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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 2 May 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]
Hi just wondering where I stand. I was caught traveling at 41mph in a 30 zone but could not see anyone speed signs. The car in front reacted and slow up to 40 and me being me slowed up to 40 aswell. How do I stand? Thanks
Karl - 2-May-16 @ 11:57 AM
I have a course this Tuesday but I forgot I need my license, it has been sent away as I am having another set of points put on it, is there any chance they will let me on the course of I bring another form of ID, if not will I be given another course.
Tom - 1-May-16 @ 8:06 PM
Magoo - Your Question:
I was offered an awareness course for first offence but left it too late to book and was told to pay £100 and would incur 3 points I paid the fine but didn't send off my liscence because I'm an idiot lol anyway the money was sent back via cheque and I was told it would now have to got to court but I've not heard anything for about a year? Have I been over looked or will a letter appear at some point? Should I phone them?

Our Response:
It's a tricky one...proceeds usually have to be initiated within 6 mothns of the offence. Give them a call to find out what their records show (in the hope that is didn't go to court without your knowledge). You might want to seek legal advice if they try to pursue it at this stage.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Apr-16 @ 11:55 AM
in a dash - Your Question:
Hi, I was caught by a camera van doing 84mph on a 70 dual carriageway in Cambridgeshire. I honestly don't think that I was going that fast. I was driving my wife's car and she has just notified them that it was me driving. What are my options please?

Our Response:
If you genuinely do not believe you were travelling at the speed indicated, you should complete the NIP form to acknowledge that you were the driver and then challenge when the penalty details come through. You will need the help of a professional motoring lawyer to be able to fight this in court, so think seriously before you proceed. 84mph is still within the police guidelines for a speed awareness course, or for 3 points/£100 fine, so you that might be the better option to settle for.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Apr-16 @ 11:15 AM
I was offered an awareness course for first offence but left it too late to book and was told to pay £100 and would incur 3 points I paid the fine but didn't send off my liscence because I'm an idiot lol anyway the money was sent back via cheque and I was told it would now have to got to court but I've not heard anything for about a year? Have I been over looked or will a letter appear at some point? Should I phone them?
Magoo - 27-Apr-16 @ 10:51 PM
Hi, I was caught by a camera van doing 84mph on a 70 dual carriageway in Cambridgeshire.I honestly don't think that I was going that fast.I was driving my wife's car and she has just notified them that it was me driving. What are my options please?
in a dash - 27-Apr-16 @ 12:13 PM
Maria - Your Question:
I have received a speeding letter apparently I was going to 37 mph in a 30 zone will I be offered the the speed and awareness course if I already have 6 points from speeding offence in November 2013 and 6 points from speeding offence September 2014 so total 12 points already ?

Our Response:
Do you mean you already have two lots of three points? I.e 6 points in total. Is quite common for those with 12 points to lose their licence for a short period, so we're suprised you haven't already been banned if that was the case. We don't know whether you will be offered a speed awareness course or not as they are given at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 26-Apr-16 @ 11:09 AM
I have received a speeding letter apparently I was going to 37 mph in a 30 zone will I be offered the the speed and awareness course if I already have 6 points from speeding offence in November 2013 and 6 points from speeding offence September 2014 so total 12 points already ?
Maria - 25-Apr-16 @ 9:49 AM
Virgil Allen - Your Question:
Hello I was clocked at 43 after exiting a 40mph road into a 30 and slowed down to below the 30mph limit yet was clocked all the same even over a very short distance by a mobile camera unit,first offence clean licence, what are my options ?

Our Response:
The usual guidelines forthe offer of a speed awareness course are to have been caught at speeds between 35mph and 42mph (in a 40 zone). As you were just above this upper limit at 43mph you may not be lucky enough to be offered this option. The alternative would be 3 penalty points and £100 fine. A court summons is usually issued at speeds above 50mph.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Apr-16 @ 11:55 AM
Hello I was clocked at 43 after exiting a 40mph road into a 30 and slowed down to below the 30mph limit yet was clocked all the same even over a very short distance by a mobile camera unit,first offence clean licence, what are my options ?
Virgil Allen - 20-Apr-16 @ 9:47 AM
Caught by a mobile van doing 88 in a 60 duel carriageway I thought it was 70 but as it's a van over 2 ton never been in trouble for speeding before.What will happen.Thanks
Steve - 10-Apr-16 @ 6:10 PM
i have received a ticket to say i was doing 63 in a controlled zone on the M1 motorway at 2.45 in the morning. i cannot recall this or if there was a controlled zone. i was obviously driving within the motorway limits. i have never received points. what can i do .?
bigmeyhem - 7-Apr-16 @ 5:00 PM
Felix - Your Question:
Hi. Am I eligible get a course in future If I have penalty points on my licence already for previous offence?

Our Response:
The existing penalty points should not affect an offer of a course in the future.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Apr-16 @ 2:24 PM
Hi. Am I eligible get a course in future If I have penalty points on my licence already for previous offence?
Felix - 4-Apr-16 @ 1:19 PM
Hi, I have recently had a speeding ticket through my door and instead of paying the fine I've opted for the speed awareness course. How long after the ticket can I wait til I book the course? And will I hear off the police after sending the request for the course? Thank you
Ben - 31-Mar-16 @ 12:01 AM
My husband received a letter to say that the car had gone through a red light. It was myself drivin the car and I filled out the form in my married name.My driving licence is in my maiden name as I have not changed it.Do I have to change my driving licence to my married name before I attend the course?I have seen above that someone took the points but I dont wish to do this? Thanks
jd103 - 21-Mar-16 @ 11:21 AM
Hi, I've just got my speeding fine through and its on green paper which means I can apply for the speed awareness course however I went on this course in 2014..does that mean I can't go for the course? If not why do they send it out on green paper if they know I have been on the course before? Thank you
StepheeJay - 18-Mar-16 @ 2:03 PM
So I was speeding and I had the letter that offered me the course. I sent the form off but the complication was the car was in my married name but license in maiden name. Received a letter to acknowledge that they've received the form but couldn't book me a place on the course at that time as had to update my license first. So I did and sent new details over as soon as I could. But now have been advised as its tool too long for my new license to come through I only have 2 options.1 pay fine get 3 points or 2 have the matter taken to court. Really don't want the 3 points, if I take this to court will I have the offer for speed awere was test restored.
Cat - 17-Mar-16 @ 7:32 PM
Why would I pay between 60-100 when caught speeding to attend a 5 hour course when the fine is only 60. I got caught in works van which I have personal use of and I don't own a car so no insurance implications. Plus course is in my time so ill lose money at work. I'll take the 3 points and fine thanks.
ericseven - 9-Mar-16 @ 7:40 PM
A vehicle similar to mine was photographed by a Gatso camera, but I don't think it was my vehicle, but a clone licence plate on another car.I have told the court I don't think it is my vehicle, and I have also told them I don't know who the driver was---------this is not possible to know as the camera did not show the driver, just the rear of the car. I have been to court and fined about £820.00 for failing to inform police of the driver of this unrecognised vehicle and had 6 points taken off my licence. Apparently, the police don't have to prove who is wrong any more and can simply choose what vehicles they want to go after, which may be those who are not in their own neighbourhoods, but visiting from another part of the country. If the police are not going to use speed cameras which record front views of a speeding vehicle and it's driver, and are not required to provide any further investigation as to who was driving any vehicle, this obviously means that anyone with a vehicle can have their number 'CLONED', and receive fines and all sorts of allegations of wrong doing, from anywhere around the country, at any time and with no ability to prove they were not the individual concerned. Is anyone looking into this registration mark CLONING business,and who is taking notice of such events when they happen? Perhaps I should find a politician or a judge with a similar vehicle and clone his or her licence and then go on a speeding spree hundreds of miles away from where they live.What can they say about it? Bad state of affairs all round.
Martin - 9-Mar-16 @ 4:18 PM
I was caught at 48mph in a 40 zone and have been offered the speed awareness course.The cost of the course is £110, could I pay less or maybe avoid to pay somehow? I have clear driving licence and never been caught for anything. Thank you.
Normi - 8-Mar-16 @ 1:58 PM
Hi I was doing 55 mph in a 40 will I get offered a course
Davey - 8-Mar-16 @ 1:57 PM
I went on a spped awareness course about 3-5 years ago but didn't keep any documents.My insurance company want to know when it was, for my car insurance renewal - any ideas how I can find this out?
Laura - 7-Mar-16 @ 10:47 AM
Andy - Your Question:
I was caught at 68mph in a 60 zone and have been offered the speed awareness course, will this be taken away if I ask for the calibration certificate or will the offer stay

Our Response:
If you ask for evidence (other than photographic to identify the driver), you are challenging the offence and will be expected to do so in court. This means that any initial offer may be changed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Mar-16 @ 10:02 AM
I was caught at 68mph in a 60 zone and have been offered the speed awareness course, will this be taken away if I ask for the calibration certificate or will the offer stay
Andy - 2-Mar-16 @ 10:59 AM
I was told That'd Id be sent a letter for a driving awareness course the incident occurred last Saturday 20/02/16I still haven't received a letter is there a number i should call for this as I leave the country again for work soon..Many thanks
Zo - 29-Feb-16 @ 7:50 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi I was caught doing 55 in a 40 what's the likelyhood of me being able to do a speed awareness course? Or will I be given 3 points and a £60 fine?

Our Response:
55mph is above the recommended limit to be offered a speed awareness course according to police guidelines. The options are more likely to be a fine of £100 plus 3 points or a court summons.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Feb-16 @ 2:17 PM
Hi, yesterday I was driving through a long road and I was doing 27mph for about 2 miles because there's a speed camera ahead. As soon as I was getting close to the camera I went up to around 35mph but before I passed the gatso camera I slowed down to 30.
Jamz - 27-Feb-16 @ 1:48 PM
Hi I was caught doing 55 in a 40 what's the likelyhood of me being able to do a speed awareness course? Or will I be given 3 points and a £60 fine?
Sam - 26-Feb-16 @ 6:59 PM
Scott - Your Question:
Hi I was caught doing 73mph in a 60mph limit I was in my works van and I only received the letter on the 18/02/16 and the offence was made on the 27/01/16 is that over the limit, also can I do a speed awerness course to not have the points giving my age off 22 and insurance pricesThanks in advance

Our Response:
Courses are offered entirely at the discretion of the police, once you've returned your forms, the police usually inform you within 28 days. 73 is just within the limit for the offer of a course, but as we stated, it is a police decision.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Feb-16 @ 2:41 PM
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