Speed Awareness Course
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 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 Licence3 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)
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?
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.
You might also like…
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story…
I would like to ask if i get 6 points because i went through a red light is there a chance to do a course of some sort so the 6 points does not go on my license?
poly – 24-Jul-15 @ 11:53 AM
I received a letter because i was doing 37 in 30mph zone. I admitted it as I didn’t realise it was 30mph area.
I’ve been given option to take the course or to get 3 points on license with 100 fine.if i choose option 1 speed awareness course, 80 , so how many times should i have to attend class,
cha – 19-Jul-15 @ 12:29 AM
Hi I’ve just been caught speeding, I completed a course for a mobile phone offence a couple of months ago, will I be able to take a course again being as though it’s a different offence?
Jam – 18-Jul-15 @ 1:52 PM
Hi, I attended a speed awareness course 8 months ago and I think I ve just been caught again. If my assumption is confirmed what will be my fate? Thanks
Ed – 17-Jul-15 @ 11:40 AM
we have had a letter through at work about my van doing 44 in a 30mph zone, it was me.
I know I was speeding but I wondered what the chances were of me doing the awareness course. I’ve never had any points or convictions in 23 years.
Paulw – 16-Jul-15 @ 8:37 PM
i was recently caught speeding in a 30mph zone I was done by a speed camera at 35mph I was unaware n thought it was a 40mph with it being a two lane road. I have just recently passed my test this year I expect my insurance may go up now but im more worried about 3 points on my clean licence can I apply to do speed awareness course, n also will it affect me as im sure your only allowed up to six points as a new driver.
could anyone offer me any info thanks
micky – 9-Jul-15 @ 5:40 PM
I received a letter from the police saying that I could attend a speed awareness course instead of having 3 points on my licence – but I have stupidly mislaid the letter and can’t remember which county it was issued from. Can I trace it on-line somehow? Thankyou
Sarah – 8-Jul-15 @ 12:21 PM
Your insurance should not really be affected but different companies seem to treat this differently. Some still treat it as an offence and some seem to consider that you will be more speed aware having been on a course. Many companies do not ask specifically if you have attended a course anyway.
NoPenaltyPoints – 8-Jul-15 @ 12:13 PM
The points that are covered in this test should already have been covered in the learners licence.
An IQ and common sense test should be introduced along with a driving test as it is obvious from see the roads in the U.K. that the majority of drivers would fail it. Speed traps are not the solution.
50 years ago there were no speed limits. Why? Not enough cars on the road to warrant it.
Now; there’s a thought. Up the quality and availability of public transport and get some of these drivers off the already over populated roads.
surgicalsam – 7-Jul-15 @ 10:28 PM
@Jay. this will be treated as a separate offence for which obviously can’t be offered a course.
You’ll most probably receive 3 penalty points and 100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints – 6-Jul-15 @ 12:01 PM
I received a letter because i was doing 37 in 30mph zone. I admitted it as I didn’t realise it was 30mph area. I’ve been given option to take the course or to get 3 points on license with 100 fine.
If I take the course will my insurance premium go up? Or is insurance not affected by taking the course and only affects license with points?
MB – 3-Jul-15 @ 11:00 PM
@Fred. If you’re lucky, you’ll be offered a speed awareness course otherwise it’s most likely 100 fine and 3 points on your licence.
Take care not to gain any more points or you will lose your licence under the New Drivers Act.
NoPenaltyPoints – 3-Jul-15 @ 12:28 PM
I am waiting to attending a speed awareness course due to a previous offence and now I have been issued another ticket by a police officer for failing to stop at a red light which was by accident, my course has been paid for and I’m still waiting to attend but what will happen, now that I’ve been issued with another ticket before my course?
Jay – 2-Jul-15 @ 3:04 AM
@UWbilly. If you have been caught speeding and already have 9 points it’s likely your licence will be revoked.
NoPenaltyPoints – 1-Jul-15 @ 2:04 PM
I was caught by a speed gun doing 40mph in a 30mph zone, and i’m only 17 and past my test 1 month ago. What kind of punisment will i get
Fred – 30-Jun-15 @ 2:49 PM
You’ve not given us much information but after a court has awarded points you’d find it very difficult to appeal further. Seel professional legal advice for an idea of your chances.
NoPenaltyPoints – 29-Jun-15 @ 12:37 PM
I have 9 points one for no insurance 6 points run out 2 days before I forgot the date to renew and 3 points using my mobile. I’m not sure if I’ve been court speeding as it was only yesterday I went passed a speed camera I think I may of been going around 35 the camera did go off so I’m worried sick.
I done a speed awareness course about 4 years ago do you think I could have the option to do it again if I was speeding?
uw billy – 28-Jun-15 @ 3:55 PM
@Mash. Yes you can if it is considered appropriate.
NoPenaltyPoints – 25-Jun-15 @ 10:37 AM
I was caught doing 44 in a 30 as I came off a motorway and on to a quieter road. It’s my first offense and, to be honest I’m devastated.
The letter I received had no mention of the speeding course. Does this mean there is no chance of it.
P-Man – 24-Jun-15 @ 9:44 PM
how does anyone know how long ago I went on a speed awareness course Probably 3years ago I don’t honestly know Suppose it’s two and a half years ago And I’m due to go on the course again soon Any body help me please
PJ – 23-Jun-15 @ 4:54 PM
I got 3 point to my licence using mobile phone and I went to court, I lost the court . So do I have any chance to clear this point ?
Gunad888 – 22-Jun-15 @ 11:32 PM
As long as you have proof that your application is underway, you should be fine.
NoPenaltyPoints – 22-Jun-15 @ 2:22 PM
I have been driving for less then a year. Can I be offered the speed awareness course instead of getting points?
Mash – 20-Jun-15 @ 11:24 PM
I am due to go on a speed awareness course next week but my photo driving licence has expired. I have applied for a new one, but if this does not come in time, will I still be able to attend the course with an expired licence?
Wacko – 17-Jun-15 @ 2:07 PM
@GL. If a speed awareness course is an option this will offered at the discretion of the police. The fact that the school was closed would probably not be considered relevant.
NoPenaltyPoints – 12-Jun-15 @ 1:47 PM
Different police authorities seem to treat this differently. Some will overlook one of the offences but many will penalise for both. You may be offered a course for one of the offences and points/fine for the other if you’re lucky.
Otherwise you’ll be given points for both and a revokation under the New Drivers Act.
NoPenaltyPoints – 10-Jun-15 @ 11:08 AM
@Jayevs119. You can contact the police force (where you were caught speeding the last time) and ask them for the information. Alternatively, if you can recall the details of the training provider and/or venue, you can probably contact them and ask them to check their records.
NoPenaltyPoints – 9-Jun-15 @ 2:15 PM
I have an intent to prosecute for speeding in a 20mph zone.
A short road with a school. The school was closed because of half term. There were no pedestrians anywhere and no other moving vehicles than my own.
I accept breaking the limit but could I appeal for a SAC given the situation at the time?
GL – 9-Jun-15 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, i’ve been driving for about 6 months and was caught doing 38 in a 30 and then 5 minutes later doing 42 in a 30 on the same road. Will i not be offered a speed awareness course because i have committed two speeding offences in one night, even though they were only 5 minutes apart?
Nirtac – 6-Jun-15 @ 11:50 AM
How can I check when I had attended a speed awareness course course in past years. I have attended 1 course previous, but dont know when.
Can this be done?
Jayevs119 – 5-Jun-15 @ 9:19 PM