Speed Awareness Courses – The hidden costs
Last year in 2011, records show over 750,000 UK citizens completed a Speed Awareness Course in England and Wales. The ACPO claims that 99% of people they questioned claimed to have altered their behaviour as a result of attending. Is it as easy as that or is there more to it?
The positive things a speed awareness course can offer are plain to see.
No penalty points on a license
No fines (however there is a fee for the course)
No need for a court appearance
No legal costs
and for some the most important aspect, no increased insurance premiums…
Or maybe not it seems,
Admiral, a large uk insurance company, have confirmed they treat Speed Awareness Courses as if it was a conviction, regardless of the fact that the police do not class it as such. The reasoning behind it is they maintain drivers who have attended a course, pose a higher risk on the roads.
“Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offenceâ
Is this really correct? What about the people who choose to go on the course as an easy solution instead of challenging a speeding offence? Avoiding the time and trouble and also cost of a courtroom hearing??
This information directly opposes public assurances from the Police forces and the Councils that attending a speed awareness course will not affect any insurance policies. Police say independent research has shown speed awareness courses are very successful in making people think about the way they behave on the roads and in their vehicles and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) say the insurers’ new policy could outweigh the benefits of the courses.
ACPO’s lead on roads policing, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, told the BBC media that attending a speed awareness course is “not a punishment”.
“We would argue that this is about improving road safety and therefore reducing risk, so it is a real concern to us,” Ms Davenport added. “I think therefore it is unfair that insurance companies are loading premiums. It’s not appropriate.”