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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 28 Jul 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]
I have just been caught doing a 46 in a 30. This is my first offence so licence is clean, is there any way i can get the speed awareness course instead.
tommy - 28-Jul-16 @ 12:51 PM
I been speeding in a 50mph at 59mph, will I be offered the course???
Jack - 26-Jul-16 @ 12:42 PM
I was doing 39 in a 30 zone and received my letter of prosecution. I sent back the form that you need to fill out within 2 weeks of receiving the letter but I have not yet heard anything back. I know i qualify for a speed awareness course and would like to get this sorted as soon as possible, but they haven't yet replied and it has been around 2/3 weeks. Is there a time frame in which they need to reply offering me my different options?
Tay1 - 25-Jul-16 @ 10:58 AM
usergd - Your Question:
I got caught on camera entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited on june 29 at 9.49 am. the penalty charge notice is dated 13/7/16 but I didn't receive it until the 15th. Do I stand any chance of disputing Notice of intention to prosecute?this is my second attempt for a response.Regards usergd

Our Response:
What was the date of the offence? If you have not changed your address or vehicle in the past month or so, and you are the registered keeper (i.e it's not a company car/lease car etc) then it might be worth a try. See our guide for more information
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Jul-16 @ 11:31 AM
I got caught speeding in a 30 doing 36, I sent away the forms to see if I was able to do the course but still haven't heard anything back its been nearly 2weeks & I'm getting worried how long does it normally take?
Ms - 19-Jul-16 @ 11:09 PM
I got caught on camera entering and stopping in a box junction when prohibited on june 29 at 9.49 am. the penalty charge notice is dated 13/7/16 but I didn't receive it until the 15th. Do I stand any chance of disputing Notice of intention to prosecute? this is my second attempt for a response. Regards usergd
usergd - 18-Jul-16 @ 9:30 PM
My sister hsd a speeding fine and has sent away for a course then she has received another in the same area as she did not now it was a 30 z0ne will she still be allowed to go on the coursefor the first offence and have the points for the 2nd
George - 15-Jul-16 @ 8:26 AM
Dave1 - Your Question:
I waiting to hear , got a ticket in a 30 mph area doing 43, what will I get

Our Response:
This is slightly over the level at which you might be offered a speed awareness course. You may receive a fixed penalty of £100 and 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Jul-16 @ 10:41 AM
I got caught doing 34 in a 30 when I was a alearner and had to go on a course. This was 2 or years ago. I passed just after about 2 years ago now and I was wondering if, because I did the course when I was a learner, that the 3 year timer resets once you pass?
James - 13-Jul-16 @ 9:47 AM
Re to my earlier question I also have no points on license either and was last caught 9 yrs ago
Dave1 - 11-Jul-16 @ 9:36 AM
I waiting to hear , got a ticket in a 30 mph area doing 43, what will I get
Dave1 - 11-Jul-16 @ 9:33 AM
Zannah - Your Question:
Hi, I got caught doing nearly 40 in a 30 area (just before it turns into a 30 at the bottom of the hill). I paid the £100 fine immediately. I forgot to send off my license until a few days after the 28 day limit. I have fibromyalgia which causes forgetfulness. My license was returned telling me court proceeding have been started against me. Should I have received a reminder about sending off my license? Will my license be revoked? Do I need to turn up in court or can I just send a letter? Also my £100 wasn't refunded. Who do I contact to get this back?

Our Response:
You don't generally receive a reminder but it seems a bit ridiculous to prosecute if it was only a few days late and you had already paid the fine. We don't think your licence will be revoked because of this. Check the details of the summons to find out the procedure for pleading by post/in court etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-16 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, I got caught doing nearly 40 in a 30 area (just before it turns into a 30 at the bottom of the hill). I paid the £100 fine immediately. I forgot to send off my license until a few days after the 28 day limit. I have fibromyalgia which causes forgetfulness. My license was returned telling me court proceeding have been started against me. Should I have received a reminder about sending off my license? Will my license be revoked? Do I need to turn up in court or can I just send a letter? Also my £100 wasn't refunded. Who do I contact to get this back?
Zannah - 4-Jul-16 @ 11:15 AM
Hi just seen some guidance.. I have 3 points on my license from a speeding offence(sp30) in my first two years of driving.. I have recieved a letter for exceeding 30 mph zone where I was at the speed of 42mph. Would I still recieve the speed awareness course, bearing in mind that I have 3 points on my license already?
Adam - 2-Jul-16 @ 8:36 PM
Hi I've been driving for just under 2 years and I think I may have just been caught speeding. Would I automatically get 3 points and a fine or would I be given the opurtunity to take the course ? Many thanks
Millie - 2-Jul-16 @ 6:21 PM
Hi, I was caught speeding last year and completed a speed awareness course. Today I just seen a traffic light camera flash at me although I swear I was past point of no return. Anyway will I be offered an awareness course for traffic lights or not because I've done one on speed? Thanks, Jordan
Jordan - 2-Jul-16 @ 6:03 AM
Got caught doing 83 in 70mph. 6 points on licence and last time got caught was nearly year and 8 months ago. Last awareness course in 2012. you think it will be points or course offer?
JD - 1-Jul-16 @ 6:49 PM
Hi I am 16 on a cbt and ride a 50cc I was caught by a mobile speed camera doing 36mph in a 30 zone will I get the chance to go on a speed awareness course or will I get a straight up 3 points and £100 fine Thanks Lee
Lee - 30-Jun-16 @ 8:33 PM
Kazza - Your Question:
Hi, I just got another ticket within two months of my last one, one was 39 and second 38! The situation is debatable as it was from a mobile can who is parking too close to the 40 zone (it is a small stretch of 500 yards and then goes staring into 40 zone) so it's easy for them to nab people but my concern is I'm yet to still attend the first training day because it isn't until the end of next month! I just can't believe this has happened! Please can someone tell me what will happen as I'm very concerned. Many thanks

Our Response:
If you've already been offered a course for the first offence, you'll probably be given a fixed penalty of 3 points plus a £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jun-16 @ 10:48 AM
Skuba03 - Your Question:
Hi, I've been caught driving 38mph on the 30mph road and guess there are only two years since I had my first speeding course attended. Is there any chance I might be offered another course or just loose my points and getting a fine to pay? Thanks for the answer c

Our Response:
No you will not be offered a speed awareness course unless 3 full years have passed since your last one.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jun-16 @ 10:46 AM
I got stopped doing 43 in a 50 zone that was a temporary 30 zone. Officer told me that i would get sent on awareness course but I got a fine of £100 and 3 points. Any ideas why?
Fred - 30-Jun-16 @ 7:11 AM
Hi, I just got another ticket within two months of my last one, one was 39 and second 38! The situation is debatable as it was from a mobile can who is parking too close to the 40 zone (it is a small stretch of 500 yards and then goes staring into 40 zone) so it's easy for them to nab people but my concern is I'm yet to still attend the first training day because it isn't until the end of next month! I just can't believe this has happened! Please can someone tell me what will happen as I'm very concerned. Many thanks
Kazza - 28-Jun-16 @ 7:31 PM
Hi, I've been caught driving 38mph on the 30mph road and guess there are only two years since I had my first speeding course attended. Is there any chance I might be offered another course or just loose my points and getting a fine to pay? Thanks for the answer c
Skuba03 - 28-Jun-16 @ 7:04 PM
Lizzie - Your Question:
Is there a way to check when the last time I went on a speed awareness course was? I'm not sure what year it was and need to know for insurance reasons

Our Response:
Ask the course provide that ran the course you took last time? They should have a record. The Police may also have a record.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Jun-16 @ 12:28 PM
Is there a way to check when the last time I went on a speed awareness course was? I'm not sure what year it was and need to know for insurance reasons
Lizzie - 26-Jun-16 @ 5:45 PM
Hi, I got pulled over by the traffic police today and got given a ticket for doing a 55 on a 40 road could I still do the course? £100 fine and 3 points iv never been stopped or had any problem
Milsom - 25-Jun-16 @ 9:39 PM
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
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