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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 20 July 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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[Add a Comment]
I am slightly confused - Have had two NIP's in two weeks (79 in a 70 & 38 in a 30) but these are only asking who was driving at the time - Does the offer of the course come once they confirm the driver of the vehicle?
neetc - 20-Jul-14 @ 12:04 PM
@Fed Up. Back luck on this and as you say whichever choice you make will have its negatives. If you think the signage was ineffective or inappropriate, you could try appealing. Although if a road is a 40mph and not a 30mph, that is when you will almost certainly see 40mph signs displayed as this type of road would be 30mph by default.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Jul-14 @ 2:04 PM
Debating speed course or take points (making 6 in 3 years, over 33 years of trouble free driving). Not much difference in costs. Will lose money by not working though. Course will just be 'preaching to the converted' as I was doing 37 in an area which anyone would think was a 40, being a main road. Whichever I choose, my hard earned cash will be filling the coffers of the police and buying yet more of these evil machines instead of some proper signage to say categorically what a road's limit is instead of a driver having to guess, or being zapped just where a limit changes down. Not happy.
Fed up - 17-Jul-14 @ 7:12 PM
@exasperated. It looks like the decision's already been made and put in place if you've been asked to send off your licence for endorsement. How long were you out of the country for? Did you have your post re-directed? It is not the police's responsibility to find you if you are not living at the registered keeper's address.
scampi fries - 17-Jul-14 @ 11:46 AM
I was offered a speed awareness course or Fixed Penaltyduring my absence from the country. On my return I asked to go on the course and subsequently sent documentation as proof that I did not receive the letter in time to apply within the 28 day time allowance. The application was refused. By this time the offer of a Fixed penalty notice was also out of date and I understood that I would be receiving another one which to date has not arrived. This seems ridiculous and I can't seem to get any help with it - can anyone advise? The case was sent to court even though I had admitted being the driver and all I have received to date is an order to submit my licence for endorsement.
exasperated - 16-Jul-14 @ 5:12 PM
Hi really need some advice. I have 6 points already on my licence.I got caught this week twice doing 72 and 73 on the m4 which I thought was 70mph. What are the chances of getting on the course as both times fall below the max criteria for the course.Also I did take the course when I was younger but that was over 4 years ago.Thank you!
sash - 5-Jul-14 @ 11:08 PM
@me. It's from the date of your offence /NIP notice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jun-14 @ 11:11 AM
@speedie. Four times in one week...it's unlikely that you'll be offered a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Jun-14 @ 11:04 AM
If I got done 4 times for speeding in a week how will this course help me thank you
Speedie - 26-Jun-14 @ 10:38 AM
is the 3 years between courses from the date of the offence or the day you actually attendthe course ?? Thanks in advance for any answers
me - 26-Jun-14 @ 10:29 AM
@Yachtie, that's really bad luck. Just marginally over the limit. If you'd been caught the once you'd maybe have been offered a speed awareness course (depending on which county you live in) and would have been extra careful the next time you drove down there. Three times in a week is bad news. Was the camera visible? Did you notice the flash?
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Jun-14 @ 10:10 AM
In one week I was allegedly caught over the 30 MPH - between 33MPH and 36 MPH at the same venue, Gosport Road, by the same speed camera between 5am and 6am in the morning. No other traffic in the vicinity or pedestrians - road clear and straight. Two weeks later got three NIP. I admitted I was the driver and had just left the M27 motorway, I was not aware I was over the limit. So, after 65 yeas of constant driving around the UK and abroad, without committing any criminal or traffic offences - I earned my reward of 9 penalty points and a fine of £300. I am eighty-three years old, mentally and physically fit. All correspondence asking for leniency totally ignored! I do not blame the Police - but those that implement a totally pathetic ludicrous code in the guise of accident prevention - to gain revenue. Wake up Britain!
Yachtie - 14-Jun-14 @ 5:42 PM
Ferradura.no if you are significantly over the limit you should be penalised with points, fines and possibly a ban. It is dangerous to speed, but it is often bordering on reckless to exceed the limit by a large margin. Yes, people let their speed creep up and may get caught doing 46mph in a 40mph zone.they need to made aware that in a relatively built up area the damage those extra 6mph can do to someone (for example crossing the road etc) is significant. On the other hand, someone doing 60 in a 40mph zone should be penalised far more heavily as the consequences would be far more drastic (eg. if someone crossed the road). Not sure how much money they make out of the speed awareness courses.they have to pay for the training staff, the venue and the admin. You could argue that they are keeping people in jobs doing this.while also making our cities, towns and villages safer? Just one point of view :-)
hearsedriver - 12-Jun-14 @ 11:24 AM
This is all utterly mad-if you are caught slightly over the speed limit you get offered a speed awareness course-surely the people caught well over the limit need to go on the course more???? Its all just an income generation ploy as far as I can see- have 6 points, never claimed on car insurance in 32 years ,never had an accident but have to fork out heapof money on insurance as deemed a danger. Drive for a living so am penalised by statistics. Grrrr!
ferradura - 11-Jun-14 @ 11:21 AM
AdzOneTwo - Firstly speed awareness courses are normally only offered in cases where the limit has been 'marginally' exceeded. doing 61mph in a 50mph would probably not be classed as marginal. Secondly most motorists are usually only allowed to take one speed awareness course every three year period, but maybe the fact you did not take the course when offered it at your first offence means it will not be considered as having already taken one. Thirdly, be aware of the new drivers act, which means that drivers who amass six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test can have their licence revoked.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jun-14 @ 10:28 AM
I was caught doing 34 in a 30 last July and the morning I got the letter in the post I went on holiday and forgot about it. I then got a summons in December 2013, so never went on the SAC. I also got caught in May doing 61 in a 50. I've been driving since July 1st2012, my question is, will I be banned or will I get offered another speed awareness course? Thanks
AdzOneTwo - 5-Jun-14 @ 5:59 PM
i was speeding at 35 in a 30 zone and i accept i been caught they gave me the option to do awareness course fine then i found out i have to paid £90 for the course which i see a con i have to do this because my insurance but when i saw option 2 which was 3 points and a £100 fine which i think is out of order when the green police paper says i be fined £60 everyone i spoke to saying £60 i fill like the police should just take my purse and be done with it
NYLUNEA - 29-May-14 @ 6:38 PM
A 35 Ashurst Nov 25-2012(and other dates).I have been granted an appeal for"41 in 30 zone) at the bottom of Hunters hill.Whartons lane bollards.50m at least EAST of (30) sign by no 3 Lyndhurst Rd.65 others caught within the same period(12.30-14.00).I know from freedom of info. ALL Illegally caught and I have the PROOF.Police will not give me names and addresses of other victims.I believe this was a deliberate scam.(if camera is moved closer then it will catch motorists doing 40 in the FORTY ZONE but the"foreshortening"makes this difficult to prove.) I have laser proof.If you or any one you know was caught there in the last two years I would love to see your photo evidence.01590644301/07979865895(or e-mail)Happy motoring!Mike
Oberon - 2-May-14 @ 4:22 PM
Don't think that by going on a speed awareness course your insurance will not be affected. It will! In my case I had a 10% surcharge because I attended a speed awareness course. This is not made clear and I think it should be.
Disillusioned - 18-Apr-14 @ 6:59 PM
I have a speed awareness course on 9th June 2014 at Holiday Inn, Newton Heath, Manchester.I have forgotten what time it is, please could you send me a copy of my referral. Thanks
Lillian - 17-Apr-14 @ 12:10 PM
I've received an NIP for doing 39 in a 30 zone, in Lancashire , 1st November 13. I had a previous speeding offence in July 2010, but only attended a course in dec 10... My question is,is it 3 years from the offence or 3 years from the date of taking the previous course..? Many thanks
Neal - 23-Nov-13 @ 2:52 PM
I want to know why Surrey Police have not offered me a driving awareness course in place of a NIP? 38mph in a 30 mph zone (mobile camera) is this above the limit to offer a course?
sambo - 9-Nov-13 @ 9:15 AM
How long between the speec offence and the letter of intended prosecution, do you have to complete the course? I can't seem to locate the letter and now I fear the time limit has long passed! Is the time/date rigid or is the a choice if time/dates?
PinkSammy - 8-Oct-13 @ 7:03 AM
I jus had a letter sayin i was caught doin 41 in a 30 ive only had my licence since march wat will happen
stevo - 7-Sep-13 @ 12:06 PM
In 2011 i got ride awareness course for doing 87 in a 50mph zone on a motorcycle, i have just been caught again by a hidden camera doing 39 in a 30 zone i was wanting to know if they will use the previous course conviction against me when giving out my points.
sean white - 30-May-13 @ 6:24 PM
I was caught by a hand held camera alleged doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone.I have a device fitted to my car which alerts me ofspeed cameras and hidden cameras .I am aware of this and was doing 30 mph in this area as I live close to this and am used to a camera van being in place at the alleged offence and as I was caught at the same place some four years ago doing 33 mph in this 30 mph I had this device fitted .I do not speed and have taken every precaution .I am very disappointed in the police in this area as they take no notice of all the cars illegally parked picking there kids up from the school opening doors and taking no notice of traffic and kids walking between these cars and the running into the road accidents waiting to happen.I suppose it is easier for the police to sit out of site in a warm van bringing in the revenue
Ro - 20-Feb-13 @ 9:09 AM
Shellshocked to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding at 38mph in a 30mph zone.What makes it worse is that nearly 4 years ago I got 3 points for driving at 56mph on the motorway in a 50 zone (in amongst all the traffic) and these points are due to expire in March 2013.Finally, last year I unknowingly drove 46mph in a 40mph zone and got 3 points.Will have to drive at 20mph everywhere to ensure it doesn't ever happen again.What are the chances of me being offered a speed awareness course instead of more points?Total points currently are 6 and I live in Solihull, West midlands?
Rossy - 19-Dec-12 @ 10:40 PM
I attended a speed awareness course on 8/9/2012 at Fontwell Racecourse in West Sussex and found it very informative. I think everyone should be made to go on this course to keep their driving licence valid!! As most people speed at sometime in their lives! The course was taken by two very interesting and humorous people! They made, what could have been a boring 4 hours, fly past with some helpful information and useful reminders of what the consequences of speeding can be.It was a very good use of my time! Drivers are very fortunate to be able to attend this rather than get points on their licence leading to higher insurance premuims! Thank you to the Police and West Sussex County Council for the opportunity and the tea and biscuits!
Ange - 10-Sep-12 @ 2:12 PM
Having just attended a speed awareness course I would say definitely take the course when offered, having been driving for 30 years and this was the first time I had been caught I obviously had picked up some bad habits. The course is very educational and interesting, it was a very relaxed and pleasant evening but the message got through and I learnt a lot.It is much better to learn this way then just to accept the fine and points because the chances are that without the course you are going to get caught again.
John - 5-Sep-12 @ 9:59 AM
my wife has just got her noification through for speeding. she was caught on a mobile speeding camera which was hidden round a corner and not visible from the road and it was no more than 20 yds from the static one at the ottom of a hill she was going to go up so she had slowsd down and then accletated to go up hill when she was zapped. she has been driving for 30yrs and has always had a clean licence - she is very shy and does'nt know if to go on the course or take the points and pay the fine
bob - 2-Sep-12 @ 9:33 PM
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