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About the Speed Awareness Course

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Within Sussex, the Speed Awareness Course is provided by East Sussex and West Sussex County Councils, although it is available nationwide. The cost of a course is currently £85 (as at 08/11) and the course is classroom based, lasting 4 hours. It is a theory only course and there is no practical element.

The Speed Awareness Course is offered to those individuals who have made a minor driving error and have been detected travelling slightly over the speed limit in any speed limit band and who have not attended such a course within three years of the previous offence.  The Course gives us the opportunity to educate rather than punish.  This is in line with national Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines and ensures that the proportionality of response is appropriate to the level of offence committed.

By attending a Speed Awareness Course, individuals will not have any points added to their licence or have to pay a fine.

Conditions for Speed Awareness Course  :-

  • That the offender is exceeding the speed limits as defined in the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984.
  • There is a reasonable chance of a successful prosecution.
  • There are no other offences being dealt with by way of prosecution.
  • The offender has not completed a National Speed Awareness Course within the last three years of the date of the previous offence
  • The driver may be the holder of a full or provisional driving licence.
  • If an offender receives 2 offers for 2 offences which have been committed within a short period of time, the second offer will be dis-regarded for speed awareness and the conditional offer process will deal with the second offence

Applicable speed bands:-

Sussex Police begin enforcement at speeds of 10% + 3mph over the posted limit.  This is more generous than ACPO Guidelines which suggest beginning enforcement at 10% +2mph of the posted limit.  We believe that this additional buffer makes a crucial difference between penalising unsafe speeds and not penalising those who accidentally exceed the limit through a momentary lapse in concentration.

The Speed Awareness Course is offered for offences at the following speeds (subject to the above criteria being met):

  • 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 & 42 MPH in a 30 MPH Limit
  • 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 & 53 MPH in a 40 MPH Limit
  • 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 & 64 MPH in a 50 MPH Limit
  • 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 & 75 MPH in a 60 MPH Limit
  • 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 & 86 MPH in a 70 MPH Limit

The course is not applicable for offences committed in a 20mph limit.

Time constraints :-

  • The offender must reply to the Sussex Police offer within 14 days.
  • Once the Course Provider sends an offer letter, the offender must reply within 21 days.
  • If no response is received, the matter reverts back to the Police for further disposal
  • A course can only be offered if it can be taken up and completed within four and half months from the date of the offence.

Providing the conditions, time limits and thresholds are met, a course is offered automatically.

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