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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 10 Feb 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]
Vic - Your Question:
Hi I was driving in a 40 and I was doing around 45/50 by didn't notice the speed enforcement van. What will happen? I've been driving 18 months

Our Response:
The most likely outcome is an offer a speed awareness course or 3 penalty points plus £100. Be aware that if you amass 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Feb-16 @ 12:05 PM
I have just recived a NIP for doing 40 in a 30, i know this is within my local polices guidelines for a course However this is my second offence, the first offence was over the linit for the speed course. Will i still qualify for the speed course as i have never done one?
Raisonator - 10-Feb-16 @ 6:56 PM
Hi I was driving in a 40 and I was doing around 45/50 by didn't notice the speed enforcement van. What will happen? I've been driving 18 months
Vic - 9-Feb-16 @ 1:43 PM
Phil - Your Question:
I have just got a letter saying I was speeding doing 36 in a 30 road it wants to know if it was me driving and my details can I go on a speed course as it did not say any thing about it on the letter how do I apply for a speed course

Our Response:
The NIP is simply to identify you as the driver. Once you've completed the forms and returned them they will reply giving details of your penalty. 36 in a 30 zone is within the recommended range to be offered a speed awareness course but do not rely on this as it's offered at the discretion of the relevant police force.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Feb-16 @ 2:27 PM
Zkle055 - Your Question:
I've just been caught speeding twice in a week in the same area (40 in a 30). My licence was clean until now (previous points over 3 years ago). Is there any chance at all that I'll just have to do the course rather than do the course AND get points?

Our Response:
If you've been caught speeding twice, it's unlikely that you will only receive one penalty. The most likely outcome is a course for one offence and a fine plus points for the other.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Feb-16 @ 12:26 PM
Peaky - Your Question:
I was caught doing 93 on a duel carriageway will I be offered a speed awareness course ?

Our Response:
if it was a standard dual carriageway (i.e 70mph limit) and the vehicle you were in was not subject to a restriction (such as a transit van which can only do 60mph), then you will be lucky not to receive a court summons. You are over the general guide limit of 86mph to be offered a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Feb-16 @ 11:32 AM
Choc - Your Question:
I've only just passed my test , about six months ago , do you think I will be offered an awareness course ?I was doing 61mph in a 50 mph speed limit in Bedfordshire

Our Response:
There is a chance you might be offered a speed awareness course as the upper limit for a course (in a 50 zone) is 64mph. However as we always point out, courses are offered at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:18 AM
I have just got a letter saying I was speeding doing 36 in a 30 road it wants to know if it was me driving and my details can I go on a speed course as it did not say any thing about it on the letter how do i apply for a speed course
Phil - 6-Feb-16 @ 9:52 AM
I've just been caught speeding twice in a week in the same area (40 in a 30). My licence was clean until now (previous points over 3 years ago). Is there any chance at all that I'll just have to do the course rather than do the course AND get points?
Zkle055 - 5-Feb-16 @ 9:00 PM
I was caught doing 93 on a duel carriageway will I be offered a speed awareness course ?
Peaky - 5-Feb-16 @ 5:39 PM
Boss - Your Question:
I was caught doing 82m/h in a 70 mile dual carriage, what's the most likely punishment I will get? Cheers

Our Response:
The police guidelines suggest that you would be offered a speed awareness course or £100 fine plus 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Feb-16 @ 11:03 AM
Boo - Your Question:
Hi, been caught doing 43 in a 30 will I be offered a course. Did one about 6 years ago.

Our Response:
You're just above the upper limit (42mph) of the recommended guidelines for a speed awareness course. The offer of a course is given at the discretion of the police so you may be lucky.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Feb-16 @ 10:19 AM
sclw - Your Question:
Just rec'd Intention to prosecute notice by mobile speed camera car, in South Wales. Speed limit 40mph recorded speed 49mph - will I be offered Speed Awareness Course? If so, as I am disabled will it be suitable and will I have to drive another car? How long is the course as I cannot sit for long periods? I would prefer course to points on licence as I have clean licence.

Our Response:
Your speed was within the recommended guidelines for a speed awareness course but the offer of a course is at the discretion of the police. There is no driving required when you attend the course and it is normally about 4 to 5 hours in duration. If you are offered a course you can let them know about your disability. If you do not want to take the course you can accept the alternative offer (usually £100 fine and 3 penalty points).
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Feb-16 @ 9:59 AM
I've only just passed my test , about six months ago , do you think I will be offered an awareness course ? I was doing 61mph in a 50 mph speed limit in Bedfordshire
Choc - 5-Feb-16 @ 8:25 AM
I was caught doing 82m/h in a 70 mile dual carriage, what's the most likely punishment I will get? Cheers
Boss - 3-Feb-16 @ 9:06 PM
Hi, been caught doing 43 in a 30 will I be offered a course. Did one about 6 years ago.
Boo - 3-Feb-16 @ 8:22 PM
Just rec'd Intention to prosecute notice by mobile speed camera car, in South Wales.Speed limit 40mph recorded speed 49mph - will I be offered Speed Awareness Course?If so, as I am disabled will it be suitable and will I have to drive another car?How long is the course as I cannot sit for long periods?I would prefer course to points on licence as I have clean licence.
sclw - 3-Feb-16 @ 6:37 PM
kev - Your Question:
Hi ive just been caught doing 39 in a 30 by a camera van I went on a course last year Speed awareness, any idea what will happen will I have to go on a course again or will it be penalty points?Ive never been caught speeding before and cant belive ive been caught twice in less than a year,cameras seem to be everywhere how things have changed thanks for your time.

Our Response:
You will not be offere a further course as you cannot take more than one within a 3 year period. It's more likely that you will be given a 3 point penalty plus £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Feb-16 @ 12:47 PM
littleminx - Your Question:
I'm trying to get hold of someone to ask y I wasn't offered speed awareness course as this is my 1st speed fine.I can't have points on my clean licence as I will lose my disability car and that will affect me badly as it's my only means of independence.plz could someone email me to answer my question tyvm

Our Response:
We don't know why you weren't offered a course- you have not told us what speed you were doing, in what speed limit zone, where you live etc. All courses are offered at the discretion of the relevant police force. Occasionally, they may tell you why a course wasn't offered so why not try getting in touch with them?
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Feb-16 @ 10:12 AM
Hi ive just been caught doing 39 in a 30 by a camera van i went on a course last year Speed awareness, any idea what will happenwill i have to go on a course again or will it be penalty points?Ive never been caught speeding before and cant belive ive been caught twice in less than a year,cameras seem to be everywhere how things have changed thanks for your time.
kev - 2-Feb-16 @ 2:20 PM
I'm trying to get hold of someone to ask y I wasn't offered speed awareness course as this is my 1st speed fine...I can't have points on my clean licence as I will lose my disability car and that will affect me badly as it's my only means of independence..plz could someone email me to answer my question tyvm
littleminx - 1-Feb-16 @ 3:05 PM
Ste - Your Question:
I've just been caught doing 35 in a 30.2 months ago I did a "what's driving us course" for being on the phone. What do you think my chances are of being eligible for a speed awareness?Thanks.Ste

Our Response:
You may be considered for a course as it's of a different nature to the previous one, but as you probably know, these are offered entirely at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Jan-16 @ 2:20 PM
I've just been caught doing 35 in a 30. 2 months ago I did a "what's driving us course" for being on the phone. What do you think my chances are of being eligible for a speed awareness? Thanks. Ste
Ste - 27-Jan-16 @ 5:46 PM
How can I find out how long ago I did a speed awareness course
Ladyajb - 18-Jan-16 @ 9:13 PM
Hello how do I apply for speeding school because I haven't been offered it on the letter?
liam - 15-Jan-16 @ 3:34 PM
Hi I have been in bed since Sunday tea time with a an upset stomach and flue like symptoms, as I suffer with Fibromyalgia this really knocked me off my feet, I have only just checked my calendar with horror to see that I have missed my course. Please advise me me as to what I can do,and what will happen,
Kat - 13-Jan-16 @ 5:27 PM
jf - Your Question:
Hiya, I already have three points for doing 90 in a 70 about a year ago, however today I recieved a letter saying I have been caught doing 36 in a 30, will I be offered a speed awareness course as I already have points or not? please help!!!

Our Response:
This is entirely at the discretion of the police so we cannot say for sure. However 36mph in a 30mph zone is within the police guidelines to be offered a speed awareness course.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Jan-16 @ 2:39 PM
I have a notice of intended prosecution for 35mph in a 30mph.I have done the speed awareness course but I think this was maybe three years ago now.How do I find out how long ago it was?Will they offer me a course onceI send my personal details in?Do I put a letter in the same envelope asking if they will consider me?
linba - 12-Jan-16 @ 7:08 PM
Hiya, i already have three points for doing 90 in a 70 about a year ago, however today i recieved a letter saying i have been caught doing 36 in a 30, will i be offered a speed awareness course as i already have points or not? please help!!!
jf - 12-Jan-16 @ 2:17 PM
Hi I have recently received the NIP which showing me I was driving 55mph on 30mph road on 13/10/2015, Nip issued to me on 18/12/15. There are 2 options on page 3 Part 1- I was the driver at the time of alleged offence, which is yes in my case Part 1a -I wish to be considered for the fixed penalty procedure. Part 1b -I would like the matter to be dealt with by the way of a COURT HEARING. Driver details ........ Pls suggest Is there any chance for me going to attend speed awareness course? What can be the maxi fine and point in my case? Is there any chance that I need to go to court and my licence can be revoked. I never had a over speed in my life . Pls suggest your views. Thanks
Lucky - 9-Jan-16 @ 7:08 AM
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