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Speed Awareness Course

Author: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 18 April 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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[Add a Comment]
Don't think that by going on a speed awareness course your insurance will not be affected. It will! In my case I had a 10% surcharge because I attended a speed awareness course. This is not made clear and I think it should be.
Disillusioned - 18-Apr-14 @ 6:59 PM
I have a speed awareness course on 9th June 2014 at Holiday Inn, Newton Heath, Manchester.I have forgotten what time it is, please could you send me a copy of my referral. Thanks
Lillian - 17-Apr-14 @ 12:10 PM
I've received an NIP for doing 39 in a 30 zone, in Lancashire , 1st November 13. I had a previous speeding offence in July 2010, but only attended a course in dec 10... My question is,is it 3 years from the offence or 3 years from the date of taking the previous course..? Many thanks
Neal - 23-Nov-13 @ 2:52 PM
I want to know why Surrey Police have not offered me a driving awareness course in place of a NIP? 38mph in a 30 mph zone (mobile camera) is this above the limit to offer a course?
sambo - 9-Nov-13 @ 9:15 AM
How long between the speec offence and the letter of intended prosecution, do you have to complete the course? I can't seem to locate the letter and now I fear the time limit has long passed! Is the time/date rigid or is the a choice if time/dates?
PinkSammy - 8-Oct-13 @ 7:03 AM
I jus had a letter sayin i was caught doin 41 in a 30 ive only had my licence since march wat will happen
stevo - 7-Sep-13 @ 12:06 PM
In 2011 i got ride awareness course for doing 87 in a 50mph zone on a motorcycle, i have just been caught again by a hidden camera doing 39 in a 30 zone i was wanting to know if they will use the previous course conviction against me when giving out my points.
sean white - 30-May-13 @ 6:24 PM
I was caught by a hand held camera alleged doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone.I have a device fitted to my car which alerts me ofspeed cameras and hidden cameras .I am aware of this and was doing 30 mph in this area as I live close to this and am used to a camera van being in place at the alleged offence and as I was caught at the same place some four years ago doing 33 mph in this 30 mph I had this device fitted .I do not speed and have taken every precaution .I am very disappointed in the police in this area as they take no notice of all the cars illegally parked picking there kids up from the school opening doors and taking no notice of traffic and kids walking between these cars and the running into the road accidents waiting to happen.I suppose it is easier for the police to sit out of site in a warm van bringing in the revenue
Ro - 20-Feb-13 @ 9:09 AM
Shellshocked to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution for speeding at 38mph in a 30mph zone.What makes it worse is that nearly 4 years ago I got 3 points for driving at 56mph on the motorway in a 50 zone (in amongst all the traffic) and these points are due to expire in March 2013.Finally, last year I unknowingly drove 46mph in a 40mph zone and got 3 points.Will have to drive at 20mph everywhere to ensure it doesn't ever happen again.What are the chances of me being offered a speed awareness course instead of more points?Total points currently are 6 and I live in Solihull, West midlands?
Rossy - 19-Dec-12 @ 10:40 PM
I attended a speed awareness course on 8/9/2012 at Fontwell Racecourse in West Sussex and found it very informative. I think everyone should be made to go on this course to keep their driving licence valid!! As most people speed at sometime in their lives! The course was taken by two very interesting and humorous people! They made, what could have been a boring 4 hours, fly past with some helpful information and useful reminders of what the consequences of speeding can be.It was a very good use of my time! Drivers are very fortunate to be able to attend this rather than get points on their licence leading to higher insurance premuims! Thank you to the Police and West Sussex County Council for the opportunity and the tea and biscuits!
Ange - 10-Sep-12 @ 2:12 PM
Having just attended a speed awareness course I would say definitely take the course when offered, having been driving for 30 years and this was the first time I had been caught I obviously had picked up some bad habits. The course is very educational and interesting, it was a very relaxed and pleasant evening but the message got through and I learnt a lot.It is much better to learn this way then just to accept the fine and points because the chances are that without the course you are going to get caught again.
John - 5-Sep-12 @ 9:59 AM
my wife has just got her noification through for speeding. she was caught on a mobile speeding camera which was hidden round a corner and not visible from the road and it was no more than 20 yds from the static one at the ottom of a hill she was going to go up so she had slowsd down and then accletated to go up hill when she was zapped. she has been driving for 30yrs and has always had a clean licence - she is very shy and does'nt know if to go on the course or take the points and pay the fine
bob - 2-Sep-12 @ 9:33 PM
my hubby was caught on camera speeding in Kent but he was allowed to do his cours e in birmingham where we live
lyn101253 - 2-Sep-12 @ 9:23 PM
hey umm, i was caught speeding and i put the my details on the slip and sent it off but i forgot to ring the divers place? and its now gone past the allowed time? :S
triston - 24-Aug-12 @ 1:46 PM
i received a Notice of Intended Prosecution in June of 2012 for a speeding offence that took place on December 22 2011. i was not driving the vehicle as i was at work(which can be substantiated) and the car was awaiting repair for a broken rear window..i sent the form back stating i was not the driver and that after nearly 6 months i could not state with any certainty who was driving as the car was left for repair..how do i stand on this because they are intending to prosecute me?
pete tom - 20-Aug-12 @ 7:52 AM
mobile camera's that appear during rush hour at places that are not dangerous really wind me up. bring on the revolution.
cash cow hater - 12-Aug-12 @ 9:16 PM
if i'm offered this course would i be able to take me baby with me as she is only 7 weeks old and i'm breast feeding, so leaving her for 4 + hours just isnt feesable.
toka - 10-Aug-12 @ 8:05 PM
West Midlands Police - Are you having a laugh?? On 11th April 2012 at 07:45 i was driving in Birmingham city center, on the Queens way, when i was approaching the junction at the mail box. Traffic started to merge from the left so i moved over to the right hand lane to avoid being caught up in it - the lane i moved into was clear. The speed on this section of road is 40 MPH, which is what i was doing. After i passed the junction i then moved back into the left hand lane and continued about my business - going to work. Just as i entered the tunnel section i heard sirens coming from behind - This black Audi (unmarked) police traffic car came screaming up behind me, lights flashing etc etc. At this point he instructed me to pull over - what, who me?? - i thought this is some kind of mistake, do i know these people?? He then drove round me, pulled his car in front of me like some kind of action hero in a film, blocked the entire road, and instructed me to pull over - ( i think i already have, given the fact I've got a big black Audi in front of me !!). I was flabbergasted to say the least. Mr Ego then moved his car to the kerb side, to which i followed. He quickly jumped out and marched over to my car (bearing in mind we are at a major junction on the Queens way- in busy commuter traffic) and asked me "what was that all about?" i should have asked him the same question......"what was what all about ??". He then replied by saying to me that if i wanted to play that game then he'd do things the correct way then. i was the instructed to follow him round the corner, away from the main junction. Once parked up again i was then asked to join him for a chat in his traffic car. He proceeded to ask me what that was all about. Having left my crystal ball at home this particular morning i had to ask him to explain himself. He immediately reached for the on board video remote and proceeded to play back video footage. this video footage was of him in his unmarked traffic car joining the carriageway at the mail box junction, and me driving on the outside lane of the Queens way passing the merging traffic. I asked what the problem was - your speeding past all these vehicles joining the carriageway, you then cut the lorry up that's just joined the carriageway, causing him to brake - so that's speeding as well as dangerous driving! - what have you got to say about that?. I then asked this very intelligent traffic officer to replay the footage and lets look at it again. Firstly, the traffic merging from the left carriageway is a 30 MPH limit, i'm on a 40 MPH carriageway - Hence why i'm travelling faster than they are. Secondly, you lay claims of speeding, but your on board radar device isn't tracked on my vehicle - you are still on the other carriageway !!. Thirdly, the lorry in question had just joined the carriageway i was on and hence the road sings over head, or mobile phone usage (texting) etc, or quite simply a faulty brake
Gundog01 - 9-Aug-12 @ 4:47 PM
i got caught doing 43mpg in a 30mph zone. what are the chances of me being able to do the course, i have read that if you're doing more than 40 you are not liable for the course is this correct?
stu - 28-Jul-12 @ 2:10 AM
I went on a speed awareness course and the class was told at that time that whilst there would be no penalty points because of doing the course if anybody were to get caught again within the year we would not only receive those penalty points but also the ones that we had not been given on that occasion. I have just been told that this is not true...is that right?
Emm - 27-Jul-12 @ 11:49 PM
I have submitted my application to take the Speed Awareness course, although I am leaving for America on the 16th August and need to take the course before that date? Preferably ASAP, as I know you have to take the course within a certain time period from when the offence was comitted. Thanks Alex
Hod - 26-Jul-12 @ 7:25 PM
I took a speed awareness course last June 2011 .Unfortunately I have received another Penalty notice and have been offered another speed awareness course can I take it?
Oli - 16-Jul-12 @ 12:13 PM
I was caught doin 65 in a 50mph zone on a motorway!!! I wasnt aware of any cameras and I seen a few 50mph signs but there was no roadworks so thought as the roads were empty it would of been fine until i hit a camera and braked but only managed to get down to 65. Do you think i will be offered the course? I have been driving for almost 2 years and have just signed+sent the NIP form tellin them i was the driver. Thanks
Lucy - 13-Jul-12 @ 11:27 AM
I am a health and safety officer and over the 37 yrs that i have been driving have a clean licence with no points or convictions, infact everyone comments on what a safe driver i am,so you can understand how surprised i was to recieive a fine allegedly stating i was caught speeding by a speed camera on aroad i regularly travel.I know the speed camera van is often there and knew exactly where it was and the day in question in fact i remembered checking my speedometer and seeing it at 28mph though when i telephoned to explain this i was told i was doing 35mph 117metres from the camera.I was wondering what my chances are if i took it to court as i am sure i didnt go over 30mph.
ken - 11-Jul-12 @ 5:28 PM
Just recieved a letter saying I was doing 63 on the M60 but caught by a 50mph camera. How likely would I recieve a letter after for a training course. Or would you think I'm to take the points. I've had points before on sp30 but have been clean until this. Sending off my first response back to the police confirming it was me. Any advice?
Borse - 8-Jul-12 @ 9:02 AM
D the slides are not gory nor graphic just informative, I attended today and it's very informal but you must do 4 hours. I attended Bromley and live in Essex so shop around Popov. This is not punishment it's education, if its good for drug taking thieves to be educated and not punished then its good for drivers who I believe are only educated once and thats when you do it all by the book for an hour!!! Then you can drive for around 40 years blissfully unaware that legislation changes and cars and roads! The cost is around £90 instead of £60 and points so it's not a rip off money maker it is in FACT a saver. Insurance companies will charge more if you have speeding points on your licence, so more cost. I do feel hard done by and I do think that the limit where I was caught should be reviewed but I attended and I learnt. Do the crime do the time (4hours) KB
KB - 6-Jul-12 @ 7:43 PM
Can you please let me know how I can attend a speed awareness in my own area and not in the area for which I was prosecuted?Thanks
Popov - 5-Jul-12 @ 2:58 PM
A friend was cought doing 71mph in a 6 seater van on a dual carriage way, on looking up various speeds for different vechial types it shows that this type of vechial is restricted to 60 mph he has just attended the speed awareness course for 71 mph but durning the time of offence and course date he has picked up another ticket for 68mph as he had not yet attended his course could he appeal against this second conviction as he was not yet 'aware' .
Del - 4-Jul-12 @ 12:04 PM
Hey bit of a strange question but in the powerpoint/ presentations do they get very graphic? like gory as i'm not really a squeamish type as such but do tend to faint at the sight of that sort of thing so just wondering what to expect really? im good with smashed up cars at crime scenes sort of thing but wouldn't deal well with pics/vids of injured people, cheers.
D - 2-Jul-12 @ 2:39 AM
Does anyone know whether the Speed Awareness Course has been made national yet?I took a course a few years ago and at that time there was no way of checking if you had done one in another Constabularies area.Does anyone know if this has changed?I know the intention was to make it national and checkable but has it happened?
ATR - 26-Jun-12 @ 1:08 PM
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