Ok so I recently got caught speeding – I was doing 59mph in a 50mph zone. In reality I was at a location where the speed limit changed from a 70mph dual carriageway down to a 50mph dual carriageway zone. It changed down because of a junction in that zone and, as a result, a potential hazard.
I was caught in the slowing down phase and, truth be told, I had not slowed down in sufficient time to avoid being caught on the mobile speed camera. Totally my own fault and responsibility so, after an initial grumble to myself, I sucked it up and accepted it.
I had 3 options:
1. Take the 3 points on my licence and a fine of £100.00
2. Contest it in court and risk a larger fine and 6 points on my licence
3. Take a speed awareness course at a cost of £88.00
I chose to take the speed awareness course option – it cost the least and I would not get any points on my licence and my insurance premiums wouldn’t go up. Yes, I chose the course because I am tight and prefer to spend as little as possible.
So, I filled in my form with the Speed Awareness Course option completed, booked a date on the course and accepted all the mickey taking from friends and family about getting caught speeding ……..yawn!
The day of the course came (4 hours of listening to why you shouldn’t speed or so I thought). There were about 30 of us on the course and we had all been caught doing between 2mph and 10mph above the speed limit. Immediately one myth was busted about the 10% rule about being caught speeding.
It wasn’t just listening to people talking about the dangers of speeding. There were numbers of questions asked of us and discussions had about driving in general, safe driving, the realities of a lot of distracted driving and the risks to both ourselves and other by not following the rules of the road.
One of the major arguments that I have always used about speeding is getting to a place quicker and saving a lot of time on a journey. Another myth that was dispelled on the course. In reality, going 10mph over the speed limit for a journey length of 100 miles saves you barely any time at all even assuming you can maintain the speed for the full distance. I have seen it myself when I have sped and watched the eta on my sat nav reduce temporarily only for any gains to be lost due to traffic or pedestrians or roadworks etc.
Not only does it not save time overall, it also costs more in fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle and increases the risk of accidents and injury to you and others on the road.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am very much in favour of an enjoyable drive especially along the country roads where I live. However, the reality is that you do not have to speed or put you or others at risk to have an enjoyable drive. This was the point that was highlighted to me the most on this course and is also going to be the route of my changing driving habits.
From now on, if I want to go fast and exceed speed limits, the only place that I am going to do it is on a racetrack under controlled conditions and I will continue to enjoy safer driving on the roads. My suggestion to you would be to do the same.