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 a fixed penalty ticket with three penalty points and a £100 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.

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.

You may be able to influence that decision by acting as soon as you receive your notice of intended prosecution. Speak to one our specialist speeding solicitors to find out how you could avoid prosecution and points.

Would I be eligible for a course?

Usually  eligible drivers 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.

Below are the Speed Awareness Course guidelines

Limit Device tolerance Speed awareness from To
20 mph 22mph 24mph 31mph
30mph 32mph 35mph 42mph
40mph 42mph 46mph 53mph
50mph 52mph 57mph 64mph
60mph 62mph 68mph 75mph
70mph 73mph 79mph 86mph

 

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.

 

What will happen if I do not attend the 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?

You must 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 the fine. If you do the course you will, of course, avoid penalty points which 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 an approved driving instructor (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 defend my case and am unsuccessful, can I Still go on the Course?

No. If you decide that you want to defend your case 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.

 

Your Time, Money and Behaviour on the course.

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

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.

If you have received a fixed penalty ticket or a summons you cannot usually be offered a speeding awareness course but sometimes depending on the circumstances, the police can be persuaded to offer you a course and then once completed they will withdraw the proceedings against you. We can help you achieve this.


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