If you’ve been caught speeding in Kent or Medway then there’s a chance you will be offered a Speed Awareness Course, rather than receiving penalty points.
The idea behind the course is to educate drivers rather than simply punish them, thus improving driving standards and preventing re offenders. Implemented by Kent police, they appoint an individual to over look the scheme in each given area, for example one in Ashford, Canterbury, Maidstone and so on!
Who Can Attend?
You are not guaranteed an offer of attending the course and ultimately it’s down to Kent police as to who receives the offer. As a general rule of thumb those who are caught speeding, but not excessively will get first refusal.
Of course there is a technical element to the selection procedure, which is outlined differently between each police force. As a loose example the police are keen to reduce speeding in 20 and 30mph zones. So if caught driving at 35mph then you are likely to be offered a place. If a car travelling at 30mph rather than 35mph hits a pedestrian, the chances of a fatality are reduced significantly. This highlights the logic of wanting to educate car owners rather than just punishing them.
If you are offered a place on the course, you will be given a time, date and place to attend. Be aware that if you decline the place on the course, penalty points and the subsequent fine will be applied immediately.
Motorists in Kent are only allowed to attend these courses once every three years. Also please be aware that you must complete the course within four months after the date of the offence. If you decide to appeal your speeding fine but are unsuccessful, then your opportunity to attend and have the points and fine dropped are taken away. You will then have no choice but to take the penalty points!
Can’t Attend The Course?
At CarsFromKent.com our biggest piece of advice is: Don’t be late! Make sure you leave plenty of time to allow for traffic, as you won’t be able to join the class after it has begun. At this point you have lost your chance and a fine and penalty points will be on their way to you.
Furthermore if you are unwell, be sure to call the organizer ASAP and obtain a doctors note. This is very important and only then will Kent police consider allowing you to join another class on another date.
Is There A Cost?
As expected there is a cost involved for attending the course. After all you’re the car owner / offender and the police aren’t going to foot the bill. Depending on the organizer, the cost is usually £60. Consider this a bargain if it keeps the points off your license. Also consider how much you will save in reduced car Insurance Premiums if you have a clean license.
What Will You Learn?
The point of the course is simple. Kent police would rather deter people from speeding in the first place rather than simply hand them a fine and fixed penalty points. Their theory is that teaching car owners the implications and dangers of speeding will ultimately change their attitude towards driving.
On the course expect to learn why speeding in cars is so dangerous and the consequences it brings. Also prepare to have it brought to your attention that whilst behind the wheel, nobody but you is responsible for how fast you drive your car.
Finally you will be taught where certain speed limits exist and why they been applied, plus when to slow down depending on the various hazards which might present themselves.
The Length Of The Course:
A normal course will last no longer than five hours and will include some workshop learning. Some police forces have been introducing training sessions with qualified driving instructors too, however this has yet to be rolled out across the whole of Kent and Medway.
If the center you are attending does provide practical lessons with an instructor, then a car will be provided free of charge. Any special driving requirements should be made clear to the organizer before you attend.
What To Take:
It seems obvious…but take your driving license! Even though it’s been abolished take the counter part as well (if you have it) just incase.
Although you can’t physically take ‘knowledge’, you will be expected to take part and participate within a group of people. On average there will be approximately fifteen to twenty-five others attending the course with you. Therefore it’s a good idea to be prepared for general motoring questions regarding the Highway Code. As a car owner and road user you should of course be up to date with this already!
It goes without saying that any costs or expenses you may encounter are non-refundable. You have to make your own way to the center and take your own holiday time off work. Nothing, not even childcare will be reimbursed. After all it’s an alternative to penalty points so if you don’t like it then don’t go.
If you are rude to any staff members or other attendees they will ask you to leave. Bad language won’t be tolerated and if thrown off the course you will wind up in court.