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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 30 May 2015 | 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]
Hi I have just received a speeding ticket for an offence in Bournemoth whilst on Holiday. I have been given the offer of a speeding awareness course which says is in Dorset, but as I live in Coventry, will they allow me to attend one closer to where I live?
Ady1965 - 30-May-15 @ 9:11 AM
Hi, In a span of 13 hours, I received 3 NIP for speeding on the same road.I was doing 38/39 in a 30.2 of the 3 NIPs are within 2 minutes of one another.Is there any chance they will combine these tickets into one? Is there an argument I can use?
SpeedyGonzalez - 28-May-15 @ 11:02 PM
Hi Jane, I hired a vehicle last weekend, my brother in law took the car for a drive and incurred a speeding ticket (speed awareness as an option) he was not insured on the car (i understand it is my responsibility nut he had taken it witthout my notice) he admits to taking the car, i want to provide his details to the police, is this the right thing to do, i dont want him to get into trouble, what to do? thanks...
Fez - 27-May-15 @ 5:33 PM
I have received a letter of speeding offence. I was doing 36 in a 30. I am happy to attend a speed awareness course but strongly feel that I should appeal because the road I was recorded on had no speed signs or speed limit notices. But if I appeal and loose my case I loose the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course.What should I do?
8balls2qs - 27-May-15 @ 3:11 PM
I have been given the opportunity to go on the speed awareness course and it says i must book within 21 days, does this mean i must take the course within 21 days? cause the center i would be able to go to it fully booked and the one which is further away but i would go to if necessary is booked til after the 21 days! So can i book it now but attend in say July as that is when it is looking likely! TIA x
abi - 23-May-15 @ 1:14 PM
@Charx23. If you've received your NIP which it sounds as though you have, just returned it. If you are offered the course you can usually book the date yourself so can fit it in around your own schedule.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-May-15 @ 11:28 AM
@Edgy. It's improbable that you will be offered a single course for these offences but it's at the discretion of your local police authority really.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-May-15 @ 2:38 PM
Hey, i think ive been caught speeding down the M1 luton-MK :( i think i was doing about 80, i didnt ever see any flashes and other cars were going well over 90/100 and i never saw anything flash - but apparently they do work. would i be offered the course for this? and if i am offered the course and accept, how long until they reply with your course date? its just i go on holiday in 2 weeks time, for 2 weeks, i think the fine should be here before then, but if i reply accepting the course (if id even get offered it) im then worried they would give me the course whilst im on holiday and therefore miss it/not even know about it :( any ideas? thanks x
charx23 - 13-May-15 @ 6:30 AM
@Jr123. The idea of the course it to educate you and avoid penalty points and a fine. It doesn't relate too much to insurance and it doesn't always affect insurance premiums as long as you don't have a string of other motoring offences too.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-May-15 @ 9:55 AM
Why do insurance companies ask if you have done the course? Why are so many forums saying that premiums go up, and you basically have to lie ( and no doubt forfeit your insurance ) in order to not pay an excess, when the whole idea of the course was to not pay extra insurance?
jr123 - 12-May-15 @ 8:48 AM
I'm due to go on a speed awareness (my first one) in June - just had two notifications of speeding on the same day (36 in a 30 8 mins apart!) can I do all theses under one SPeed awareness rather than get 6 points?
Edgy - 9-May-15 @ 7:59 AM
@Holly. Check with your local police force. We think it's the specific courses that you cannot do within 3 years but there's nowhere (as far as we know) that makes this clear. Can any other readers help?
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-May-15 @ 2:17 PM
@Covlad. Check the terms and conditions on your policy to see if this mentioned. If not, you do not need to declare it. When it comes to renewal time, you may be asked questions specifically about motor offences or the speed awareness course, which you should answer honestly.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-May-15 @ 2:08 PM
@Pete. You could try just putting the year or a rough 'guesstimate' at the date. Alternatively you could try contacting the course provider or your local traffic police to check their records.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-May-15 @ 11:19 AM
I have been caught speeding and offered the speed course but I have been on a driver improvement course, can I still go on the speed course?
Holly - 1-May-15 @ 1:55 PM
Do I have to declare this to my insurance company if I have excepted the course? And will it increase my premium if I have to.
covlad - 1-May-15 @ 10:33 AM
Can I attend course if I have Polish driving licence? Thanks
Sonka - 28-Apr-15 @ 6:39 PM
Trying to get car insurance quote. Speeding offence in 2012. Attended speed awareness course Feb 13 to avoid the points obviously. To get quote for insurance, some of the questions are, Have you committed any driving offences or had any Fixed Penalty Notices in the last 5 years? I say yes. But I did not get a FPN. What is the DVLA offence code? I say SP30. When did the conviction happen? I dont know this as it is not on my licence and I cant find this out from anyone. I cannot proceed with insurance quote. Please help.
Pete - 28-Apr-15 @ 4:02 PM
@jammy. If you take a speed awareness course you do not get penalty points as well; the course is an alternative to points/a fine. So unless your speed was at the limit where a summons would be issued, you should get 3 points and £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Apr-15 @ 10:03 AM
@bob. The police usually have records of these. You could also contact the training company whose course you attended last time as they will probably have dates.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Apr-15 @ 12:07 PM
Hi - Having taken a speed awareness course 6 months ago. Now -I seem to have been caught in 30mile again... OK - so will I be given 3 points or will I accumulate the 3 points from before as within same year to make 6 points? Thanks.
jammy - 22-Apr-15 @ 6:34 PM
Hi- I have been offered opportunity to go on an awareness course. I have been on one before but am not sure if it was within three years or not. How do i double check this (as nothing on licence- i have changed job so not got diary i used) or do i just assume as i have been offered it, it must be longer than three years. Who's responsibility is it to check? thanks
Bob - 21-Apr-15 @ 7:58 PM
@Bear - have you tried the Speedulator above? It's possible but not guaranteed that you will be offered the Speed Awareness Course. It's entirely at the discretion of the enforcing authorities.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Apr-15 @ 2:15 PM
Think I may have been caught speeding doing approx 36 in a 30 limit have been driving 48 yrs will I be offered the awareness course this will be my first speeding offence.
Bear - 17-Apr-15 @ 9:33 AM
So this "national" speed awareness course is only "national" in terms of England-shire ? Need to figure this one out 3 points & 60 fine or 85 fee 300 mile round trip and day off work ????????????
hammy - 15-Apr-15 @ 10:15 PM
@bill. It is a motoring offence but you did not receive a penalty for it. Whether you need to inform your insurance depends on the wording of the application etc. If you are asked specifically if you have attended a Speed Awareness Course, you will have to say yes. It does not always affect your premiums though...all insurance companies have different approaches to this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Apr-15 @ 11:42 AM
@hammy. You will need to attend a course nearest to you (for example north of England). If you cannot attend, you will probably have to accept penalty points and a fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 15-Apr-15 @ 10:38 AM
I have been to a speed awareness course. is this amotoring offence or fixed penalty notice while renewing my insurance,, and does the insurance go up?
bill - 13-Apr-15 @ 9:43 PM
I was stopped today and offered the speed awareness course. I was visiting relatives in Milton Keynes but told the offer of the course could be arranged back home . Home for me is Central Scotland I don't see any listings for Scotland ? What happens next ?????
Hammy - 13-Apr-15 @ 3:13 PM
@Laura. You will have to wait and see if you're offered the opportunity to attend a course really. Usually if you've attended a course, you're not offered another one within 3 years.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Apr-15 @ 12:44 PM
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