Driver Awareness Course

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Maydup | 20:41 Fri 12th Jul 2019 | Motoring
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I have receive a speeding notice today, 37 mph in 30 limit and offered opportunity to attend drivers awareness course, which I thought I would opt for. Sadly we were on holiday at the time and if I want to take the course I can only do it in that county which is over 6 hours away therefore not a possibility.

I was surprised to read loud and clear that there is no reciprical arrangement with other counties, so my only option is the fixed penalty and points.

Unless anyone has any other suggestions?


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That's odd. The Kent CC website (for example) says "You can take the course in other areas in the UK" and provides a link to here:
It might be worth trying to register on that site anyway.
Question Author
Not the same in Dorset, states loud and clear that there is no reciprical arrangement. I will double check on your link, but i think if i go on a course via that website it would not cancel the notice.
Question Author
Checked and i have to accept a course in Dorset, get the relevant pin to then register on that site. I'm one stage before that witn first notice letter.

Choices are course in Dorset, fixed penalty or court.
As the letter you've received states, "you do not have the ‘right’ to attend . . . ", so, unless you can get down to Dorset, you'll have to accept the fixed penalty and points:

All I can suggest is accepting a course somewhere near to a rail station and taking a train to Dorset. The cost of return rail travel between Norwich and Bournemouth, for example, (using Advance tickets) starts from around £80:
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Thanks Chris. I think I will just have to pay the fine which is £100. The course costs the same amount, plus the train ticket, plus a day off from work when I have just had time off for holiday. So be it. Grrrr. It just seems so unfair that its not consistant across the country, and that different counties are allowed to have different arrangements.
Dorset for some reason which I cannot explain "stands alone" in its speed awareness course arrangements. It is a two-edged sword. Yes, you have to travel to Dorset to do a course if you are caught there. But....if you do take a course in Dorset it does not count under the "three year" rule (you can only do one course in three years). This means if you are caught again in any other county within three years you can still do a course. It also works the other way round - if you do a course elsewhere and are then caught in Dorset within three years you can do a course in Dorset.

I've never understood why Dorset does not participate in the national scheme. You might like to take this on board before you make up your mind.
Can someone explain the point of the "awareness course"? Is it related to things like "anger management" courses?

I value education, but there appears to be an unproven premise here: that stupid or nasty people can be persuaded to understand and care about the consequences of their actions.

I'm not suggesting this is impossible, only that these policies look expensive and seem to this poster unlikely to achieve their goals.
I can tell that you have not done one of these courses VE.

I admit I have, and found the course to be surprisingly helpful.
I am sure for many it does help to modify their behaviour.

For those who it doesn't, they will surely get caught again and next time have to take the points.
Someone I know (the lady who runs a local burger van that I occasionally frequent) attended a driver awareness course recently. She said that she felt that she'd benefited from it, as it reminded her of things in her initial driver eduction which she'd largely forgotten about or brought her up to date with some things which have changed over the years.

She could also see that some others on the course seemed to have gained something from it but, equally, there were a couple of people who clearly weren't paying any attention to what was said or otherwise taking an active part in the course. However the course tutor hinted strongly that she'd be reporting their lack of involvement to the police, so that (after having already paid the fee for the course) they'd end up back with the option of paying the fixed penalty (and accepting the points that go with it) or taking the matter before a court.
I've attended two "Speed Awareness" courses (as an observer in connection with some work I do). It is quite eye opening to observe what some drivers simply do not know about speed limits. Many believe the National Speed Limit (NSL) on single carriageway roads is 70mph; many believe a dual carriageway automatically bestows a 40mph limit in a restricted" (30mph) area; very few have any idea of the signage requirements (repeaters, etc.) for limits other than NSL; few know of the "street light" rule which automatically bestows a 30mph limit unless signed to the contrary.

Yes, I noted a number twiddling their thumbs and staring out of the window. The instructor warned them that failure to properly participate would see them fail the course and two actually were failed.
Are Britain's roads likely to be safer places because of these courses or not?

My mind is open on the issue. I'm looking for possible evidence.
The evidence is that some of us who have attended the course admit that it has had an effect on us and we have modified our driving as a result.
It's arguable whether they are safer places. However, I think it's worth a crack (and generally - apart from the Dorset issue I highlighted - drivers only get one go in three years). The level of ignorance with speed limits is quite astounding from what I saw. Of course the next argument is that if you can persuade people to adhere to the speed limits does that necessarily make the roads safer. But it's a bit late for that.
As has already been suggested, the courses don't make any difference to some people's behaviour. However you could say exactly the same thing about courses for sex offenders, domestic violence abusers, et al.

Such courses are never going to be 100% effective but, if they help to reduce the numbers of abused children and women (as well as some men) in our country, they've got to be worth trying.

Similarly, if driver awareness courses only get some people to drive more safely, that's better than having everyone who breaks the speed limit (etc) carrying on as before with their driving habits.
//Such courses are never going to be 100% effective but, if they help to reduce the numbers of abused children and women (as well as some men) in our country, they've got to be worth trying//

Yeah, I suppose I kind of buy that: if you can save just one child's life, etc.

You might understand a cynic's view that the benefits of such programs are largely (except in Hopkirk's case) hypothetical, whereas the commercial opportunities for companies and their government/quango sponsors which create and promote these programs are probably very real.
for me
I am surprised that there is any road where one can do 37 mph in Dorset.
// the numbers of abused children and women//
oh god am I on the right thread?
Lucky wife. She was recorded doing 33 in a 30mph limit in Sopley. She was about 500 yds over the Dorset/Hants border so was able to elect Sutton, Surrey for her awareness course in the Holiday Inn.
She considered the speed awareness course quite enlightening and worthwhile as did a ex police officer pal of mine who was Gatso'd in South Wales whilst hurrying to his Aunt's funeral.
My brother in law runs one (x traffic police officer) and you get some good advice and no points.
//for me
I am surprised that there is any road where one can do 37 mph in Dorset.//

The road from Christchurch to Ringwood via Sopley changes from 30 to 40 and 50 about every 600yds. Pain in the Butt. I was amazed how accurate the Sat Nav speed direction signs were on my car.

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