Speed Awareness Courses in the UK
In the UK, a Speed Awareness Course is an educational program offered as an alternative to receiving a fixed penalty notice (FPN) and penalty points on your driving license for certain speeding offenses. The aim of these courses is to promote safer driving and increase awareness of the dangers of speeding. Here's how they work:
1. Eligibility: You may be eligible for a Speed Awareness Course if:
- You were caught driving slightly over the speed limit within a certain threshold (usually around 10% plus 2 mph), but not at excessive speeds.
- You haven't attended a speed awareness course within the last three years.
- You haven't committed a more serious offense that requires immediate prosecution, like dangerous driving or excessive speeding.
2. Offer of a Course: If you meet the eligibility criteria, instead of receiving a fine and penalty points, you may receive an offer to attend a Speed Awareness Course. This offer typically comes through a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) or a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty (COFP).
3. Booking and Attendance: If you choose to accept the offer, you'll need to book and attend the course within a specified timeframe (usually a few months). Courses are conducted by approved providers and are typically held at local venues. You'll need to pay a fee for the course, which varies depending on the location and provider.
4. Course Content: The Speed Awareness Course typically lasts around half a day (about 4 hours) and includes a mix of classroom-based and interactive learning. During the course, you'll cover topics such as:
- The dangers of speeding.
- The consequences of speeding, including the impact on road safety and the environment.
- How to assess and manage your own speed.
- Strategies for avoiding future speeding violations.
5. Certificate of Completion: Once you've successfully completed the course, you'll receive a certificate of attendance. This means you won't receive penalty points on your driving license for the specific speeding offense you were caught for.
6. Non-Completion: If you fail to complete the course for any reason, you'll likely face the original penalty, including fines and penalty points.
7. Insurance Impact: It's important to note that while attending a Speed Awareness Course won't result in penalty points on your driving license, some insurance companies may still consider it when determining your insurance premium. Be sure to check with your insurer for their policy on this matter.
Remember that eligibility criteria, course availability, and specific procedures may vary slightly depending on your location within the UK. It's essential to carefully consider your options and act promptly if you receive an offer to attend a Speed Awareness Course, as missing the deadline may result in a fine and penalty points.