4 Reasons You Need to Opt for a Driver Awareness Course Over Penalty Points
We’re willing to bet if you spoke to someone who’d been caught speeding that they opted for a speed awareness course instead of the points. Why so confident? Because 1,207,570 (according to Government statistics – http://ow.ly/10BU3C) made the same choice in 2015 alone.
So, why are so many people choosing to attend a 4 hour course costing them between £60 – £150 instead of simply taking the points and moving on? Unless you’re a real wacky racer with a serious problem staying anywhere near the speed limit, you’ll be offered the course (as long as it’s your first offence in 3 years). This is the point where you need to gratefully accept the offer and book your place. It’s the perfect opportunity to admit to yourself that you’ve done wrong, without risking it going against you in the future (and you might even learn a thing or two!)
1. Job applications
With job-hopping becoming the new norm, it’s unlikely you’ll stay in the same job that you’re in now until retirement. The average person will have had 10 different roles by the time their 40, so you can never be sure what’s around the corner.
You’re likely to be asked when applying for a job not just whether you have a driving licence, but if that licence is clean. So many jobs require you to drive around, meet new people and experience new roles, your employer is looking for someone they can trust to do this safely. If you’re up against someone who is as like-for-like perfect as you but you’re dragging 3 points into the mix against their clean licence, who’s the employer going to choose?
2. Who’s gonna know?
Remember the age old phrase of what they don’t know won’t hurt them? One of the beauties of the speed awareness course is there’s no accessible record of you taking it.
That’s not to say that if asked you should lie, but how often do people lay this question on the table?
This includes your insurance company. Whilst penalty points must be declared and will, according to the AA, raise your premium by around 12%, GoCompare have confirmed there’s no reason for you to do the same for a driver awareness course (http://ow.ly/10m10f). Legally, unless your insurer asks you, you’re not obliged to spill the beans meaning your policy will remain valid and at the same cost.
3. Smart Motorways
The development of smart motorways in Britain means the speed limit will change in order to manage the traffic flow at that time (http://ow.ly/10m1fw). This is to keep us moving as much as possible and whilst it will prevent a lot of traffic-related road rage, safety cameras need to be up and running in order to enforce it.
The limit is subject to change at any time, so who’s to say that you won’t be driving a long at 70 then suddenly notice it’s changed to 50 by which time you’ve already passed a camera? Even with every good intention of slowing down to 50, it’s too late. You’ve been flashed by the camera and that notice will be coming your way. It’s going to take us all a little while to get used to the ever-changing gantries, so even the safest driver shouldn’t feel too confident on our new motorways.
4. There’s always room for improvement
Unlike the penalty points, no-one who’s given the opportunity to do a speed awareness course can argue they have nothing to learn from it. Everyone who’s received that opportunity has done so through a lack of due-care and attention, and therefore has something to learn. Whether it’s to refresh your Highway Code knowledge, realize that in fact you’re not in control of the road ahead or re-think what you feel is an acceptable speed, everyone leaves with something positive they didn’t have before.
To think that you won’t is probably (and sadly) the attitude that got you on the course in the first place, so it’s time to prove yourself wrong!
If you want to protect yourself against speeding points in the future, then make sure you’ve got a Road Angel Gem+ in your car, alerting to all types of safety camera and blackspots. For more information on the Road Angel Gem+ click here.