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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 4 Dec 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 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]
All new to this caught speeding ... paid the fine and handed in my licence,just to get it of my head! Yesterday i received an invite to do the awareness course which i applied for ,got a date and paid for. Apparently if you paid the fine and handed in your licence you no longer do the course which iv'e paid for!! Any answers would be great Thank's
cat098 - 4-Dec-16 @ 8:26 PM
Ticket - Your Question:
Hi I recently got a speeding ticket and said I would like to do the course not heard back yet. I then think today I was going 38 in a 30 and a man with a cam saw me. Will I only get the 3 points and fine or will I also get the points I should of got for the first ticket too. ( if they say yes to me doing course for first ticket). Because I heard the points for first ticket may be gave as well.

Our Response:
We really can't say unfortunately. It's entirely the police's decision whether to offer a course or points/fine. The only guidance that they publish is an approximate range of speeds where a course might be appropriate.
NoPenaltyPoints - 2-Dec-16 @ 12:22 PM
Hi I recently got a speeding ticket and said I would like to do the course not heard back yet. I then think today I was going 38 in a 30 and a man with a cam saw me. Will I only get the 3 points and fine or will I also get the points I should of got for the first ticket too. ( if they say yes to me doing course for first ticket). Because I heard the points for first ticket may be gave as well.
Ticket - 1-Dec-16 @ 3:27 PM
I have been caught doing 36 coming into a 30 zone. The road i was slowing down from was a 50mph road i was braking at time as i come round bend there was a speed trap at this point i knew i was coming from 50 to 30 so at time of getting caught i was doing 36 but braking at same time.Where the van was parked I couldn't see the 30mph signs how far does the van have to be away from the sign? I have 3 points already for sp30 i got over a year ago will i have option for awareness course
Sar - 30-Nov-16 @ 4:10 PM
I got a police notice today I live in Kent but was caught doing 37 in a 30 in Manchester will I have to do the course there or can I do it here?!
Wiley - 25-Nov-16 @ 9:59 PM
I got caught doing 34 in a 30 zone and sat a speed awareness course a few months back and I think I may be caught again doing 75 in a 70 zone....it's my first year of driving, will I loose my licenc?
Penguin - 25-Nov-16 @ 3:57 PM
dom - Your Question:
I have been sent photo for not wearing seat belt although I always wear one with do doublt.they sent me two photos one that shows I am don't have one ( which again is not possible ) and second one have some shade on driver side near window which could be a belt but again not clearly visible.I want to go to court thinking if I am innocent I should win. what are your opinions.I don't want to pay penalty only because I always wear belt.and by taking penaly I must admit I did not have belt.Should I give this photos to any specialist for assessments ? how much court cost for this ?

Our Response:
If you think the photos are indistinct and you are sure you would never drive without a seat belt, you should consider contesting it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Nov-16 @ 2:43 PM
I have been sent photo for not wearing seat belt although I always wear one with do doublt. they sent me two photos one that shows I am don't have one ( which again is not possible ) and second one have some shade on driver side near window which could be a belt but again not clearly visible. I want to go to court thinking if I am innocent I should win. what are your opinions. I don't want to pay penalty only because I always wear belt .and by taking penaly I must admit I did not have belt. Should I give this photos to any specialist for assessments ? how much court cost for this ?
dom - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:56 AM
Ricky - Your Question:
I went on a speed awareness course in 2015 to avoid points and a penalty. However when I've just come to renew my insurance I've been informed I have an sp30 on my licence and my insurance has gone up in price. is this right? I thought a speed awareness course wouldn't appear on my licence.

Our Response:
No, it shouldn't. You should make a complaint to the DLVA/Police about this and get the endorsement removed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:25 AM
Dan566 - Your Question:
HiI've been caught speeding twice in 2 different 30 zones in the same week. Once at 36mph and the 2nd at 38mph. Will I be offered the course for the 1st offence as I have no previous offences or won't I because able to as got 2 fines going through at same time?

Our Response:
This is entirely up to the police, so we're afraid we can't really help you on this. There is no reason why you shouldn't be offered a course for one offence and a fine for the other though.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Nov-16 @ 10:36 AM
I went on a speed awarenesscourse in 2015 to avoid points and a penalty. However when I've just come to renew my insurance I've been informed I have an sp30 on my licence and my insurance has gone up in price.. is this right? I thought a speed awareness course wouldn't appear on my licence.
Ricky - 22-Nov-16 @ 7:00 PM
Hi I've been caught speeding twice in 2 different 30 zones in the same week. Once at 36mph and the 2nd at 38mph. Will I be offered the course for the 1st offence as I have no previous offences or won't I because able to as got 2 fines going through at same time?
Dan566 - 22-Nov-16 @ 1:09 PM
Nicole - Your Question:
I have been on a course for using my phone last year. I have been caught speeding in a 50mph at 57mph. could I do another course as it is a different matter. thanks in advance

Our Response:
You will still be considered for a course as your previous one was for a different offence. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the police so they may choose not to offer one.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Nov-16 @ 2:14 PM
I have been on a course for using my phone last year. I have been caught speeding in a 50mph at 57mph.. could I do another course as it is a different matter.. thanks in advance
Nicole - 19-Nov-16 @ 12:11 PM
Hi my wife has just recieved a letter of notice and she was doing 73 in a 60 zone The letter does not offer a course only a £100 fine and 3 pts She has never had anything in 40 years is it worth phoning the office to see if they will offer it. It was with Devon and Cornwall Police
Wedgy - 18-Nov-16 @ 5:50 PM
Chlolou1996 - Your Question:
Hey, I was driving on the motorway in a temporary 50mph zone and I was going approx 70mph thinking it was the usual speed (i know silly me) anyone know if I will/could be offered the course as I really dont want to recieve points, ive never been done for speeding before? Thanks in advance :)

Our Response:
It's unlikely you'll be offered a speed awareness course as the guideline speed for a course is between 57mph to 64mph (in a 50 zone).
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Nov-16 @ 9:59 AM
Popeye- Your Question:
I did a SAC but cannot remember the date. Is it my resonsibility to keep a record. What if I take another course within 3 yearsRz

Our Response:
The police may have a record of the date but you are also expected to keep a note of the last time you took the course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Nov-16 @ 2:44 PM
Maher- Your Question:
I exceed the speed limit to 37 miles in the Rd for only 30 miles. Last time I attended the cours 2013 and I paid penalty , can I do the same to avoid penalties in my license?? Thanks for your cooperation,,

Our Response:
If it's over 3 years since your last course, there's a chance you might be offered another one but this is the choice of the police, so we can't say for sure.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Nov-16 @ 2:43 PM
Hey, i was driving on the motorway in a temporary 50mph zone and i was going approx 70mph thinking it was the usual speed (i know silly me) anyone know if i will/could be offered the course as i really dont want to recieve points, ive never been done for speeding before? Thanks in advance :)
Chlolou1996 - 13-Nov-16 @ 3:24 AM
I did a SAC but cannot remember the date. Is it my resonsibility to keep a record. What if I take another course within 3 years Rz
Popeye - 12-Nov-16 @ 9:30 PM
I exceed the speed limit to 37 miles in the Rd for only 30 miles . Last time I attended the cours 2013 and I paid penalty , can I do the same to avoid penalties in my license?? Thanks for your cooperation,,
Maher - 12-Nov-16 @ 8:58 PM
I was caught a few weeks ago doing 35 in a 30mph zone (which has no signs, annoying!) paid my fine and booked my course. I am doing the course in December. At the weekend, I was caught doing over 50mph in roadworks..to be honest, there were so many temporary roadworks I wasn't concentrating after a while. My own fault. I realise I can't take the course again, but what I am worried about is as I have had two offences in a short space of time that they will not let me do the course in December and I will incur points from the 30mph zone and points from the 50mph zone. I definitely do not want 6 points! Can anyone help clarify please?
laura88 - 10-Nov-16 @ 4:27 PM
37 is over the limit of what is accepted for the course. i was caught doing 35 which is top end apparently. anything over 35 is considered enough to seriously hurt someone so they just fine. this is from my understanding when i spoke with the police. i think the course should be made compulsory for everyone caught. i got caught previously doing 72 in a temp 50 and was straight up fined. i think i should have been made much more aware of my speed then as well as a fine. ive seen the horrific side of what speeding can do (plus im Northern Irish and the adverts on dangerous driving they have there are enough to give a child nightmares) and it embarrasses me to have been caught twice. hopefully the course will help me see this. the speed limit is there for a reason.
sammi - 10-Nov-16 @ 3:47 PM
I just got letter for metropolitan police about my over speed chargis in my first time mistake 30mph road I drive on 37mph so they give me fix penalty £100 plus 3 points please give me idea to why they don't give option to speed awareness course can I ilagble for speed awerness course
Sam - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:15 PM
Fish - Your Question:
Unbeknown to me I was caught speeding 3 days before my SAC, I now have to pay £100 but will I receive 3 penalty points or 6 Inc 3 from the previous one when I went onto the SAC ?

Our Response:
If you already had 3 points on your licence before the speed awareness course, and you getfurther 3 points, the total will be 6. You do not attract any points if you take a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Nov-16 @ 1:58 PM
Unbeknown to me I was caught speeding 3 days before my SAC, I now have to pay £100 but will Ireceive 3 penalty points or 6 Inc 3 from the previous one when I went onto the SAC ?
Fish - 5-Nov-16 @ 9:08 PM
Hello! I if choosen to do the course,but meanwhile I decide to pay the record,it will be a problem?
John - 3-Nov-16 @ 11:17 PM
Ah - Your Question:
I got caught speeding last year and was offered a SAC but I was too late on filling the forms in, so instead I've got 3 points on my licence. I've just been caught speeding again doing a 39 in a 40, will I be offered the course again even though I declined the last one?

Our Response:
The decision is usually based on whether you've participated in a course in the previous 3 years. By the way 39 in a 40 is not actually speeding...we assume you mean 39 in a 30 ;-)
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Oct-16 @ 2:42 PM
I got caught speeding last year and was offered a SAC but I was too late on filling the forms in, so instead I've got 3 points on my licence. I've just been caught speeding again doing a 39 in a 40, will I be offered the course again even though I declined the last one?
Ah - 27-Oct-16 @ 1:11 PM
I have 3 points from a speed offence committed in Scotland this year, where no speed awareness course was offered. Recently I was caught doing 68 in a 60 area in North Yorkshire, will I be offered a speed awareness course?
Cav - 26-Oct-16 @ 11:56 PM
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