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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 26 May 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]
My Husband is the registered keeper and I a named driver the penalty has offered a course but to addressee only does this mean i won't be able to do the course?
Aims - 26-May-16 @ 8:11 PM
Hi I have just got two letters today stating I was doing 38 both times in a 30mph zone I do not normally use this road and got one for the morning journey and one for return I'm worried as never done this before will I get offered the awareness course for both offences ?
TJ - 25-May-16 @ 8:40 PM
kags - Your Question:
I've received awareness letter but lost it who do I ring

Our Response:
Contact the police authority in the area where your offence was committed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-May-16 @ 2:23 PM
Ryan_6n2 - Your Question:
Hi, I recently got caught doing 55mph in a 40mph zone, only been driving 5 months. What will happen in regards to my licence!????

Our Response:
You may be given 3 penalty points plus a fine of £100 (A fixed penalty is usually issued for speeds of up to 57mph in a 50 zone). If you accrue 6 or more points on your licence in the two years following your driving test, you lose your licence under the New Drivers Act.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-May-16 @ 12:57 PM
Hi, I recently got caught doing 55mph in a 40mph zone, only been driving 5 months. What will happen in regards to my licence!????
Ryan_6n2 - 24-May-16 @ 10:44 PM
Jk - Your Question:
Hi I was caught doing 36 in a 30 I've only been passed my test 5 months will this effect me being able to do a speed awareness course?

Our Response:
Speed awareness courses are offered at the police's discretion and they usually take many factors into consideration. We can't say therefore, whether you'd be offered a course or not.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-May-16 @ 2:08 PM
I've received awareness letter but lost it who do I ring
kags - 23-May-16 @ 12:08 PM
Hi I was caught doing 36 in a 30 I've only been passed my test 5 months will this effect me being able to do a speed awareness course?
Jk - 23-May-16 @ 9:51 AM
I was caught doing 35 in a 30 in November. I agreed to do the course but Still haven't heard from them. Do you think they've forgotten or what
Chappy - 21-May-16 @ 3:26 PM
I did a speed awareness course just over a yr ago but received another fine a few months later. I have just got a letter from Manchester Police issuing another speed notice ( 58mph on A60, through roadworks, at 2am) and I'm worried I will now lose my licence. I've heard several things and not sure what's true or false. I live in Nottinghamshire so my last speed fine was from a different police force.
Emjo1625 - 20-May-16 @ 5:42 PM
Caught speeding - Your Question:
I was caught doing 67 in a 50mph zone but wasn't offered the option of doing a speed awareness course yes my friend was caught doing 50 in a 30 zone and was offered the course. Was wondering why I wasn't?

Our Response:
The upper limit for an awareness course in a 50mph zone according to police guidelines is 64mph so you are just above the limit here. The courses are offered at the discretion of the police and they take lots of different factors into consideration, so there's no real way to question it unfortunately.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-May-16 @ 10:42 AM
Just received another roadside citation for following traffic yet doing 40 in a 30, leaving a built up village area to the open fields, down hill (and probably with a tail wind - you know, the places that they target). Its just too easy to rack up points leading to a ban whilst basically being otherwise law abiding and frankly intending no harm at any time. In short - how can we lobby against this crazy practice - it alienates the police. Most Police even hate doing it.They decide what real limit to set (i.e everyone else doing 35, were not pulled over, despite that also being 'an offence'. Speed cameras are one thing, but roadside sniping with a laser gun is officious. Can we start a petition - a fine for those stops is OK, but the points are lifechanging and can destroy faith in the system.
Fed up of Oxon - 15-May-16 @ 1:59 PM
I was caught doing 67 in a 50mph zone but wasn't offered the option of doing a speed awareness course yes my friend was caught doing 50 in a 30 zone and was offered the course. Was wondering why I wasn't?
Caught speeding - 14-May-16 @ 3:50 AM
Hi, I just received two tickets for get caught driving on the same road traveling at 41 miles and 40 miles on a 30 miles road. I am new to the area I never know it's a 30 miles zone:-(. Do I need attend the workshop twice and pay the penalty? Or I will get points as well? May more tickets will come in in the next few days, not sure what I can do:-( please advise. Thanks.
Lennon - 13-May-16 @ 11:05 PM
I went on a speed awareness course s year and a half ago and think I may have been caught doing 37 in a 30 zone by a mobile unit. If I have been caught I know I won't get offered the course again but would I get the three points from my original speeding (which I took the course for) as well the three points for this potential one?
Samjane - 12-May-16 @ 5:44 PM
I got a letter doing 39mph on a 30 road, will I get a course or points?
AJ - 12-May-16 @ 4:46 PM
ExcessiveFine - Your Question:
Morning, just had a letter through notifying of £1,000 fine a 6 points for doing 81mph in a 70mph zone. Don't dispute the offence but this seems excessive, especially as a colleague has just been to court and been fined £500 with 3 points for doing 102mph!! First offence so can I ask to go on a speed awareness course or look to get the fine/points reduced in any other way? Thanks.

Our Response:
This does seem very excessive. 81mph would usually attract £100 plus 3 points or the offer of a speed awareness course. We can't really advise, it might be worth taking it to a motoring lawyer for advice on appealing it (it could be an error)
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-May-16 @ 12:51 PM
Sambo - Your Question:
Hey, I was caught going through a red light 2 seconds after it had changed to red I was told in a letter that I was eligible for a course so I filled out my details and sent them off around 2 weeks ago and I am yet to receive a date or any other information? Starting to worry if my letter has got there? Don't want to be getting any more fines

Our Response:
You haven't said whether you were pulled over at the scene, or whether you were caught on camera. Assuming the latter, the first communication you would have received would be the NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution). The standard wording on an NIP usually tells you that you will be offered either a fine/penalty points, an awareness course, a court summons, or no further action. Once you've completed the NIP, the police respond with details of any further action. If a course is to be offered, you are expected to arrange this with one of the course providers suggested on the letter. If you have done this already, you can check with the course provider to establish whether you registered on the course you chose. If you have not actually heard back since completing the NIP form, the police may not have decided...they have up to 6 months to do so.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-May-16 @ 10:27 AM
Hi 2 questions: Caught doing 50 in a 40 zone by unmanned roadworks camera. If i take the speed awareness course and pass do i have to tell my insurers? Also i was in Cornwall but live in Yorkshire do i have to travel to Cornwall to take the course? Advice greatly appreciated thanks
Newby - 10-May-16 @ 6:17 PM
Jay - Your Question:
Hiya I was doing 90 miles in a 70 miles zone will I get points on my license

Our Response:
The likely penalty will be 3 points plus £100 fine. Occasionally however you could expect a court summons at that speed.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-May-16 @ 1:01 PM
Rytis - Your Question:
Hi, I get three penalties in one time. I Was exceeding speed limit by 5, 7, and 10 in the same place. Only in one penalty it is written that I can take a course. Could I take a course and not to pay another two penalties? Because it is written do not pay penalty if you take course.

Our Response:
No, these are three separate offences so the course is a "penalty" for one offence. The other two offences will incur separate penalties (usually 3 points plus £100 fine).
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-May-16 @ 10:41 AM
Morning, just had a letter through notifying of £1,000 fine a 6 points for doing 81mph in a 70mph zone. Don't dispute the offence but this seems excessive, especially as a colleague has just been to court and been fined £500 with 3 points for doing 102mph!! First offence so can I ask to go on a speed awareness course or look to get the fine/points reduced in any other way? Thanks.
ExcessiveFine - 9-May-16 @ 10:23 AM
Hey, I was caught going through a red light 2 seconds after it had changed to red I was told in a letter that I was eligible for a course so I filled out my details and sent them off around 2 weeks ago and I am yet to receive a date or any other information? Starting to worry if my letter has got there? Don't want to be getting any more fines
Sambo - 8-May-16 @ 11:13 AM
Hiya I was doing 90 miles in a 70 miles zone will i get points on my license
Jay - 7-May-16 @ 11:31 PM
A5 offender- Your Question:
I was stopped for 87.32 on the A5 in a 70 limit , given a green form but not offered a speed awareness course just a conditional offer of 3 points or a court summons However on the paperwork regarding the conditional where it states location of offence it shows my home address. Clearly this is an error , can I request a court summons plead not guilty on the basis that the offence cannot have been committed at my home address which of course is private ground

Our Response:
No, this will probably be regarded as a simple error by a court judge especially if the actual address where the offence took place is cited elsewhere on the form. You could ask a legal professional to take a look at the form if you want to be 100% sure though.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-May-16 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, I get three penalties in one time. I Was exceeding speed limit by 5, 7, and 10 in the same place. Only in one penalty it is written that I can take a course. Could I take a course and not to pay another two penalties? Because it is written do not pay penalty if you take course.
Rytis - 6-May-16 @ 7:28 AM
I was stopped for 87.32 on the A5 in a 70 limit, given a green form but not offered a speed awareness course just a conditional offer of 3 points or a court summons However on the paperwork regarding the conditional where it states location of offence it shows my home address. Clearly this is an error , can I request a court summons plead not guilty on the basis that the offence cannot have been committed at my home address which of course is private ground
A5 offender - 4-May-16 @ 2:36 PM
Karl - Your Question:
Hi just wondering where I stand.I was caught traveling at 41mph in a 30 zone but could not see anyone speed signs. The car in front reacted and slow up to 40 and me being me slowed up to 40 aswell. How do I stand?Thanks

Our Response:
30mph zones with street lights do not have speed limit repeater signs. If you're driving on a built up road assume the limit is 30mph unless you see a sign saying otherwise.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-May-16 @ 12:58 PM
Tom - Your Question:
I have a course this Tuesday but I forgot I need my license, it has been sent away as I am having another set of points put on it, is there any chance they will let me on the course of I bring another form of ID, if not will I be given another course.

Our Response:
Sorry we're still catching up on comments from the weekend. Some training providers will accept that a licence is at the DVLA and will accept some proof such as a reference number or phone contact.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-May-16 @ 12:35 PM
Hi just wondering where I stand. I was caught traveling at 41mph in a 30 zone but could not see anyone speed signs. The car in front reacted and slow up to 40 and me being me slowed up to 40 aswell. How do I stand? Thanks
Karl - 2-May-16 @ 11:57 AM
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