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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 22 Jun 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]
Wisey - Your Question:
Hi.Got caught by a mobile camera doing 67 on a 50 zone. Last time I had a speed awareness course was back in 2012.Will I still qualify for an awareness course.?Also I've got 9 points on my license.

Our Response:
Unfortunately 67mph (in a 50 zone)is over the recommended limit to be offered a speed awareness course. The upper guideline limit is 64mph. It's more likely you will receive penalty points and a fine, whichmay mean a ban on the "totting up" rule.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Jun-16 @ 10:07 AM
Hi.Got caught by a mobile camera doing 67 on a 50 zone. Last time I had a speed awareness course was back in 2012.Will i still qualify for an awareness course.?Also I've got 9 points on my license.
Wisey - 22-Jun-16 @ 1:07 AM
Hi I got flashed doing 40mph in a 30mph zone in London.Am I likely to be offered the speed awareness course? I've never been caught speed past.Your advice would be really appreciated.Thanks
Ak - 21-Jun-16 @ 11:42 PM
H - Your Question:
Hi, I have received a letter for doing 67 in a 50 at temp motorway speed restriction - what is the likelihood of getting the course offered?Thanks.

Our Response:
67mph in a 50mph zone is outside of the guidelines to be offered a speed awareness course (the upper limit is 64mph). If you were to be offered one, you be extremely lucky.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Jun-16 @ 11:47 AM
Hi, i have received a letter for doing 67 in a 50 at temp motorway speed restriction - what is the likelihood of getting the course offered? Thanks.
H - 18-Jun-16 @ 5:27 PM
Babsy - Your Question:
I got caught doing 80 on a 70 in England. I have been told I may be able to attend a speed awareness course but I did state on the form to send back that I'm moving to Scotland next week and gave them my new addreds. How does this work? I've been told Scotland don't do this course.

Our Response:
No, you'd have to take the course at an English venue if there are none available in Scotland.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Jun-16 @ 11:34 AM
I got caught doing 80 on a 70 in England. I have been told I may be able to attend a speed awareness course but I did state on the form to send back that I'm moving to Scotland next week and gave them my new addreds. How does this work?. I've been told Scotland don't do this course.
Babsy - 15-Jun-16 @ 6:46 PM
Just me- Your Question:
Hi.I had a letter offering me to go on a driving awareness course (after being caught for speeding) but this was back in March 2016 unfortunately it went straight out of my head. It's now June and I haven't even payed the £100 fine. Is it to late to book a slot for the cause before it gets taken to court?? Ty in advanced.

Our Response:
yes it's very probably too late and further action (court summons) may have already been initiated. You could try calling relevant police force and asking about this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Jun-16 @ 10:35 AM
Hi I was caught speeding in Somerset doing 35 in a 30 but I live in Dorset am I able to do a course in Dorset
Helly - 14-Jun-16 @ 10:05 PM
I attended a speed awareness course just over two years ago. Will this affect any future speeding penalties?
J - 14-Jun-16 @ 5:35 PM
Jay - Your Question:
I recently got caught speeding doing 54mph on a 40mph road do I qualify for the speed awareness course Iv never had any driving offences prior to this.

Our Response:
The upper limit to be offered a course in a 40 zone is currently suggested at 53mph, so you're just above the guideline limits. The courses are offered at the discretion of the issuing police force, so you may just be lucky.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Jun-16 @ 1:51 PM
Hi......I had a letter offering me to go on a driving awareness course (after being caught for speeding) but this was back in March 2016 unfortunately it went straight out of my head. It's now June and I haven't even payed the £100 fine. Is it to late to book a slot for the cause before it gets taken to court?? Ty in advanced.
Just me - 13-Jun-16 @ 1:48 PM
I have been told I cannot opt for a speed awareness course as I have attended one within the last 3 years. I am sure it was over 4 years ago I attended, how can I check? Thanks!
Willis - 11-Jun-16 @ 10:57 AM
I recently got caught speeding doing 54mph on a 40mph road do I qualify for the speed awareness course Iv never had any driving offences prior to this.
Jay - 10-Jun-16 @ 4:13 PM
KP - Your Question:
Hi,I replied to the letter about the speed awareness course just outside the 14 days limit because I was on holiday. I now have a letter about the £100 fine & 3 penalty points. Is it possible to get a number to contact someone & appeal to go on the course instead?Thanks.

Our Response:
Unfortunately not, the course offer does have to be accepted within the specified time limit (although many forcesdo allow 21 or 28 days, we're not sure if there are any standards regarding this).
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Jun-16 @ 11:12 AM
I was recently caught doing 39 in a 30 will i be offered a speed awareness course or am i over the threshold i have previous points but never bin offered a course before thanks
She - 9-Jun-16 @ 12:42 PM
Hi, I replied to the letter about the speed awareness course just outside the 14 days limit because I was on holiday. I now have a letter about the £100 fine & 3 penalty points. Is it possible to get a number to contact someone & appeal to go on the course instead? Thanks.
KP - 8-Jun-16 @ 8:32 PM
FAR - Your Question:
Hi, I was offered a course and I accepted it well in time. I also sent a follow up email to confirm the status but today I received another letter describing for payment of 100£ and also to submit driving license for 3 penalty points.More worrying is that despite my acceptance of course why I have been asked for these 3 points+100£ fine presuming that I could not avail course offer.

Our Response:
Contact the course provider to verify that you booked onto a course then let the police know.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jun-16 @ 12:33 PM
Claire - Your Question:
I attended a course for using my mobile phone 12 months ago. I have now been caught by camera doing 47 in a 40 zone. My letter has offered the chance of a course but only if I haven't attended one similar in last 3 years. R the two courses classed as the same? Do I have to just accept the points? Thanks

Our Response:
No you may be able to attend a different type of course. They are offered at the discretion of the police though, so there's not guarantee you will receive an offer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jun-16 @ 11:41 AM
Hi, I was offered a course and I accepted it well in time. I also sent a follow up email to confirm the status but today I received another letter describing for payment of 100£ and also to submit driving license for 3 penalty points.More worrying is that despite my acceptance of course why I have been asked for these 3 points+100£ fine presuming that I could not avail course offer.
FAR - 4-Jun-16 @ 3:39 AM
I attended a course for using my mobile phone 12 months ago. I have now been caught by camera doing 47 in a 40 zone. My letter has offered the chance of a course but only if I haven't attended one similar in last 3 years. R the two courses classed as the same? Do I have to just accept the points? Thanks
Claire - 3-Jun-16 @ 8:54 PM
Jake - Your Question:
Hi I think I got flashed by a speeding camera earlier today, not sure if it was me or not but if it was and I get a letter threw saying it was my car and that I have to attended the course does it have what dates I can attended ? Because I go away for 2 months June the 11th and if I'm not around todo the course then will I get the 3 points on my licence ? Or can I do it after I come back to England ?

Our Response:
You usually have to book the course within 14 days of receiving the letter. Most areas allow 120 days from the offence date to attend the course and only grant extensions for medical reasons. It might be worth mentioning your predicament to the relevant police force for futrher advice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Jun-16 @ 2:22 PM
Hi I think I got flashed by a speeding camera earlier today, not sure if it was me or not but if it was and I get a letter threw saying it was my car and that I have to attended the course does it have what dates I can attended ? Because I go away for 2 months June the 11th and if I'm not around todo the course then will I get the 3 points on my licence ? Or can I do it after I come back to England ?
Jake - 2-Jun-16 @ 12:14 AM
Hi just a bit advice please. I may have been caught by the speed gun yesterday.I was caught near the Leicester area and I live in Sunderland. If I have do the awareness course, would I have go back to where I was caught or could I just do it in Sunderland?
Clive O - 31-May-16 @ 3:40 PM
TJ - Your Question:
Hi I have just got two letters today stating I was doing 38 both times in a 30mph zone I do not normally use this road and got one for the morning journey and one for return I'm worried as never done this before will I get offered the awareness course for both offences ?

Our Response:
No you would not be offered an awareness course twice (you can only be offered one if you've not taken on in the past 3 years). If you're lucky, you might be offered a course for one offence and 3 points/fine for the other.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-May-16 @ 2:00 PM
I received a letter from you I got court speeding 12 mph over the speed limit I got a letter through the post about 3 weeks ago I admitted it was me and sent the letter off but I haven't received anything back and iv just moved adress so I won't get a letter back I'm in a panic because I don't want to get in trouble but I have no idea what to do now?? There's no contact number for you online anywhere?
Isla - 27-May-16 @ 10:54 AM
My Husband is the registered keeper and I a named driver the penalty has offered a course but to addressee only does this mean i won't be able to do the course?
Aims - 26-May-16 @ 8:11 PM
Hi I have just got two letters today stating I was doing 38 both times in a 30mph zone I do not normally use this road and got one for the morning journey and one for return I'm worried as never done this before will I get offered the awareness course for both offences ?
TJ - 25-May-16 @ 8:40 PM
kags - Your Question:
I've received awareness letter but lost it who do I ring

Our Response:
Contact the police authority in the area where your offence was committed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-May-16 @ 2:23 PM
Ryan_6n2 - Your Question:
Hi, I recently got caught doing 55mph in a 40mph zone, only been driving 5 months. What will happen in regards to my licence!????

Our Response:
You may be given 3 penalty points plus a fine of £100 (A fixed penalty is usually issued for speeds of up to 57mph in a 50 zone). If you accrue 6 or more points on your licence in the two years following your driving test, you lose your licence under the New Drivers Act.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-May-16 @ 12:57 PM
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