Are Speed Awareness Courses useful? Do they really improve road safety and are they run competently by experienced trainers? Well if you have never been on one you might care to read a report by one of the supporters of the AMPOW campaign that was first published in the ABD’s OTR newsletter. It is present here: http://www.speed-awareness.org/Indoctrination-or-Education.pdf .
There certainly seems to be very mixed feedback from people who have attended such courses. Whether that is because the quality varies, or those who attend simply do so to avoid points on their licence and hence consider them irrelevant (one might say “pointless” in more than one way) it is difficult to determine.
Some people may be attending (and accepting the police “waiver” of prosecution) because they think that by doing so they will not need to report it to their insurers and pay a higher premium. But that is not necessarily so. You do need to report it to your insurers although some may not consider it relevant. But it is for them to make a decision on the matter and different insurers seem to treat it differently.
But there is one common theme running through this and other reports I have seen which is that the staff running these courses typically don’t like to answer questions. Indeed they may not know the answers to simple questions that attendees might ask. It is certainly more indoctrination than education.
Note: if you think that taking one of these courses can save points on your licence, bear in mind that the more people who pay money in return for a police waiver, the more speed cameras there will be on our roads. Do not collude with this police corruption would be my suggestion.
Thanks to Rob Stirling for the article. If anyone else has any reports on these courses that they have attended, please let me have them. Go here to let us know if you have: http://www.speed-awareness.org/contactus.html