A speed awareness course is an alternative to the fixed penalty process, being fined and getting three penalty points on your licence, when your speed has been recorded marginally above the limit.
What does this course mean?
You attend a course and pay a fee, which differs depending on where in the country you opt to take your course. The course is aimed to re-educate people to become safer drivers and hopefully avoid exceeding the speed limit in the future. You will not have to pay the £100 fixed penalty or more importantly not receive the three penalty points on your driving licence.
Why do three points matter?
Your insurance company will need to be notified if you get points on your licence. This can often increase your insurance premium for up to three years.
The points count on your licence for three years and stay on for four years. If you get 12 points on your licence in three years, you normally lose your licence for up to six months.
By attending the speed awareness course you not only avoid three points, you also have the chance to gain the skills to avoid more points in future!
New drivers should also note if in the first two years of passing your test you accumulate six penalty points on your driving licence it will be revoked by the DVLA. The DVLA will notify you and you must apply for a new provisional, drive as a learner and pass both the theory and practical tests again in order to regain a full licence. You will have no driving entitlement until a provisional licence is issued.
A course and NO penalty points sounds good - are there any drawbacks?
You will have to give up some of your time to attend the course and you also have to pay for the course. By doing this you will not receive any penalty points on your driving licence.
When and where are the courses held?
There are national speed awareness and diversionary courses available at various locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Course length and cost does vary depending on which area you choose to attend. The current provider for County Durham and Darlington is Hartlepool Borough Council. During the Coronavirus pandemic courses are being held on line, more information will be provided when booking the course.
Telephone 01429 523803 or book online at http://www.cleveland-durhamcourses.co.uk
Please note: Due to covid-19 and following Government advice all physical classroom courses have now been cancelled until further notice. Courses are online via a virtual classroom on the video conference platform Zoom, you will be able to book these when entering the booking site and these are the only courses available.
Will there be a test? Can I fail?
There is no test to pass, but you are required to "complete the course in a satisfactory way." This means you must make a positive contribution to the course by participating fully.
Is the course a lecture and do I have to complete coursework?
No, it is a chance to look at some habits that you might have developed, discuss them with others in a relaxed atmosphere and explore some good driving tips with an experienced trainer. There is no requirement for coursework.
Will I have to notify the police on completion of the course?
On satisfactory completion of the course, Durham Constabulary will be informed of your participation and the notice closed.
Do I have to do the course?
No, this is entirely up to you. If you decide not to accept the offer of the course you still have the option of complying with the Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty within the statutory 28 days.
What some people have said after being on a Speed Awareness Course:
“I was very happy with the course, it was excellent and the instructor was also excellent”
“Very good value. The course instructor was positive and professional and made the course interesting and informative.”
“Thank you for giving me the offer of attending a course. It has made me very conscious of speed requirements, not only in mandatory speed areas but a general reduction in speed at all times. Benefits have included an increase in fuel economy, a less stressful journey and giving much more attention to other road users.”