ATP Template with bundler

Q584: Can I go on a speed awareness course instead of having points on my licence?


Answer

You can't suggest that you want to do a Speed Awareness Course, if you are eligible to attend the course you will be notified by the police. The criteria operated by each Police Force in relation to attending SACs differs slightly. The following are the guidelines operated by one police force:

  • You have admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence and returned the documentation within the 28 day period calculated from the date the notice was sent to you.
  • No more than 12 weeks have elapsed since the date of the alleged offence.
  • There were no further offences committed at the time of the alleged offence.
  • You have not attended a speed awareness course within the 3 years prior to the current offence.
  • You were driving at a speed which qualifies as per the table below.

LimitDevice toleranceFixed Penalty when education is not appropriateSpeed Awareness if appropriateSummons in all other cases and above
FromTo
20 mph22 mph24 mph24 mph31 mph35 mph
30 mph32 mph35 mph35 mph42 mph50 mph
40 mph42 mph46 mph46 mph53 mph66 mph
50 mph52 mph57 mph57 mph64 mph76 mph
60 mph62 mph68 mph68 mph75 mph86 mph
70 mph73 mph79 mph79 mph86 mph96 mph
All speeds identified above are those shown on the speed device, speedometer or other detection devices

Please note that because the guidelines differ from one force to another, if you have a particular question in relation to your eligibility to attend the course, you will need to contact your local police using the non-emergency 101 number and ask to speak to someone in either the Central Ticket Office/Process Bureau or Fixed Penalty Office (names vary between different police forces). You may need to keep trying the number because the lines are usually very busy.

Related questions


Answer

If a speed camera has recorded you speeding, you will receive a notice of intended prosecution/conditional offer. The notice of intended prosecution will be accompanied by a Section 172 notice, which you are required to complete to confirm the identity of the driver. Failure to provide these details may amount to an offence for which a prosecution could be pursued.

There is a statutory duty on all keepers of motor vehicles to be able to provide details of who has been driving the vehicle and keeping records is obviously the easiest way of doing this.

If you suspect your number plates have been cloned, please see Q381.

Did you find this question useful?

Answer

Each force operates under their own guidance and although they are not obliged to provide the photographic evidence, some will. However, many forces will not release photographic evidence unless the ticket is challenged (plead not guilty). You can request the photographic evidence and in doing so you must provide your Notice number and vehicle registration number, and you must be the person named on the notice of intended prosecution. Your request will then be considered by the relevant force in line with their guidance and policy, and you may then be sent the evidence, which will usually include the photographic evidence and/or a statement.

Any person accused of a criminal offence has the right to defend themselves and in order to do this, evidence of the breach of law must be provided to them. There is no requirement as to exactly what that evidence must be, only that it is evidence of the breach of the law and that you will be able to have a fair hearing.


Answer

Speed cameras are calibrated once a year as per the set guidelines. The cameras very rarely malfunction and if they do the faults are spotted before any notices of intended prosecution are issued and sent out.

Please also see the link in Related Information for official Government documentation on this topic.


Answer

Towing a caravan/trailer is an involved matter. It's not possible to cover in detail all the various issues you will need to consider. However, basic information is provided below:

Driving licences

Driving licences issued on or after 01.01.97
From 01.01.97 drivers who pass their car driving test (category B) can:

  • Drive vehicles up to 3500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) with up to 8 passengers seats with a trailer up to 750kg MAM.
  • Tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the drawing vehicle and trailer doesn't exceed 3500kg.

If you want to tow a trailer outside these provisions you'll need to take another test – usually for category BE.

Driving licences issued before 01.01.97
If you passed your car driving test (category B) before 01.01.97, you will usually be entitled to drive a motor vehicle and trailer with a combined MAM of up to 8250kg.

Passengers
It's against the law to carry passengers in a caravan when it's being towed.

Speed limits
It is also important to stick to the required speed limits – they are different for cars towing a caravan:

  • 60mph - motorways and dual carriageways
  • 50mph - single carriageways
  • 30mph - built-up areas

Motorways – third lane
On the motorway, a car towing a caravan is not permitted to use the right hand (offside) lane on a motorway, which has three or more lanes open for use.

Mechanical condition
Make sure your car and caravan are roadworthy with regard to their mechanical condition e.g. lights, tyres, brakes, number plates, mirrors etc.

Weights and plates
Make sure the weight of your drawing vehicle, your caravan and the combined weight of your car and caravan doesn't exceed the various weights shown on the plates on your drawing vehicle and caravan.

Tow ball
Make sure you comply with any requirements in relation to your car's tow ball e.g. weights, heights and breakaway couplings.

Mirrors
The basic requirement is that you must be able to see clearly down both sides of your caravan and 4 metres either side at a distance of 20 metres behind the caravan. If your existing car mirrors cannot provide this or you are doubtful as to whether they can, it is safest to fit extension towing mirrors otherwise you may commit an offence.

Insurance
Make sure your insurance covers towing a caravan/trailer – most insurers will need to know if you fit a tow ball to your vehicle and want to tow a caravan.

Further information
It's important to realise that the above only represent a basic guide to what's required. If you need further information, we would suggest you contact an approved dealer or an organisation such as the Caravan and Motorhome Club – please see the link below:

Caravan and Motorhome Club

The link below provides further information in relation to towing trailers:

Department for Transport - Guidance: towing a trailer with a car or van


Answer

If you're caught speeding, depending on the speed at which you were travelling, you may be given:

  • a warning,
  • an invitation to attend a Speed Awareness Course (see Q584),
  • an endorsable fixed penalty notice/traffic offence report,
  • a summons for court.

It's also more than likely that you will have to produce your documents (driving licence, insurance and MOT) at a police station of your choice within 7 days (unless you have all the necessary documentation with you).

Penalties
In relation to speeding it will all depend on the amount by which you exceeded the speed limit. If you are within certain parameters you may be offered a Speed Awareness Course and won't then receive points or a fine providing:

  • You have admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence and returned the documentation within the 28 day period calculated from the date the notice was sent to you.
  • No more than 12 weeks have elapsed since the date of the alleged offence.
  • There were no further offences committed at the time of the alleged offence.
  • You have not attended a speed awareness course within the 3 years prior to the current offence.
  • You were driving at a speed which qualifies as per the table below.
 
 

Limit

Device tolerance

Fixed Penalty when education is not appropriate

Speed Awareness if appropriate

Summons in all other cases and above

From

To

20 mph

22 mph

24 mph

24 mph

31 mph

35 mph

30 mph

32 mph

35 mph

35 mph

42 mph

50 mph

40 mph

42 mph

46 mph

46 mph

53 mph

66 mph

50 mph

52 mph

57 mph

57 mph

64 mph

76 mph

60 mph

62 mph

68 mph

68 mph

75 mph

86 mph

70 mph

73 mph

79 mph

79 mph

86 mph

96 mph

All speeds identified above are those shown on the speed device, speedometer or other detection devices

Alternatively, you could receive a £100 fixed penalty ticket and 3 points or if the matter goes to court you could receive a maximum fine of £1000 (£2500 if on a motorway) and 3 to 6 penalty points. If you were exceeding the speed limit by a great deal, you could receive a ban. As a general rule, if you're caught travelling in excess of 45%-50% of the speed limit you could be given an instant driving ban.

Foreign drivers
The above options also apply to foreign licence holders but it's a matter for the police to decide what action to take. Note that a foreign licence holder can take the Speed Awareness Course providing they are eligible - see Q584 for information on the Speed Awareness Course.

Did you find this question useful?

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

If you can't find the answer?

Submit A Question
 
Question

Q584: Can I go on a speed awareness course instead of having points on my licence?


Answer

You can't suggest that you want to do a Speed Awareness Course, if you are eligible to attend the course you will be notified by the police. The criteria operated by each Police Force in relation to attending SACs differs slightly. The following are the guidelines operated by one police force:

  • You have admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence and returned the documentation within the 28 day period calculated from the date the notice was sent to you.
  • No more than 12 weeks have elapsed since the date of the alleged offence.
  • There were no further offences committed at the time of the alleged offence.
  • You have not attended a speed awareness course within the 3 years prior to the current offence.
  • You were driving at a speed which qualifies as per the table below.

LimitDevice toleranceFixed Penalty when education is not appropriateSpeed Awareness if appropriateSummons in all other cases and above
FromTo
20 mph22 mph24 mph24 mph31 mph35 mph
30 mph32 mph35 mph35 mph42 mph50 mph
40 mph42 mph46 mph46 mph53 mph66 mph
50 mph52 mph57 mph57 mph64 mph76 mph
60 mph62 mph68 mph68 mph75 mph86 mph
70 mph73 mph79 mph79 mph86 mph96 mph
All speeds identified above are those shown on the speed device, speedometer or other detection devices

Please note that because the guidelines differ from one force to another, if you have a particular question in relation to your eligibility to attend the course, you will need to contact your local police using the non-emergency 101 number and ask to speak to someone in either the Central Ticket Office/Process Bureau or Fixed Penalty Office (names vary between different police forces). You may need to keep trying the number because the lines are usually very busy.


ATPLogo