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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 18 November 2014 | 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]
@Raaz. You would have to ask the enforcement authorities if they have a record of it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:37 AM
@Shortstuff. The speed awareness course is an alternative to points,so they cannot be added retrospectively.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Nov-14 @ 10:19 AM
if i attend a speed awareness course and get caught speeding again in the next three years .. will i incur the points that i attended the speed cousre for and also for the speeding offence at the time . so basically will i incur 6 points instead of 3. tracey
shortstuff - 18-Nov-14 @ 9:29 AM
I have attended the course in the last 3 or four years is it any way possible that I can find out the date as to when I have attended the course last time?
Raaz - 17-Nov-14 @ 11:29 PM
@Sqincey. We have not found any evidence that this is the case. As long as you are not classed as a new driver, your offence will be dealt with as the courts deem necessary. You should not have the points from your previous offence added as you took a speed awareness course in lieu of penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Nov-14 @ 10:40 AM
hi, i recently got caught speeding and offered a speed awarness course... i was then caught again shortly after the first offence... i then went to do the speed awarness course which i completed.. however, i was still waiting to hear back from the second offence... i have now heard about this and am waiting to hear what the court says, but i have heard that if you are caught again within a year after doing a course you will be given the points from the first offence??? is this true??? also because they are actually before the 1st year of completion would this affect it in anyway??? many thanks.....
squincey - 16-Nov-14 @ 7:48 PM
@chunkythebulldog. No not really, it's applaudable that it's your first offence in 20 years but 50 in a 30mph zone is a dangerous speed at which to be driving. So it looks as though you'll have to wait for a decision from the police.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-14 @ 11:50 AM
@Lauwheeler. If you were not offered the course at the time and accepted the 3 points and the fine then you will not be able to the course as an alternative now.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Nov-14 @ 10:01 AM
Hi, Just received an NIP for doing 50 in a 30 zone. First offence after 20 years of driving. Any idea's what I'll get?
chunkythebulldog - 7-Nov-14 @ 10:15 AM
hi I wondered whether I would be able to do the course I had a speeding fine &3 points a few months ago & I didn't know I would of be able to do the course i didn't really know a lot about it. where do i find the number? & information about the course to see ifqualify for it. Thanks
LauWheeler - 6-Nov-14 @ 4:49 PM
@Tom. It depends what speed you were doing at the time and what thepolicies of your local constabulary are really.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Nov-14 @ 2:02 PM
I have been caught speeding for the first time and honestly didn't know that it was 60 for a van on a duel carridge way where it was 70 for cars. I haven't any points. Would I more likely to be offered the awareness course for my first offense?
Tom - 5-Nov-14 @ 6:45 PM
@speedyGonzales. If the insurance application asks for details of any speed awareness courses then yes you should declare them. As far as we know, only 3 or 4 of the major UK insurance companies ask at the moment.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Nov-14 @ 11:55 AM
Do I have to declare to insurance companies that I attended a speed awareness course???
Speedy Gonzales - 1-Nov-14 @ 7:34 PM
Does anyone know where you can check when you did your last speed awareness course please?
Susie - 28-Oct-14 @ 5:44 PM
@tiny. No, you were travelling at significantly over the speed limit and the speed awareness course is not designed for this kind of offence. Speed limits are in place for the safety of all road users and however valid your excuse for speeding, you are still putting others at risk.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Oct-14 @ 2:47 PM
@tiny why would you think you'll get a course?!? You were nearly 50% over the speed limit!!
Don't speed!! - 23-Oct-14 @ 10:15 PM
I was stoped today I was speeding I was doing 74 in a 50 zone I didn't get offered a drivers awarness course and this is my first offence been driving over 2 years now and the only time I speed cause I was dying to go toilet and so I didn't crap myself I get pulled cause I can't exactly pull over on the motorway can I still be put on the course
tiny - 23-Oct-14 @ 9:36 PM
just received my notice of intended prosecution today saying I can attend the speed awareness course if no more than 12 weeks has elapsed since the date of offence, the letter has arrived 16 weeks after!!!!! What a bunch of clowns really! penalise drivers instead of catching crooks
bacon - 17-Oct-14 @ 3:24 PM
@rob611. You can actually be penalised for driving too slowly if the police consider you are causing a hazard to other drivers. The police rarely seem to prosecute anyone for this though.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Oct-14 @ 2:04 PM
@zara. It could be because you have already entered your number previously. You should call the number given on your original NIP document and ask them to arrange it for you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 14-Oct-14 @ 2:13 PM
@kjkb. There's not much you can do about it now, you just need to wait and see whether a penalty will be issued. It may have been that another vehicle was flashed or that you imagined it...but there's really no way of knowing at the moment. If you've only recently passed your test you really need to be especially careful about exceeding the speed limit, firstly to keep within the law and secondly because you are still an inexperienced driver.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Oct-14 @ 11:46 AM
I was offered the speed awareness course in July which gives me 6 months to do the course.Yesterday i tried to put my dvla licence number but it didn't recognise it.A Call agent tried too. I put my licence number in august and it worked but didn't proceed but wanted to proceed last night but to no avail.What does this mean?I don't have to do the course?
zara - 13-Oct-14 @ 7:57 AM
Got caught doing 58 in a 50 what I would like to see ispeople also penalised for driving to slow there is nothing worse than being stuck behind a old fart doing 30 in a 50
rob611 - 11-Oct-14 @ 11:42 AM
Hi. I think that I may have got flashed by a camera on the M25 in Surrey between Clackett Lane and the exit for the A3 last night. I think I was doing about 77/79mph in the outside lane to overtake a vehicle sat in the middle lane who then decided to speed up when I started overtaking. I've only been driving 2 months and am terrified of receiving 3 Points as 6 in the first 2 years results in a Ban. Do you think that Surrey Police are likely to offer me the option of a Speed Awareness Course? I try to be a good driver but it's difficult not to pick up speed in those situations when other drivers don't abide by the Highway Code. Any reassurance you offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
kjkb1980 - 11-Oct-14 @ 10:46 AM
i have been caught speeding and been offered a speed awareness course but since then been caught again and given 3 points. can i still do the course for the previous offence?
Nattymave - 9-Oct-14 @ 10:55 AM
@macky. That's for the police to decide and it will also depend upon how many points he already has (if any).
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Oct-14 @ 12:27 PM
hi I was driving on the m1 and I went through one of these variable speed limits (money making ploy) to be honest I thought it was a warning for traffic slowing down but traffic was clear I was going 76 mph the sign was at 60 I was not offered the awareness course ?
slim - 5-Oct-14 @ 5:36 PM
hi there, My son got caught for speeding and is booked on a speed awareness course which he is due to take in December, since then he has been caught speeding again, what happens does he just get 3 points? Thank you
macky - 3-Oct-14 @ 5:02 PM
I have 3 points from 2 years ago and believe I was clocked at 65 in a 60. Will I be offered the SAC even though I have 3 points from 2 years ago? I did the SAC nearly 5 years ago.
Tone - 29-Sep-14 @ 5:18 PM
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