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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 12 Jul 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]
If you been on speed awareness course and get caught again do they add the first 3 points on aswel
Dt - 12-Jul-18 @ 6:26 PM
Where do I stand with this speeding ticket.I sent back paperwork saying it was me and not my husband and after various forms backwards and forwards, finally got the necessary paperwork while I was away in March for 3 weeks and missed the deadline.The offence occurred last September and we are now in July the following year. The payment was returned because I forgot to enclose my driving licence.I received information about how I could appeal with various forms asking me to reply online with my income etc.The reference they gave me was ineligible.I could not reply in that way.I therefore waited for the date of Magistrates Court which was not with the paperwork.I never received it and therefore could not attend or take other advice as I did not get informed of the date. I have today received a notice of fine and points etc from the Kent Magistrates Court which has clearly gone ahead without me knowing the date. What can I do about this.
Numberone1 - 11-Jul-18 @ 11:15 AM
Hi, driving my husbands car which I am a named driver on and did 57 in a 50, he received the letter which I have completed and returned giving my details.Will her receive any further communication from the police as don't want to tell him as he will be cross !
fred - 6-Jul-18 @ 12:52 PM
A - Your Question:
Hi I had a ms60 in 2015 and was disqualified for a year. I have just received a letter where I was doing 48 in a 40 zone. Do you think I'll be offered a speed awareess course? Thanks

Our Response:
We really don't know how the police will consider the MS60 offence together with the speeding unfortunately. Ordinarily a speed of 48 in a 40 wouldqualify for a course but they are only offered at the discretion of the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-18 @ 2:28 PM
Frank - Your Question:
I attended a 30mph speed awareness course 2 years ago. Would I be eligible to go on the motorway awareness course? I understand they are different courses but wasn’t sure if the 3 year time frame would interfere. Many thanks

Our Response:
No, the motorway awareness courses are offered in cases of speeding on motorways...so are still classed as speed awareness courses. The 3 year time frame still applies therefore.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-18 @ 12:37 PM
Lucky - Your Question:
Hi. I haven’t been caught speeding but my Mother in Law has and been offered an awareness course. I was wondering if there was any element of pass or fail or if you just turn up,be polite and then that’s it. Thanks

Our Response:
There is no test but there are sometimes some group participation tasks. There is nothing too onerous, it's supposed to be information and educational to prevent you from speeding again in the future.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Jul-18 @ 1:00 PM
Hi. I haven’t been caught speeding but my Mother in Law has and been offered an awareness course. I was wondering if there was any element of pass or fail or if you just turn up,be polite and then that’s it. Thanks
Lucky - 3-Jul-18 @ 2:24 PM
Hi I had a ms60 in 2015 and was disqualified for a year. I have just received a letter where i was doing 48 in a 40 zone. Do you think I'll be offered a speed awareess course? Thanks
A - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:53 PM
I attended a 30mph speed awareness course 2 years ago. Would I be eligible to go on the motorway awareness course? I understand they are different courses but wasn’t sure if the 3 year time frame would interfere. Many thanks
Frank - 2-Jul-18 @ 9:19 AM
Mitch - Your Question:
I got caught speeding doing a 48 in a 40. I did a course 2 Years 8 months a go, do you think they might let me take a course because I’m so close to the three years?

Our Response:
No, we don't. The police seem to enforce the 3 year rule quite rigidly.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Jun-18 @ 3:44 PM
I got caught speeding doing a 48 in a 40. I did a course 2 Years 8 months a go, do you think they might let me take a course because I’m so close to the three years?
Mitch - 22-Jun-18 @ 7:48 AM
Hi I go caught speeding and I got offered a course I done the course paid the monies Does it effect my insurance? And also it never showed up on my dvla online ?
Tug - 13-Jun-18 @ 4:55 PM
I have just been pulled over by the police doing 39mph in a 20mph zone, I have never had any offences before. The policeman has ticked the box on the form to say that he feels a speed awareness course may be beneficial but he told me due to my speed this is not guaranteed. After looking online I think it’s most definitely not going to be offered but what would my penalty be this time? Would it be 6 points and a percentage of my earnings?
Becky - 13-Jun-18 @ 4:10 PM
Scotty - Your Question:
I'm within my first two years of driving can I still sit the speed awareness course?

Our Response:
Yes a speed awareness course can be offered to new drivers if the speed falls within the guidelines. A course offer is not a certainty though, it the police's decision whether to offer a course or not.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-Jun-18 @ 12:13 PM
Has the speed awareness course cost increased in line with the fines?
Mrs O - 7-Jun-18 @ 6:55 PM
I'm within my first two years of driving can I still sit the speed awareness course?
Scotty - 6-Jun-18 @ 6:15 PM
Stevo - Your Question:
I have received a summons for speeding.I attended a speed awareness last year what can I expect

Our Response:
This depends on the speed you were travelling at and also the speed limit in force at the time. You will not be offered a speed awareness course as you've done one in the past 3 years. Since you say you've received a summons, you will have to see what the judge decides at the time.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jun-18 @ 3:21 PM
Em - Your Question:
I have received a speed awareness option letter but I have lost it so cannot pay/book have tried calling local police station for help but to no avail. What so I do as I am worried my time is going to run out

Our Response:
You could try calling your local training venue and booking onto a course? Also look up the number for your county constabulary's central ticketing office, there may be more chance of getting through to them.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Jun-18 @ 10:57 AM
I have received a speed awareness option letter but I have lost it so cannot pay/book have tried calling local police station for help but to no avail. What so I do as I am worried my time is going to run out
Em - 3-Jun-18 @ 11:23 AM
I have received a summons for speeding .I attended a speed awareness last year what can I expect
Stevo - 2-Jun-18 @ 11:04 AM
I attended a speed awareness course in Bridgend in 2015 after receiving an SP30 notice in Bournemouth. However on checking my licence details with DVLA, I note I have been given 3 points. How can I get these removed as I believe they are incorrect?
Faye - 31-May-18 @ 9:26 PM
Hugo Nebula - Your Question:
I've just been caught at 95 mph on a motorway (70mph). According to the local force's criteria, I won't have the option of a speed awareness course but am under the limit for a FPN. If I'm stopped or flashed again at a later date within the criteria, would I be offered a SAC, or would the three points count against this?

Our Response:
You are above the limit for speed awareness course and just below the limit for court summons, so you may receive a fixed penalty of £100 fine plus 3 points. If you are caught in the future and are within the guideline limits for a speed awareness course, you may be offered one (at the discretion of the police) assuming you haven't already taken a speed awareness course in the previous 3 years.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-May-18 @ 3:36 PM
I've just been caught at 95 mph on a motorway (70mph). According to the local force's criteria, I won't have the option of a speed awareness course but am under the limit for a FPN. If I'm stopped or flashed again at a later date within the criteria, would I be offered a SAC, or would the three points count against this?
Hugo Nebula - 26-May-18 @ 9:02 PM
I was caught doing 51 in a 40. Would a educational course be applicable, never had any points previously?
Th - 25-May-18 @ 4:27 PM
Hi I was doing 72 on a variable speed motorway and have 0 points. I think I’ll be offered a course but I’m going out of the country to work for the summer and not returning until September. Do you get given a date it has to be done by or can you book yourself on? Also how long before I have to attend? Thanks
Jon - 23-May-18 @ 6:53 PM
Matt - Your Question:
I was driving for work and got caught doing 43mph in a 30 area. My own fault, the road jumps from 50 to 40 to 30 very quickly and I didn't adjust my speed in time. I had a clean license before hand, what can I expect? Thanks

Our Response:
Your speed is slightly too high to be considered for a speed awareness course but probably not high enough to warrant a court summons. The most likely penalty will be £100 fine plus 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-May-18 @ 11:17 AM
Gaz247 - Your Question:
Hi, Can you tell me if an eyesight test is still part of the speed awareness course?I far as I know it is a 4 hour classroom session. Gaz.

Our Response:
No most course providers do not include an eye sight test.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-May-18 @ 11:16 AM
I was driving for work and got caught doing 43mph in a 30 area. My own fault, the road jumps from 50 to 40 to 30 very quickly and I didn't adjust my speed in time. I had a clean license before hand, what can I expect?Thanks
Matt - 15-May-18 @ 7:43 PM
Hi, Can you tell me if an eyesight test is still part of the speed awareness course? I far as I know it is a 4 hour classroom session. Gaz.
Gaz247 - 15-May-18 @ 7:23 PM
Jahed - Your Question:
Received a letter from Essex police requesting details of the driver - I was doing 59 mph in a 50. To be honest I didn't even realise, will I be given the option of the course?Really don't want any points.

Our Response:
The speed at which you were travelling would qualify you for the Speed Awareness Course but these are only offered if the police choose to do so. The alternative is 3 points plus £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-May-18 @ 12:11 PM
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