Speed Awareness Course - History and Background

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, particularly those in rural areas.

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. The objective is that the offender benefits from the course by being able to contribute to both road safety and and the environment

The Department for Transport (DfT) 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 course as a  national model. The courses themselves are run by Local Authority Road Safety Departments and private companies who are contracted or appointed as Course Providers by their respective Police Authorities.

The course is an educational alternative to prosecution and is available through individual police forces subject to their own internal policies. Previous driving history will not be taken into account when Police make an offer to the driver offender.

The course is no soft option. Attendance on the course attracts a fee payable by the driver/rider, as well as the time and effort involved.  The course is theory only as there is no driving involved. The course will cater for all classes of drivers regardless of age, ability, language, ethnic origin or ability.

The National Speed Awareness Scheme will allow drivers/riders 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 a driver/rider has completed a course they will be unable to attend another Speed Awareness Course within three years of the original offence.