What happens on a speed awareness course?

Nobody loves going on a speed awareness course, especially when it takes time out of your working day when you’re self employed. But the truth is that it could be a timely wake-up call.
A conviction for speeding is a serious matter – it can push up your insurance premiums and mean you need to find specialist van insurance for convicted drivers, too.
So, what do van drivers need to know about speed awareness courses?

Why do van drivers speed?

Most van drivers use their vehicle for their job, and there can be lots of pressures that make it tempting to speed.

Whether it’s making sure you meet a deadline or you don’t turn up late for an appointment with a new client, time is money so it’s tempting to step on the accelerator sometimes to reduce wasting those precious minutes.
This is a false economy in every sense – the cost of van insurance for convicted drivers, not to mention a police fine, would far exceed the gains made by arriving 10 minutes earlier here and there.

You could even risk having a serious accident and injuring yourself or others, leading to even more time off work.
When it comes down to it, as a van driver, you are required to follow the rules of the road and you are responsible for not endangering other road users.

Allowing plenty of time for a journey is a much better option than racing against the clock.
 A silver van speeding down a motorway

What triggers a speed awareness course?

Speed awareness courses are generally offered to drivers who have exceeded speed limits but not by a huge amount (more than 10% plus 2mph).

In a 30mph zone you may be offered an awareness course if you are found speeding between 35-42mph, or 79-85mph on a motorway.

If you go far above the speed limit, more stringent penalties will be applied such as a fixed penalty notice and three penalty points on your driving licence.
Certain conditions mean you will not be offered a speed awareness course, such as having already done a course within the last three years.

You need to pay a fee of around £100 to do a speed awareness course, too, which may affect your cash flow as a small business owner.

Speeding on Britain’s roads

Speeding is a major factor in deaths on UK roads. Exceeding the speed limit is a factor in 6% of all accidents, but these accidents are responsible for 12% of all fatalities.

Travelling too fast for the conditions was a factor in 12% of all accidents and accounts for 21% of all fatalities.
People who are driving for work, which includes many van drivers around the UK, make up more than a quarter of road traffic accidents.

Each year many people are injured when travelling for work, impacting their ability to earn as a result; 36% of those hurt while driving for work need more than a week off work to recover.

What happens on a speed awareness course?

Speed awareness courses are all about reducing the likelihood that participants will speed again in future.

There is no test or exam, but you will not ‘pass’ the course if you do not show a positive attitude – grumbling or being unpleasant during the session could see you fail the course.

Once you have attended, the course administrator will tell the police that you have completed the course successfully and there will be no further action about your speeding.
The course usually lasts around four hours (half a day) and can be taken on weekdays, weekends or evenings so you can fit it around work if necessary. It is delivered to a group of around 20 people in a classroom-type setting.

The course covers areas such as stopping distances, improving awareness of your surroundings, and working out what the speed limit of a road is if no road signs are visible.
Speed awareness courses also cover the consequences of speeding, going through accounts of how people’s lives have been affected by injury or death caused by excess speed. They are run by independent companies on behalf of the police.
 A group of people in a class room on a speed awareness course

Do you have to tell your van insurance company about the speed awareness course?

By law, speeding convictions and penalty points must be declared to your insurance provider.

The consequences of misleading your insurer are potentially severe, for example you may have your van insurance invalidated or even be investigated for fraud.
Some insurance companies ask about whether you have taken a speed awareness course, or require you to tell them if you do so during the course of your insurance cover. This may increase your premiums.

What happens if you opt for a speeding fine instead?

As a van driver, opting for a fine rather than attending a speed awareness course can prove an expensive decision.

Speeding fines go on your driving record, which means you will need to find specialist van insurance for convicted drivers in the future; many high street insurance companies will not offer insurance to people in this category.

That’s why you’ll need to turn to a specialist like Insurance Factory.
 A speed camera sign

Protecting your livelihood with Insurance Factory

If you have a conviction for being caught speeding, you will need van insurance for convicted drivers. Here at Insurance Factory, we have years of experience helping van drivers with convictions find the right insurance cover for them.
We can help a number of professions find the right cover - from scrap dealers and couriers to those moving hazardous or fragile goods for their customers.
We can arrange a number of optional extras to sit alongside your van insurance, too, including things like:
  • Guaranteed 14 day van replacement in the event of an accident, regardless of fault or fire/theft claim
  • Excess Protection
  • Breakdown, accidental and tool cover
  • Key care cover
  • Gadget cover
All of these things may mean the difference between getting your business back on track after a conviction or not. We understand that your van is more than just a vehicle to you.

Why not contact Insurance Factory for a quote today?