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A Beginner's Guide to Speed Awareness Courses: Everything You Need to Know

Even the most seasoned drivers can make minor errors on the road. It only takes one instant of neglect to get caught by a speed camera travelling much above the speed limit.

In some situations, this may result in points on your licence and a substantial punishment. In other situations, you may be requested to attend one of the invite-only speed awareness workshops. This article will explain what speed awareness courses are, who is entitled to take one, how it may affect your auto insurance, and much more!

What Are Speed Awareness Courses?

Drivers who have been identified speeding may be granted the option of taking speed awareness training. Local police provide it as a backup to obtaining points on your licence and a fine.
These courses are educational sessions aimed at re-educate speeding offenders—helping them recall portions of the Highway Code and truly appreciate the repercussions of reckless driving, as we’ll explain in more detail in the ‘what to anticipate on the day’ portion.
The amount of drivers taking speed awareness lessons has surged dramatically in recent years. According to the TTC Group, 1.9 million motorists choose a course over 3 points on their licence and a fine in 2018. While the training may end up costing the same as the fee, you will avoid accruing penalty points. Understand that if you acquire 12 or more points within three years, or six points within the first two years of driving, you may be banned.

Before you start disregarding speed limits totally, you should be aware that these training programs are only available to those who fit the qualifications.

Who is Eligible for a Speed Awareness Course?

The criteria for eligibility vary depending on the jurisdiction, but there are some general guidelines that apply to most areas. In most cases, drivers who have been caught driving at a speed that is no more than 10% plus 2 mph over the legal limit are eligible for a Speed Awareness Course. For example, if the legal speed limit is 30 mph, drivers who were driving at a speed of no more than 42 mph may be offered a course instead of a fine and penalty points.

It’s important to note that eligibility for a Speed Awareness Course is not automatic. Even if the driver meets the criteria for attendance, it’s up to the discretion of the police officer who issued the ticket whether to offer the course or not. The decision may be based on a variety of factors, including the driver’s past driving record, the circumstances of the offence, and the severity of the offence.

Drivers may also be ineligible for a Speed Awareness Course in certain circumstances. For example, if the motorist has previously completed a Speed Awareness Course within the last three years, they may be ineligible to do another. Similarly, if the driver was travelling too fast or committed another traffic violation at the same time, they may not be awarded a Speed Awareness Course.

Drivers may be provided an alternative to a Speed Awareness Course in some situations, such as a Driver Improvement Program or a Court Hearing. If the driver does not fulfil the criteria for being eligible for a Speed Awareness Course or if the police officer considers that more severe punishment is needed, these options may be issued.

How Much Do They Cost and Who Provides Them?

The cost of a Speed Awareness Course typically ranges from around £80 to £120 in the UK, but this can vary depending on the location and the provider. The cost may also be influenced by whether the course is taken online or in-person, with online courses usually being less expensive than in-person courses. Some providers may offer discounts for early payment or for drivers who attend voluntarily, rather than as a result of a court order.

It is worth noting that the cost of a Speed Awareness Course is generally not covered by insurance, and drivers are responsible for paying the cost of the course themselves. However, some employers may offer to cover the cost of the course for employees who are caught speeding while driving for work purposes.

What Can I Anticipate on the Big Day?

Depending on the supplier, the training will run 4 to 5 hours. You will not be the only driver in presence; the training will be attended by up to 25 other individuals. The workshop format will be used for the course. It is primarily taught in a classroom setting, though certain suppliers might offer in-car practical instruction. While there will be no official tests, you must actively engage in discussions.
The entire purpose of this program is to reduce your risks of speeding in the future and to make you aware of the hazards of speeding.

The training session will include:

  • Analyse the reason you were speeding.
  • Explain to you about the consequences of your actions.
  • Improve your understanding of the Highway Code and stopping distances.
  • Assist you in understanding different speed limits and where they apply.
  • Show you how to recognize and prevent risks.
  • Take you over some possible defensive driving methods.

You’ll be free to continue on your way after completing the course to the approval of the provider—staying for the duration of the training session and engaging in conversations. Following completion of the program, the instructor will contact the police to notify them.

Keep in mind that your information will be stored in the NDORS database, and if you are caught speeding again within three years of completing the training program, you will face a fine and three points on your licence. You must bring your driver’s licence or two additional forms of identification, or you may be denied access to the program. You should also try to arrive 15 minutes early.

Why Should I Take a Speed Awareness Course?

To begin with, taking a Speed Awareness Course can help you improve your driving behaviour. The training is intended to inform drivers about the dangers of speeding and to encourage them to practise safer driving habits. You’ll discover how speeding can affect stopping distances, reaction times, and the severity of accidents. You’ll also learn about the many sorts of speed limits and how to obey them, as well as how to manage your speed in various road conditions and surroundings.

Attending a Speed Awareness Course might also help you avoid some of the consequences of speeding. Drivers who take a Speed Awareness Course may be able to prevent penalty points on their licence in some situations, which can have a substantial influence on their insurance premiums and driving record. While there may be a fee for attending the course, it is frequently less than the cost of a fine and the related penalties.

In addition to these practical advantages, taking a Speed Awareness Course can provide you with a sense of personal fulfilment. You’ll feel more confident and in control behind the wheel if you accept responsibility for your driving conduct and actively endeavour to improve it. You’ll also be able to take pleasure in the notion that you’re helping to create a safer, more responsible driving culture in your community.

Will it Affect my Car Insurance?

In general, attending a Speed Awareness Course is viewed positively by insurance companies because it demonstrates that you are taking steps to improve your driving behaviour and reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Some insurance companies may even offer discounts to drivers who have completed a Speed Awareness Course.

It’s important to check with your car insurance company to determine their specific policy regarding Speed Awareness Courses. Some insurance companies may require you to disclose the fact that you attended a Speed Awareness Course, while others may not take it into account at all.

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