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Speed Awareness Courses - What they aren't telling you
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject: Speed Awareness Courses - What they aren't telling you Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.com
My editorial piece in last week's newsletter about Speed Awareness Courses got a lot of interest with a number of you emailing in with your experiences.

My distaste for these courses arises because they are a profit making business with a a few select companies making a lot of money. Speeding fines go to central government but the fees for these courses are shared between the companies that are contracted to run them and the police, conflict of interest anyone? And many drivers choose the course over a fine and endorsement because they assume it will avoid an insurance premium penalty, and that's not always true.

The quality of the tuition that is being provided on these courses is also a concern. For example on one an attendee asked why black-and-white chevrons erected on bends varied in numbers and was told by the tutor that the number of chevrons indicated how many accidents there had been on that bend! Laughable were it not so serious and of course complete bunkum.

Here are the facts surrounding the insurance issue. Attending a course avoids a conviction so you do not need to volunteer the information when taking out or renewing a vehicle insurance policy. But a number of insurers have grown wise to this and are now specifically asking if you have attended a speed awareness course and then loading premiums where this is the case. I don't yet have an exhaustive list of which companies do ask but Admiral and Elephant are two who do. If you know of others then post in the thread below.

Course attendees are still being told that attendance means no increase in premium and on one course where an attendee asked the question her instructor said that, as there was no national database of attendees, if she chose not to tell tell her insurers they would never know.

So if you are unlucky and receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution with the conditional offer of a speed awareness course instead of a fine I advise you to do some research before accepting one or the other.

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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Speed Awareness Courses - What they aren't telling you Reply with quote

News Team wrote:
{snip} as there was no national database of attendees, if she chose not to tell tell her insurers they would never know.
What crap advice!
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box2k2
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
{snip} as there was no national database of attendees, if she chose not to tell tell her insurers they would never know.


More importantly, if they found out, it would invalidate your insurance!
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why I suggested that the advice was not exactly the best practice.
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Kremmen
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With multi company access to data now always best to be 100% up front.
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g7rmg
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly a speeding ticket is not a conviction ie you have never been before a magistrates court or higher ...its your acceptance of a fine in lieu of appearing before the above.
This was explained to me by a member of my local police force when having to make a declaration on another matter !
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timsim
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Excellent course Reply with quote

After being in the same situation as the editor's daughter, I opted for the course. I don't know who owned the company who ran the course, but it was a very good course. No guilt trips at all.
The instructor was an advanced driving instructor and highly knowledgeable. One attendee refused to accept that he was guilty (he was) and repeatedly tried to trip the instructor up with tricky questions that he looked up on the internet. He did not succeed.
At the end of the course I asked if I needed to tell my insurance company about the course and the answer was an emphatic "NO, if you take the course, you have not been convicted of speeding, and your details are not held in the normal police database."
Based on this imformation, I did not tell my insurance company (DirectLine), nor did they ask. The instructor did say that one company (Oh Yus), had been asking about course attendance, but the were forced to stop asking by the Insurance Ombudsman.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Excellent course Reply with quote

timsim wrote:
At the end of the course I asked if I needed to tell my insurance company about the course and the answer was an emphatic "NO, if you take the course, you have not been convicted of speeding, and your details are not held in the normal police database."
But surely you have implicitly admitted that you were driving at excess speed, even though you have not actually been convicted of it.
I wonder what would happen if, when applying for motor insurance, you told them that "you habitually blast around the country at high speed ignoring all speed limits but have not yet been caught doing it."
When was, and where is the ombudsman's ruling? See what that well known paper had to say about it earlier this year HERE


Last edited by M8TJT on Fri May 06, 2016 9:52 am; edited 3 times in total
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PeirreOBollox
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take on this subject is:
AFAIK speed awareness courses and safety camera partnerships are self funding, so if those people receiving an NIP opted to take the points rather than the course. The speed awareness courses and SCP's would be deprived of funding, which without topping up by central government funding would mean a decrease in equipment available & manpower used to catch people speeding
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navtrav
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know whether there are rip-offs going on (likely as they happen in every sphere of life) but the course I went on was excellent and changed my driving habits.

Also, those licence points: it's not only insurers who check, it's also car hire firms should one need, say, an overseas holiday vehicle.
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raymondo247
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI,
I take a ROSPA Advanced retest every 3 years since 1986 to remain a member & maintain my gold Standard.

I repeatedly get told by the class 1 police drivers (retired or serving) that speed cameras should be set a 10% plus 3 miles an hour above the limit.
so at 36 mph you are bang on the allowance limit, 37 mph you are speeding.

Having said this I do stick to the speed limits as trained.

What do people out there think of this.
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navtrav
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raymondo247 wrote:
HI,

so at 36 mph you are bang on the allowance limit, 37 mph you are speeding.



Not so. 36 mph in 30 mph village is what caught me. And a friend who also went on a course too.
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digital
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raymondo247 wrote:
I repeatedly get told by the class 1 police drivers (retired or serving) that speed cameras should be set a 10% plus 3 miles an hour above the limit.
so at 36 mph you are bang on the allowance limit, 37 mph you are speeding.


My understanding is that it's 10% + 2. Which means that at 10% + 3 a ticket will be in the post. My wife received such a document quoting her speed as 36: 10% + 2 + 1.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raymondo247 wrote:
I repeatedly get told by the class 1 police drivers (retired or serving) that speed cameras should be set a 10% plus 3 miles an hour above the limit.
Yet more miss information on speed limits. Then either you or they were miss-quoting the ACPO recommendations, and also note the word 'should'. This was an ACPO recommendation, see here and unlike EU recommendations, is not taken to be mandatory, so they can set them to what they like. (And it was 10% +2 mph anyway) making it 35 in a 30mph zone, not 36, hence the above posts. And by the time you add the over read on your speedo, it would be indicating closer to 40 than to 30.

Last edited by M8TJT on Fri May 06, 2016 10:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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ynysygwas
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:35 am    Post subject: Speed awareness Reply with quote

My wife is attending one of these courses next week after 'being caught' by a mobile van doing 35 in a 30. Almost everyone we told said 'I thought that was a 40 limit!' (As did I).
Could have been worse. I was following her to K**kfit and according to my dashcam I was doing 34! So they're applying the 10% plus 2mph these days.

Last week I updated my son's Moov M614LM sat nav and took it for a spin along the same route. This showed the section of road (between two villages) as a 60mph area. I thought it used to be 60 and went down to 40 a few years back but there are no longer any speed limit signs at all. Perfect for cashing a few dangerous drivers.
The lamp posts have been there for the last 25+ years that I know of so not a help as far as gauging the limit goes. Unless the rule is 'remove the 60mph limit and the road automatically switches to the lamp post speed limit'.
As a bonus she is also a named driver on my son's policy. Guess which company. 'tis he who commands the fleet, shipmates!
She will make a point of asking the course organiser, specifically, if our son needs to inform Admiral that his mam has attended the course.
I'll keep you posted after next Thursday.
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