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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 20 December 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, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
I've been issued a fine, doing 65mph clocked at a 50mph speed limit, this is literally one MPH more to be elligibal to do the course, is there anything I can do? Thanks
freddiewarner - 20-Dec-14 @ 2:16 PM
I was doing 41mph in a 30 zone. It was in the Limehouse tunnel where the limit dropped quickly from 40 to 30. Will I be offered the opportunity to take the speed awareness course? I am an HGV driver and worried about attaining 3 points.
Al64 - 18-Dec-14 @ 4:48 PM
@princess81. He will not be offered the Speed Awareness course if he's already done one recently. How many points he gets will be at the discretion of the local police force.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Dec-14 @ 12:26 PM
@Kingsley - no it's inevitable that other cars will be in a photo taken on a multi carriageway road.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Dec-14 @ 10:44 AM
My brother was caught by a speed gun, he just recently took the speed awareness course and less then 2 days later was flashed on the M1 where the speed dropped suddenly (M1 i think it was). However he got flashed and got the notice in the post today. Will he get points or get to go on the course again?
Princess81 - 16-Dec-14 @ 3:37 PM
Asked for photographic evidence after receiving a NIP but with the offer of the SAC. However, the photo showing the speed (only 1 out of 3) there is another car right in front of me and to the left of the camera travelling in the same direction and another car visible behind me travelling in the opposite direction, do these extra vehicles warrant a challenge as I have always thought that the picture must be of your car and your car alone as other vehicles can interfere with an accurate reading?
Kingsley - 15-Dec-14 @ 1:19 PM
@jadetm. Usually in a speed survey, penalties are not issued. However, we do not know all the circumstances, so you will need to simply wait and see on this one.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Dec-14 @ 11:26 AM
I was going 33 or 34 would i received A speeding ticket. It was an officer doing a speed survey
jadetm - 14-Dec-14 @ 1:38 AM
My husband was caught speeding last year and attended a speed awareness course However we think he may have been clockedagain and because he's an idiot lol doing 56 in a 60. Its his 2nd of year driving will be instantly banned or will he get 3 points for this offence ???
Dani - 12-Dec-14 @ 5:42 AM
@Alikata. If you are not offered the option of the a speed awareness course at the time of receiving your NIP,you will not be able to take one as an alternative to points and a fine. If you just feel you would benefit from attending course anyway, then search for speed awareness courses near where you live. The fees vary from £70 to £100.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Dec-14 @ 12:25 PM
Ive just been caught speeding by a speed camera driving my boyfriends Range Rover V8. I had been driving 28yrs with no penalty points. I was doing 47mph in a 30 zone although i thought it was a 40 zone. I honestly didnt realise how fast i was going as its alot bigger than my Vectra! I've not been offered a safety course. But i want to go on one. My fine is £100 . Any advice welcomed apart from telling me off!!! Lol
alikata - 8-Dec-14 @ 9:19 PM
Hy just I wanna ask about speed awareness course because I was doing 41 on 30 zone.so I can take speed awareness course?
Qami - 7-Dec-14 @ 10:24 PM
@San92. You get the choice of a course or a fine...not both. Also why was the penalty for speeding and not going through a red light? Even if you were told to continue through the lights this should not have meant increasing you speed. You cannot get someone else to take the course (or the points) on your behalf.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Dec-14 @ 11:51 AM
I am 17 and on my provisional licence, I was on a driving lesson, the lights went to amber my driving instructor told me to keep going, I then received a speeding offence letter 3 points and fine of £60 My instructor says that he would do the speed awareness course for me. He stated that he would ask for all liability be directed to him Can this b done as I was the driver?
San92 - 3-Dec-14 @ 10:48 PM
@jack. The speed awareness course is offered on a discretionary basis by the relevant police force. It can be offered to 'new drivers', although it's usually only offered to those who were marginally over the limit.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Nov-14 @ 10:17 AM
can you take a speed awareness course if you only passed your test 11 months ago was doing 40 in a 30 limit
jack - 26-Nov-14 @ 10:09 AM
Leisa1979. If it asks you whether you have any endorsements or fines then you can say 'no' in all honesty!
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Nov-14 @ 2:30 PM
Hi, I attended a speed awareness course 2 years ago.I am now renewing my insurance and the only options it gives is to give a code such as SP30, but I don't think this applies as I didn't get any points or a fine.Do I need to declare something?! Finding it really confusing. Thanks Lisa
leisa1979 - 22-Nov-14 @ 2:54 PM
@Raaz. You would have to ask the enforcement authorities if they have a record of it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:37 AM
@Shortstuff. The speed awareness course is an alternative to points,so they cannot be added retrospectively.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:19 AM
if i attend a speed awareness course and get caught speeding again in the next three years .. will i incur the points that i attended the speed cousre for and also for the speeding offence at the time . so basically will i incur 6 points instead of 3. tracey
shortstuff - 18-Nov-14 @ 9:29 AM
I have attended the course in the last 3 or four years is it any way possible that I can find out the date as to when I have attended the course last time?
Raaz - 17-Nov-14 @ 11:29 PM
@Sqincey. We have not found any evidence that this is the case. As long as you are not classed as a new driver, your offence will be dealt with as the courts deem necessary. You should not have the points from your previous offence added as you took a speed awareness course in lieu of penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Nov-14 @ 10:40 AM
hi, i recently got caught speeding and offered a speed awarness course... i was then caught again shortly after the first offence... i then went to do the speed awarness course which i completed.. however, i was still waiting to hear back from the second offence... i have now heard about this and am waiting to hear what the court says, but i have heard that if you are caught again within a year after doing a course you will be given the points from the first offence??? is this true??? also because they are actually before the 1st year of completion would this affect it in anyway??? many thanks.....
squincey - 16-Nov-14 @ 7:48 PM
@chunkythebulldog. No not really, it's applaudable that it's your first offence in 20 years but 50 in a 30mph zone is a dangerous speed at which to be driving. So it looks as though you'll have to wait for a decision from the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-14 @ 11:50 AM
@Lauwheeler. If you were not offered the course at the time and accepted the 3 points and the fine then you will not be able to the course as an alternative now.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-14 @ 10:01 AM
Hi, Just received an NIP for doing 50 in a 30 zone. First offence after 20 years of driving. Any idea's what I'll get?
chunkythebulldog - 7-Nov-14 @ 10:15 AM
hi I wondered whether I would be able to do the course I had a speeding fine &3 points a few months ago & I didn't know I would of be able to do the course i didn't really know a lot about it. where do i find the number? & information about the course to see ifqualify for it. Thanks
LauWheeler - 6-Nov-14 @ 4:49 PM
@Tom. It depends what speed you were doing at the time and what thepolicies of your local constabulary are really.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Nov-14 @ 2:02 PM
I have been caught speeding for the first time and honestly didn't know that it was 60 for a van on a duel carridge way where it was 70 for cars. I haven't any points. Would I more likely to be offered the awareness course for my first offense?
Tom - 5-Nov-14 @ 6:45 PM
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