Friday, 19 October 2012

Speeding – been naughty

A few months ago, on one of our days out, I got a caught for speeding. It was in an area I didn’t know, the limit was 30mph, I didn’t see the camera it was a mobile camera – in a van.  Anyway, I was driving, so after filling out all the forms – the car is registered to DaddyHen so the process took a while despite providing all the information in the first form.
Anyway I was given the choice: go to court; fine and points or speed awareness course; no fine and no points.  After weighing it up I opted for the course – it’s offered to those who are only slightly over the limits, who are caught on a camera and who have not attended a speed awareness course in the last three years.  I selected the venue – I could have gone nearly anywhere in the country - paid £85 and booked a half day off from work – so sort of a fine but hopefully I would get something out of the course.
Yesterday was the day; made sure I arrived in plenty of time as if your late then you miss the course and are then prosecuted via the court.  Two enthusiastic trainers and a classroom of 22 speeders; 15 men, 7 women; I would say the average age was early/mid forties, with about 600-700years of driving between us. I’ve been driving for 25 years - and haven’t looked at the Highway Code seriously since I took my test; I did help SonnyHen when he was learning but didn’t really take it in and he used a disc and not a book.
The instructors were not there to judge or to criticise our transgression but to help us understand the impact of what speeding does; how we can improve and have strategies in place to reduce our speed. We were seated in tables of 3 or 4 and started by looking at eight road signs in our booklet – embarrassed to say I only got six correct. 
We watched is video which was shown on UK TV back in the 90s – it’s a little hard hitting so be warned. But the message is clear driving at 5mph over 30mph it takes 21ft longer to stop.
Also this oz video, the speed is in kilometres per hour but the message is the same. Just going that little faster – not 10 or 20 miles over the safe limit – it takes so very much longer to stop. And the consequences could be life changing.
We played an awareness game – we watched this film, which was stopped before the reveal and had to count how many times the basketball players in white shirts passed the ball – simple you say but ... oh and btw let me know who joins the game? Out of a class of 22 only four of us saw the extra player.  How aware are you of the road conditions and surroundings on the route you take every day.
Street lights mean that the limit is 30mph, unless there are signs showing another limit.
The speed limit is the maximum legal speed for a stretch of road in perfect driving conditions.
Leave a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front
Driver error is a contributory factor in 95% of crashes
Hit a pedestrian at 35mph and you are twice as likely to kill them as if they were hit at 30mph 

I got a lot out of the course can for me it was worth the money and time – I will be driving slower in future


MummyHen X

1 comment:

  1. I also attended one of these courses a few months ago, and it has refreshed the way I drive and how aware I am around roads as a result: i think every driver should HAVE to do this every ten years to renew their license.