What happens on a speed awareness course?

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What Happens On A Speed Awareness Course?

What to expect on a speed-awareness course?

If you are caught speeding, you may have the opportunity to attend a National Speed Awareness Course as an alternative to receiving penalty points on your driving licence.

Attending the course can help you improve your understanding of the importance of adhering to speed limits and promoting safer driving practices.

When will you be asked to attend a speed-awareness course?

If you’re caught exceeding the speed limit by the police or through a speed camera, you may be offered the opportunity to attend a speed-awareness course as an alternative to receiving penalty points on your driving licence. This option is part of the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS).

The purpose of the speed-awareness course is to educate drivers about the importance of adhering to speed limits, promoting responsible driving habits, and raising awareness of the potential consequences of speeding.

Within 14 days of the recorded speeding incident, you will receive a letter from the police explaining the offence and outlining your available options. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be given the choice to:

  • Pay a fine and accept penalty points on your driving licence.
  • Pay to attend a speed awareness course.
  • Contest the offence in court.

While the cost of the course is generally comparable to the fine, many individuals opt for the speed-awareness course to avoid having penalty points added to their licence. This can help prevent potential increases in car insurance premiums associated with points on your driving record.

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How much does a speed awareness course cost?

The cost of a speed-awareness course can vary depending on the location and the training provider. As of September 2022, the typical cost of a speed-awareness course ranges from £70 to £90. Some areas may offer the option to pay the course fees in instalments for added convenience.

Comparatively, the minimum fine for a speeding offence is £100, along with the addition of three penalty points on your driving licence. By opting to take the speed-awareness course, you can avoid the penalty points and keep your licence clean.

How Much Does A Speed-Awareness Course Cost

It’s important to consider the long-term benefits of attending a speed awareness course. Points on your licence can have a significant impact on your insurance premiums and can remain on your record for a minimum of four years, or even up to 11 years for more serious driving convictions.

Furthermore, a study conducted by GOV.UK found that attending a National Speed Awareness Course (NSAC) was more effective in reducing the rate of drivers speeding over the following three years compared to receiving a fine and penalty points.

Thus, taking the course not only helps you avoid immediate consequences but also provides valuable knowledge and awareness that can contribute to safer driving habits in the long run.

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Am I eligible to go on a speed-awareness course?

Your eligibility for a speed-awareness course depends on several factors, including the nature of your motoring offence and the specific guidelines set by the local police force.

Generally, if this is your first speeding offence or if it has been at least three years since your last speed-awareness course, you may be eligible to attend a course instead of receiving penalty points on your licence.

However, it’s important to note that eligibility also depends on the severity of your speeding offence. The speed at which you were caught driving needs to fall below a certain threshold, which is typically calculated as 10% of the speed limit plus 2mph.

If your speed exceeds these limits, it is considered a more serious speeding offence, and you may be required to appear in court. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) provides guidance on the threshold limits for different speed zones. Here are some examples:

  • Up to 31 mph in a 20 mph area
  • Up to 42 mph in a 30 mph area
  • Up to 53 mph in a 40 mph area
  • Up to 64 mph in a 50 mph area
  • Up to 75 mph in a 60 mph area
  • Up to 86 mph in a 70 mph area

It’s worth noting that police officers have some discretion in applying the guidelines, so it’s not an absolute rule.

To determine your eligibility for a speed-awareness course, you will receive a letter from the police within 14 days of the offence, providing information on the consequences and options available to you. This will include the option to attend a speed-awareness course if you meet the criteria.

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What happens on the speed-awareness course? What will I learn?

During the speed-awareness course, you will participate in a theoretical and classroom-based session that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of speeding and promote safer driving practices. The course does not involve any practical driving lessons, and there is no exam to pass.

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In pre-coronavirus times, the course was typically conducted in an interactive workshop format, where you would attend a session with other individuals who have committed speeding offences. However, due to the pandemic, virtual speed-awareness courses are now available online, following a similar format.

What Happens On The Speed-Awareness Course - What Will I Learn

Throughout the course, a trained instructor will utilise various teaching methods, such as videos and visual aids, to engage participants and facilitate discussions.

The emphasis is on encouraging drivers to understand the reasons behind speed limits, recognise the potential consequences of speeding, and develop practical strategies for driving more safely.

Key topics covered in the speed-awareness course include:

  • Speed limits: How to identify speed limits and determine the appropriate speed for different road conditions, including unfamiliar roads.

  • Dangers of speeding: Understanding the risks and potential consequences of speeding, both for yourself and others on the road.

  • Stopping distances: The impact of speed on stopping distances and the importance of maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.

  • Situational awareness: Enhancing awareness of your surroundings, maintaining focus, and identifying potential hazards on the road.

  • Peer pressure and responsible driving: Recognising and resisting pressures to speed from oneself and others, promoting responsible driving behaviours.

At the conclusion of the course, participants will have the opportunity to create a personal plan outlining how they intend to modify their driving behaviour to avoid speeding in the future.

The aim is to provide attendees with practical insights and strategies that they can implement to become safer and more responsible drivers.

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How long does a speed-awareness course last?

The duration of a speed-awareness course can vary depending on whether it is conducted virtually or in-person.

For virtual speed-awareness courses, you can expect the session to last approximately three hours. These online courses offer the flexibility of participating from the comfort of your own home, saving you travel time and expenses.

Speed Road Sign

If you are attending an in-person speed-awareness course, the duration is typically between three to five hours, including a short break. Additionally, you should allocate extra time for travelling to and from the course centre, depending on the proximity of the centre to your location.

It’s worth noting that the specific timings may vary slightly depending on the course provider and the content covered during the session. During the course, you will engage in interactive discussions, watch educational videos, and participate in activities designed to enhance your understanding of speed limits, the risks of speeding, and safe driving practices.

Regardless of the format, it is important to allocate sufficient time for the speed-awareness course to ensure that you can fully participate and benefit from the valuable information and insights provided.

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How many people will be on the course?

The number of participants in a speed-awareness course can vary depending on whether it is conducted in person or online.

For in-person courses, you can typically expect to join a group of around 12 to 24 other motorists. These courses offer an opportunity for interactive discussions and group activities, allowing participants to learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives.

How Many People Will Be On The Course

On the other hand, online speed-awareness courses generally have smaller class sizes to ensure effective participation and engagement. These virtual sessions typically accommodate up to nine other attendees, providing a more focused and intimate learning environment.

It’s important to note that the exact number of participants may vary depending on the specific course provider and the availability of course slots.

However, regardless of the number of attendees, the aim of the speed-awareness course remains the same: to promote safe and responsible driving behaviour and raise awareness about the importance of adhering to speed limits.

By participating in a course alongside other drivers, you’ll have the opportunity to gain insights from their experiences, engage in discussions, and collectively enhance your understanding of safe driving practices.

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When can I take a speed-awareness course?

Speed-awareness courses are offered at various times throughout the week, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate different schedules.

This means you won’t necessarily need to take time off work or disrupt your daily routine to attend.

It’s important to note that once you receive the option to attend a speed-awareness course as an alternative to penalty points on your licence, you must respond within the specified deadline mentioned in the police letter.

Failing to meet this deadline may result in your case being escalated to court, potentially leading to more severe consequences such as a driving ban.

To ensure a timely and appropriate response, carefully review the details provided in the letter and promptly indicate your intention to attend the course or pay the fixed penalty notice.

By taking the necessary steps within the given timeframe, you can avoid potential legal complications and continue your commitment to safe and responsible driving.

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Can you fail a speed-awareness course?

When attending a speed-awareness course, there is no formal pass or fail assessment. The course provider will evaluate your participation and engagement throughout the session. To successfully complete the course, it is expected that you attend the entire duration and actively contribute to discussions.

If, for any reason, you fail to complete the course, the provider will notify the police. They may provide you with the option to pay for a retake of the course or require you to pay the fine and accept the penalty points on your driving record.

It is important to respond to the initial police letter within the specified enforcement period, which outlines your options for taking the speed-awareness course or paying the fine. Failure to comply within this timeframe may result in further legal action, including a court appearance.

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Who runs speed-awareness courses?

Speed-awareness courses are conducted by various police forces in England and Wales. These courses are administered by UKROEd, a not-for-profit organization responsible for managing the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) on behalf of the police.

Each police force appoints a course provider within their region, who is regulated by the Association of National Driver Improvement Course Providers (ANDISP). These course providers are responsible for delivering speed-awareness courses to eligible drivers.

How many times can you take a speed-awareness course?

You are limited to taking a speed-awareness course once every three years. This time period is one year less than the duration that penalty points would remain on your driving licence. If you are unsure about when you last attended a course, you can verify the information on the NDORS website.

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How do I book a speed-awareness course?

To book a speed-awareness course, you need to follow the instructions provided in the letter you receive from the police. The letter will include a form that you should return within the specified time limit to indicate your acceptance of the course.

How Do I Book A Speed-Awareness Course

The letter will also inform you about the course provider in your area and provide instructions on how to book the course online. If you opt for an in-person course, you will receive a confirmation email with the course details and directions to the location.

For online courses, the booking process is similar, but you will receive an email with instructions on how to join a virtual meeting. It’s important to note that you must participate in the course alone and not have anyone else in the room with you during the session.

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What else do I need to know about attending a speed-awareness course?

When attending a speed-awareness course, whether in person or online, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Identification: Bring a form of photo ID, such as your driving licence or passport, to verify your identity. The course trainer will need to ensure that you are the registered attendee. You will also need your driving licence number, which can typically be found on your licence.

  • Online requirements: If attending an online course, make sure you have the necessary equipment. This includes a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with a functioning microphone and camera. Additionally, ensure that you have a reliable internet connection capable of streaming video. Find a quiet and comfortable location where you can participate in the course without distractions for the duration of about three hours.

  • No recording or photography: During the course, it is strictly prohibited to take pictures or record any of the material. This is to ensure the privacy and integrity of the course content.

  • Punctuality: Arrive early for the course, whether in person or online. Late arrival may result in a refusal of entry, and you may need to rebook the course at an additional cost. If you anticipate being unable to attend the scheduled course, you may be able to reschedule within the enforcement period specified in the letter from the police.

Remember to carefully review all the instructions provided in the letter and follow any additional guidance provided by the course provider.

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Will taking a speed-awareness course affect my car insurance?

Taking a speed-awareness course can potentially have an impact on your car insurance premium.

It’s important to consider both scenarios: whether attending the course could increase your premium or if having a speeding conviction and penalty points on your licence would have a greater impact.

While the police and speed-awareness course providers won’t directly inform your insurance provider about your participation in a course, it is your responsibility to notify them if required.

Check your insurance policy to see if it specifically asks about attending a speed-awareness course. If it does, you should inform your insurance company accordingly to ensure you comply with their requirements.

It’s crucial to be honest with your insurance provider, as providing false information could invalidate your policy. If your current car insurance company asks about speed-awareness courses and your situation has changed, it’s important to contact them and provide the necessary details.

Remember that each insurance provider has their own policies and criteria for determining premiums, so it’s advisable to contact your insurance company directly to discuss how attending a speed-awareness course may impact your specific policy.

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