is at the discretion of the police of course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-May-17 @ 2:07 PM
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