Speed, or the inappropriate use of speed, is a factor in a significant percentage of road traffic incidents. The greater the speed involved the more serious the incident is likely to be. It is estimated that excessive or inappropriate speed is a contributory factor in the majority of vehicle collisions.
The National Speed Awareness Scheme has been born out of the success of the National Driver Improvement Scheme (NDIS). The fundamental point of any course is that education, as an alternative to prosecution must be based on a driver’s mistake, rather than a reckless or intentional act, with the objective that the offender benefits from the course and contributes to road and community safety, with potential environmental benefits also.
The Dept for Transport sponsored a significant research project into the methodology of re-educating speeding motorists. This culminated in the publication of the DfT's report No 66 of 2006 entitled "Effective Interventions for Speeding Motorists".
NADIP in conjunction with NDORS have developed the current course and all courses are run to the national model. The courses themselves are run by Local Authority Road Safety Departments and by private companies, who are contracted or appointed as service providers for their respective Police Authorities.
The course is an alternative to prosecution, for all speed bands and classes of vehicle speeds except 20 mph zones. Previous driving history will not be taken into account when making an offer.
The course is no soft option for the offender. Attendance on the course attracts a fee payable by the offender, as well as the time and effort involved. The course is modular and may vary from force to force. Some forces will adopt the theory only element of four hours duration. However, there is an option to add a practical element that takes the course duration up to five hours. The course will cater for all classes of drivers and there will be no discrimination regarding age, ability, language, ethnic origin or ability.
The National Speed Awareness Scheme will allow offenders who have committed the offence of speeding to be offered a course in the area of their choice, providing the force in question has adopted the National Scheme arrangements.
Once an motorist has completed a course they will be ineligible for another course offer if they reoffend within 3 years of the original offence.
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