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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 21 April 2015 | 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]
Hi- I have been offered opportunity to go on an awareness course. I have been on one before but am not sure if it was within three years or not. How do i double check this (as nothing on licence- i have changed job so not got diary i used) or do i just assume as i have been offered it, it must be longer than three years. Who's responsibility is it to check? thanks
Bob - 21-Apr-15 @ 7:58 PM
@Bear - have you tried the Speedulator above? It's possible but not guaranteed that you will be offered the Speed Awareness Course. It's entirely at the discretion of the enforcing authorities.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Apr-15 @ 2:15 PM
Think I may have been caught speeding doing approx 36 in a 30 limit have been driving 48 yrs will I be offered the awareness course this will be my first speeding offence.
Bear - 17-Apr-15 @ 9:33 AM
So this "national" speed awareness course is only "national" in terms of England-shire ? Need to figure this one out 3 points & 60 fine or 85 fee 300 mile round trip and day off work ????????????
hammy - 15-Apr-15 @ 10:15 PM
@bill. It is a motoring offence but you did not receive a penalty for it. Whether you need to inform your insurance depends on the wording of the application etc. If you are asked specifically if you have attended a Speed Awareness Course, you will have to say yes. It does not always affect your premiums though...all insurance companies have different approaches to this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Apr-15 @ 11:42 AM
@hammy. You will need to attend a course nearest to you (for example north of England). If you cannot attend, you will probably have to accept penalty points and a fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Apr-15 @ 10:38 AM
I have been to a speed awareness course. is this amotoring offence or fixed penalty notice while renewing my insurance,, and does the insurance go up?
bill - 13-Apr-15 @ 9:43 PM
I was stopped today and offered the speed awareness course. I was visiting relatives in Milton Keynes but told the offer of the course could be arranged back home . Home for me is Central Scotland I don't see any listings for Scotland ? What happens next ?????
Hammy - 13-Apr-15 @ 3:13 PM
@Laura. You will have to wait and see if you're offered the opportunity to attend a course really. Usually if you've attended a course, you're not offered another one within 3 years.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Apr-15 @ 12:44 PM
Hi, I went on a course for driving whilst on the phone. Yet this course will be for speeding. Can I go on it as they're both for different things?
Laura - 10-Apr-15 @ 1:13 PM
@jenwills. They'll look at the date of your last course and if it's within the three year period, you'll be given a fine/points instead.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Apr-15 @ 11:47 AM
I took a course about 2 years ago and I have just been done for speeding and got told I may be offered the course instead of points. Will they know if I'm able to do the course or wil they just send me on it anyway. Help.
jenwills - 5-Apr-15 @ 12:59 PM
@budman. There's an overview in the article above (What does the course cover? How long does the course last? Hopefully other readers will be able to help with fine details.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-Mar-15 @ 10:13 AM
@Budman. As your NIP may have stated, assuming you have no other previous offences, you will probably be given 3 points and £100 fine. If you live in area that does them, there's a good chance you'll be offered a speed awareness course as an alternative to the points/fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-Mar-15 @ 9:45 AM
@michael8687. It's at the discretion of the enforcing authority, so we're afraid you'll just have to wait and see.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Mar-15 @ 9:52 AM
What is involved in high-speed a awareness course can anyone tell what gos on and how long four
Budman - 26-Mar-15 @ 3:28 PM
I was doing 37 in a 30 zone what will I get I had the letter asking toconform it was me who was driver can any put my mind at rest
Budman - 26-Mar-15 @ 2:13 PM
Hi, I have recently been caught doing 38mph in a 30mph zone, I have been driving for 13 months, will I be offered a speed awareness course or get 3 points and a fine? Thanks.
michael8687 - 24-Mar-15 @ 7:15 PM
@Supertyke. You think you have? Do you not know the dates? Maybe it is actually longer then 3 years ago?
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Mar-15 @ 2:24 PM
@hols. If you were caught in England - may have been a chance you could be offered the course. However the guidelines for a speed awareness course in a 50mph zone are 57 - 64mph.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Mar-15 @ 10:46 AM
Hi I have been offered and booked on a speeding course. I think I may already completed one less than 3 years ago. Why have I been offered another?
Supertyke - 19-Mar-15 @ 5:37 AM
I was caught going down to England on the m6 at a temporary 50mph zone I was going 65mph. I live in Scotland and there is no course offered up here, is there any chance i will be offered to travel to take the course?
hols - 18-Mar-15 @ 12:54 PM
@goffa? Was it a mobile or fixed camera?
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Mar-15 @ 11:25 AM
@joey95. It's very unlikely that you will be offered a speed awareness course as you travelling far too fast to be near the threshold.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Mar-15 @ 10:49 AM
I was caught doing 62 mph in a 50 mph limit. i saw the camera when I was caught. The thing is, the camera was illegally parked in a bus stop at the time of catching me and was parked just out of site, so that I wouldn't see it until last minute. Is that allowed? I don't know if I can dispute or not and if I can would it stand in court?
Goffa - 14-Mar-15 @ 9:12 AM
Hey I have been caught doing 100mph on a 70mph duel carriageway!! Been driving 8 months!! Will I be offered speed awareness coarse in court as part of the new drivers act???? Your sincerely
Joey95 - 11-Mar-15 @ 10:13 PM
@holz. If you have been caught you should hear within 14 days of the offence. We do not know what penalty they will decide on but it will most likely be points on your licence plus a fine.If you incur 6 or more points inthe first two years after passing your test your licence will be taken off you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Mar-15 @ 2:35 PM
@clare. No you do not get points if you have undertaken a speed awareness course. You'll get the 3 points (or whatever is allocated depending on your speed) from the latest offence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Mar-15 @ 12:53 PM
@Hamid. The speed awareness course is offered at the discretion of the relevant police authority. Some forces do not offer the course at all, while others will decide that a course is not appropriate and will issue a fine plus points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Mar-15 @ 10:35 AM
Hi I think I have been caught speeding. I would have been doing no more than 80 in on 70. It was by one of them speeding vans on the top of a bridge I was driving on the dual carriage Underneath. How long will it take to come thru If I have been caught? I've been driving for 15months. Will it be points and a fine or a course or instant ban? Stressing!!!
holz - 4-Mar-15 @ 1:35 PM
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