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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 17 Jan 2018 | 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 £80 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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[Add a Comment]
What if I am caught speeding within the range eligible for the course for I have only held a licence for 1 year 11 months, will I be offered the speed awareness course?
Emma - 17-Jan-18 @ 11:24 PM
What happens if you have been banned for 6 months then sent a speeding ticket for doing 36 in a 30 zone
Carl - 15-Jan-18 @ 4:40 PM
Hi . I attended a speed awareness course last year for 30mph. I have now got another fine for doing 28 ina 20mph area. Can i attend a speef awareness course for 20mph behaviour
Burt - 11-Jan-18 @ 6:11 PM
Hi, I did a speed awareness course and I need the date for my insurance. How do I obtain that please
Gretta - 4-Jan-18 @ 8:44 PM
ali - Your Question:
Hi1. I got caught speeding on 01/10/14 but attending the speed awareness course on 4/1/15 does my course or conviction on the data I got caught speeding or when I attended the course.2. I have gone a speed awareness course in greater Manchester two years ago but may have been caught speeding by west Yorkshire Police last week. Would I still be able to do the course as its with two different police forces although it hasnt been three years since I did the first course? Thanks

Our Response:
You can only be offered another course if f more than three years has elapsed since the date of your previous course. Offences/courses in different regions still count.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Dec-17 @ 3:32 PM
Hi 1. I got caught speeding on 01/10/14 but attending the speed awareness course on 4/1/15 does my course or conviction on the data I got caught speeding or when I attended the course. 2. I have gone a speed awareness course in greater Manchester two years ago but may have been caught speeding by west Yorkshire Police last week. Would I still be able to do the course as its with two different police forces although it hasnt been three years since I did the first course? Thanks
ali - 11-Dec-17 @ 12:20 PM
I stopped at a red light but just over the white line and have now been issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.I did a speed awareness course about 2 years awareness go and wondered if I'd be offered a different course for a traffic light offence. Does there need to be a 3 year gap between any type of course or type the same type?
Johnny - 4-Dec-17 @ 12:41 PM
R5 - Your Question:
Hi, I have been caught multiple times in the same location these have literally just come through the post togther due to it being a company car, This was on a variable Speed limit on the motorway, and where I accept that I was probably over the 60MPH unfortunatley I had not realised at the time. and due to the fact that I was using this road every day for a number of weeks the ammount of tickets I have been issued can now have drastic consequences. I know that this was maninly due to lack of concentration and my fault, im just wondering what defense I have as I am the sole earner for my family and can not afford to lose my license or job.

Our Response:
If the signage was insufficient (you say you didn't realise there was a variable speed limit in place) then you may be able to appeal. You may also be able to avoid losing your licence by explaining the impact it might have on your job/livelihood etc. It's probably worth contact a motoring lawyer.
NoPenaltyPoints - 29-Nov-17 @ 2:30 PM
Hi, I have been caught multiple times in the same location these have literally just come through the post togther due to it being a company car, This was on a variable Speed limit on the motorway, and where I accept that i was probably over the 60MPH unfortunatley I had not realised at the time. and due to the fact that I was using this road every day for a number of weeks the ammount of tickets I have been issued can now have drastic consequences. I know that this was maninly due to lack of concentration and my fault,im just wondering what defense I have as I am the sole earner for my family and can not afford to lose my license or job.
R5 - 29-Nov-17 @ 1:35 PM
I was caught twice by the same camera one week apart, doing 38 and 39 mph in a 30 limit. Will I get offered the nip for both offences or will I be offered one nip and one fine or be fined for both offences? Many thanks.
luckyjim - 24-Nov-17 @ 7:30 PM
Hi, I was wondering if you could clear up some confusion related to Speed Awareness Courses - If you opt to take the offer of a Speed Awareness Course, does this count as a Conviction/Fixed Penalty Offence still, or does attending the course effectively null the Offence? I ask because I'm due to attend a course in a few weeks and I am having to fill out some paperwork which asks "Have you any convictions (including Fixed Penalty Offences) in connection with any Motor Vehicle" and I'm unsure on how to answer the question. Thanks for your time, Rich
Rich - 17-Nov-17 @ 11:16 AM
My friend John is going on a speed awareness course next week, but has just receive another penalty notice for a further offence 35 in a 30. I have told him that I think he will automatically get 6 points for this new offence - am I right? Thank you for any help!
Tidds - 11-Nov-17 @ 2:44 PM
Hi I was caught speeding about 5 months ago by police and was given 3 points and £100fine. I have just received a letter saying I was caught doing 81mph in 70mph (Kent police). Would I be offered the course? My license would be revoked if I get the points and I need it for my job. Best regards Paul
PJ - 11-Nov-17 @ 8:08 AM
Dom - Your Question:
I have been caught speeding in the cleethorpes area (humberside) doing 35 in a 30. I am in my first year of driving. Would I still be eligible to be offered a speed awareness course as opposed to taking 3 points?

Our Response:
Speed awareness courses are offered at the discretion of the police so we can't say for sure though 35 in a 30 mph zone is within the guidelines to be offered a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-17 @ 9:28 AM
I have been caught speeding in the cleethorpes area (humberside) doing 35 in a 30. I am in my first year of driving. Would I still be eligible to be offered a speed awareness course as opposed to taking 3 points?
Dom - 7-Nov-17 @ 9:21 PM
i was caught speeding doing 52mph on 40mph.i was offered a course. i emailed a mitigation admitting to the speeding offense but explaining i had to accelerate hard to avoid a accident as driver to my left indicated to left but then changed his mind and road was on uphill narrowing from 2 lanes to 1 lane.i had 28 days from date of letter so i emailed mitigation as soon as received the letter i waited impatiently but had not reply so about 7 days before my 28 days was up emailed again requesting Leicestershire police decision but still no reply. it left me no option but book the course so i rang my nearest awareness office but the phone lines were busy i thought i also needed to pay the penalty fine as well which i did. within the hour i received a response to my original email mitigation that they could not help me and i have paid my penalty i should send my license for penalty points. i mange to get through to awarenessoffice hey also informed that because i have paid my penalty i cannot book the course i need to contact the police force i have emailed them 3 times but no reply my 28 days is over now. can i still cancel the penalty and go on the course.
raf - 24-Oct-17 @ 12:00 PM
BruceK - Your Question:
In response to the query about declaring to your insurance company that you've attended a speed awareness course ~ I understood from my course 'tutor' that you only have to do so if you're asked the specific question or told to do so by your insurance company. The only company that currently asks for this information is, I believe, 'Admiral' which is why I steer as far away as I can from the lady dressed up as Nelson.

Our Response:
Yes that's one of the firms. We are aware of another one which also asks this question at the time of giving a quote.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Oct-17 @ 2:10 PM
walker - Your Question:
Hi there, I did a speed awareness course in December 2014 and I have just been caught doing 34mph in a 30mph again 07/10/2017 I know the limit it one every three years but I also know you have 4 months to book the course so that means I could do the course anytime from now until Feb 2018, is the allowed does anyone know? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
When making their decision, the police will look back to see if you have already done a speed awareness course within the past 3 years (from the date of the most recent offence), so it's very unlikely you'll be offered a course on the basis you suggest.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Oct-17 @ 1:55 PM
In response to the query about declaring to your insurance company that you've attended a speed awareness course ~ I understood from my course 'tutor' that you only have to do so if you're asked the specific question or told to do so by your insurance company. The only company that currently asks for this information is, I believe, 'Admiral' which is why I steer as far away as I can from the lady dressed up as Nelson.
BruceK - 18-Oct-17 @ 10:57 AM
Hi there, I did a speed awareness course in December 2014 and I have just been caught doing 34mph in a 30mph again 07/10/2017 I know the limit it one every three years but I also know you have 4 months to book the course so that means I could do the course anytime from now until Feb 2018, is the allowed does anyone know? Thanks in advance
walker - 18-Oct-17 @ 10:38 AM
I cannot attended a speed awareness course, i think it was over 5 years ago and told my insurance company thisbut am beginning to doubt myself, how can i find out the date of the course ? it was in Hatfield Herts
Greeno - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:45 PM
Hi, I attended a speed awareness course in 2013. I thought we didn't have to tell our car insurance company?? They asked have I attended a course, I didn't want to lie, so now my insurance has gone up because of it. Is that right???
laura - 5-Oct-17 @ 2:35 PM
64 in a 40, dual carriage way.Just want to manage my expectations.I was having an awful time, mitigating circumstances, no excuse, but to be banned would just finish me off.Sorry.
Sam75 - 5-Oct-17 @ 12:01 PM
nigel - Your Question:
How can I find out when I was on speed awareness course for insurance company as I cant find any paperwork

Our Response:
Could you contact the course provider? They should have a record.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Oct-17 @ 11:43 AM
how can I find out when I was on speed awareness course for insurance company as I cant find any paperwork
nigel - 2-Oct-17 @ 9:01 PM
Me - Your Question:
I completed a Speed Awareness Course back in September 2014 and it was actually really useful. At the end of the course, I was told that I did not need to declare the course on my motor insurance so I didn't. This renewal (Feb 17) I had new paperwork sent out by Admiral charging me extra money as I hadn't declared it. The course is now on my documentation and there for all to see. Can you please clarify the policy re declaring attendance at a course to insurance companies? Thank you x

Our Response:
There seems to be a real discrepancy here. Course providers tell you your motor insurance will not be affected and yet insurers ask for details of speed awareness courses that you've attended and sometimes charge extra on premiums because of it. We're trying to establish whether there is something actually documented relating to this advice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Sep-17 @ 2:22 PM
I completed a Speed Awareness Course back in September 2014 and it was actually really useful. At the end of the course, I was told that I did not need to declare the course on my motor insurance so I didn't. This renewal (Feb 17) I had new paperwork sent out by Admiral charging me extra money as I hadn't declared it. The course is now on my documentation and there for all to see. Can you please clarify the policy re declaring attendance at a course to insurance companies? Thank you x
Me - 20-Sep-17 @ 4:43 PM
Yahya - Your Question:
Hello I Just had speed camera letter 30mph zone my speed 41 also I Jüst getir my licence 1years 5 mounts ago ama I eligible for speed awareness course THX för hel0

Our Response:
The speed of 41 in a 30 zone is just within the guideline limits for a speed awareness course offer. Note however, that courses are only ever offered at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Sep-17 @ 11:02 AM
Hello i Just had speed camera letter 30mph zone my speed 41 also i Jüst getir my licence 1years 5 mounts ago ama i eligible for speed awareness course THX för hel0
Yahya - 5-Sep-17 @ 1:26 PM
Hi, I was 'apparently' doing 69mph (vehicle camera parked up ) and the limit for my vehicle was 60mph.Hence, I received a offer to attend a speed awareness course.However, my van is limited to 62mph. I was travelling down hill with quite a full van so think this is why it 'may' have been registered at that speed? It was not safe with my goods to brake as I had live animals in there (crated dogs) (I was not accelerating either) as the hill is quite steep but still allows traffic to travel at the national speed limit! I am torn between just taking the speed awareness or going to court! Will I still have to pay court costs regardless of outcome? is it worth the effort?
vikki - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:16 AM
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