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Speed Awareness Course

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 24 Apr 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Recieved a “intention to prosecute” letter. Recorded doing 63mph in a 50 zone at dartfors crossing. I feel I was keeping up with the flow of traffic and do not want to contest the speeding. What happens now? I need to return the document stating I was the driver. I do not live in the area where the speed camera is. Will I be offered a speed awareness course and can I do it at a location in my home city? Nervous and would like to just admit the fault, suffer the consequences and move on with my licence intact!
Kay - 24-Apr-18 @ 5:43 PM
My brother did a 51mph on a 30mph road for a few minutes and reduced speed afterwards. He had diarrhoea on his return from work which wuld have influenced his push at the pedal. Also the road is 30mph but only residential on one side (the other side of the road direction he was driving) and quiet with people barely crossing. Also there are twoIt appears there was a camera. he has a clean license but has already attended a speed awareness course. What is the worst outcome should it go to court as he does not need to have a conviction, given his citizenship application nearby.
Quinn - 24-Apr-18 @ 1:23 PM
Got caught doing 65 in 50 zone on the m1 will I just get 3 points and £100 or will I get a court summons
Al5 - 20-Apr-18 @ 8:02 PM
i have my liecense for two years today. And i just got a letter saying i done a 41mph in a 30mph which i am aware. Thus, this is my very first offence plus on the letter it also says i ran a red light in 0 seconds in 0mph with no address stating what place it happened nor time or date. The vechile is registered in my dads name but i just confimed that i was the driver and sent it off. what shall i expect as i am nervous and can't stop thinking about this?
kay - 19-Apr-18 @ 10:43 AM
(Edited message of earlier message) If you have done a speed awareness course within 3 years, but got caught speeding again by average speed cams doing 37 in a 30 zone, how many points could i expect?
Mini - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:25 PM
Hi, if you have done a soeed awareness course within the 3 years and get caught speeding again doing 37 in a 37 zone by average speed cams, how many points could I expect?
Mini - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:20 PM
Think I might have been flashed doing 37 in 3 only been passed 5 month what will happen
Mel - 17-Apr-18 @ 12:11 AM
Flora- Your Question:
Received NIP through the post for going 47 in a 40 zone - what is the likely outcome? Speed awareness or fine/points?

Our Response:
You are within the guide range for the offer of a speed awareness course but these are always offered at the discretion of the police.The alternative is likely to be a £100 fine plus 3 points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Apr-18 @ 11:39 AM
Received NIP through the post for going 47 in a 40 zone - what is the likely outcome? Speed awareness or fine/points?
Flora - 13-Apr-18 @ 11:35 AM
Grinan - Your Question:
Hi my seventeen year old son got caught doing 50 in a 65 but he only past his test and is restricted to 45 he received 3 points and 60 pound fine will he be offered the course because police who stopped him never mentioned it

Our Response:
No he's already been given the penalty - he won't be offered a course. There are no 65 mph speed limits in the UK as far as we are aware.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Apr-18 @ 12:50 PM
Hi my seventeen year old son got caught doing 50 in a 65 but he only past his test and is restricted to 45 he received 3 points and 60 pound fine will he be offered the course because police who stopped him never mentioned it
Grinan - 9-Apr-18 @ 6:18 PM
Parklife - Your Question:
I believe I was flashed yesterday doing approx 55-56 in a 40 zone (own fault, total lapse of concentration on a Friday evening, no excuses). It's a digital (led to believe from googling) red light/speed on green camera. What is the likely outcome? Clean license for nearly 18 years, first speeding offence. Totally expect hefty fine/points but would a ban be on the cards? Just preparing myself.

Our Response:
Yes it's above the limit for the offer of a course, but court action is often only taken for speeds of over 66mph in a 40. Assuming you didn't actually run a red light and it's just a speeding offence, the most likely penalty would be £100 fine and 3 points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Apr-18 @ 12:29 PM
Yas - Your Question:
Was caught doing 89 in a 70 - threshold for the course is 86 - I have a totally clean license previously no points no courses before. Very shocked I was even going that fast! Is there any way I’d be considered for the course? If not what will happen next?

Our Response:
All courses are offered at the discretion of the police, but in our experience they do tend to use the suggestion guidelines, so we'd assume a course offer to be unlikely. A court summons it usually issued at speeds of 96mph and above (in a 70 mph zone) so it's more likely you will be offered a fixed penalty of £100 fine plus 3 penalty points.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Apr-18 @ 12:08 PM
I believe I was flashed yesterday doing approx 55-56 in a 40 zone (own fault, total lapse of concentration on a Friday evening, no excuses). It's a digital (led to believe from googling) red light/speed on green camera. What is the likely outcome? Clean license for nearly 18 years, first speeding offence. Totally expect hefty fine/points but would a ban be on the cards? Just preparing myself.
Parklife - 7-Apr-18 @ 3:08 PM
Was caught doing 89 in a 70 - threshold for the course is 86 - I have a totally clean license previously no points no courses before. Very shocked I was even going that fast! Is there any way I’d be considered for the course? If not what will happen next?
Yas - 7-Apr-18 @ 10:19 AM
Lara - Your Question:
I have a speeding fine letter and I already have 11 points though I haven't done the awareness course in over 3 years, could I be able to have the course? I previously attended court as my ex rad up 5 points in the car and didn't attend court so I'm worried this will be it.

Our Response:
You haven't told us what speed you were doing and in what speed limit zone, so it's difficult to say whether you'd be offered a course or not (and there this is not a definitive right to a course any way)
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Apr-18 @ 2:56 PM
I have a speeding fine letter and I already have 11 points though I haven't done the awareness course in over 3 years, could I be able to have the course? I previously attended court as my ex rad up 5 points in the car and didn't attend court so I'm worried this will be it.
Lara - 5-Apr-18 @ 10:23 PM
I was caught doing 36mph in a 30 zone and received a speed awareness course, 2 weeks later a mobile unit said i was caught doing 24mph in a 20 zone. I requested another speed awareness course as I was told by the course taker i could request another course as it was a different offence and there is seperate courses for different speeding offences. anyway they have refused my request and want to give me 3 points is there anything I can do to avoid the points ?
raymond - 4-Apr-18 @ 5:50 PM
I was visited a family member in Manchester hospital. I was caught doing 39mph in a temporary 30 zone. I live in Suffolk so obviously am not local to the Manchester area. If the GMP decide I am allowed to take the speed awareness course, do they usually make people attend a course in the Manchester area? Or would I be allowed to do a speed awareness course closer to home? Thanks in advance. This is the first offence in 10 years of driving. :-(
Nat84 - 31-Mar-18 @ 10:15 AM
Hi i think i got flashed by a traffic signal camera which i think can now be speed cameras too, (I went through green) it was a 40mph zone i think i was doing around 60/65 :\ i have had my licence for almost 5 years never had a ticket before. what can I prepare for? Thanks
Amistry - 28-Mar-18 @ 2:37 PM
marty - Your Question:
Was clocked at 79mph on A449 Llantrisant 2 on 70mph road, Was going downhill and distracted by marked police car coming up behind doing (Est) 90-95mph, I was unable to pull over and so speeded up to let him past as was alongside a HGV tanker carrying foodstuffs.I am on PIP with very little money and would like help please.

Our Response:
79mph in a 70 may result in 3 penalty points plus a £100 or the offer of a Speed Awareness Course. Occasionally at the speed, the police will decide to take no further action. It's unlikely you reason for speeding will accepted as a suitable defence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Mar-18 @ 3:37 PM
Was clocked at 79mph on A449 Llantrisant 2 on 70mph road, Was going downhill and distracted by marked police car coming up behind doing (Est) 90-95mph, I was unable to pull over and so speeded up to let him past as was alongside a HGV tanker carrying foodstuffs.I am on PIP with very little money and would like help please.
marty - 25-Mar-18 @ 10:13 PM
Thank you for the speedy reply much apprishiated lesson well learnt even if I haven’t been caught
Pick93 - 9-Mar-18 @ 3:04 PM
Pick93 - Your Question:
Hello I believe I’ve been caught speeding it’s my first year driving and I think I was doing nearly 40 In a 30 what are my options:(

Our Response:
Guidelines suggest that you would be offered a fixed penalty of a £100 fine plus 3 points, or Speed Awareness Course. Courses are offered at the discretion of the police, (i.e you cannot request one).
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Mar-18 @ 2:46 PM
Wards - Your Question:
Hi,If accepted for the speed awareness course are you able to pay in instalments or do you have to pay the lump sum?Many thanks,Scott

Our Response:
You should be able to find details of the trainer that provides the courses in your area, contact them to find out whether they will accept payment in instalments.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Mar-18 @ 12:24 PM
Hello I believe I’ve been caught speeding it’s my first year driving and I think I was doing nearly 40 In a 30 what are my options:(
Pick93 - 8-Mar-18 @ 6:23 PM
Hi, If accepted for the speed awareness course are you able to pay in instalments or do you have to pay the lump sum? Many thanks, Scott
Wards - 8-Mar-18 @ 1:44 PM
55in40 - Your Question:
Hi I was caught doing 55mph in a 40mph section of dual carriageway as the motorway finishes. This exceeds the tolerance for the speed awareness course from guidelines I've seen by 2mph. Is there any scope for discretion available to offer the course or will I definitely have to take the penalty points? Thanks

Our Response:
There may be a degree of tolerance but courses are always offered at the discretion of the police anyway so we can't really say.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Mar-18 @ 11:14 AM
Hi, I was caught using my mobile phone whilst stopped at a signal. The police officer offer me an awareness course which I accepted. However few weeks later I received a letter giving me two options either accept 6 points and pay £200 fine or a court hearing. I was told that I would be offered a course. What can I do? Thanks, Mariam
Maz - 5-Mar-18 @ 5:49 PM
Hi I was caught doing 55mph in a 40mph section of dual carriageway as the motorway finishes. This exceeds the tolerance for the speed awareness course from guidelines I've seen by 2mph. Is there any scope for discretion available to offer the course or will I definitely have to take the penalty points? Thanks
55in40 - 3-Mar-18 @ 2:18 PM
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