But I was only doing just over the limit!

OK I admit it, I am a speeder. I got caught doing 35 in a 30 mph zone by one of those dreaded static cameras. I saw it flash and thought ‘oh bugger’.

30 speed limit

30mph limit

It happened after I dropped Hubby off at the hospital for his operation. I probably was thinking more about him than what speed I was traveling at.
I had the summons about a week later and thought ‘ oh for goodness sake I was only just over the limit why don’t you go catch proper criminals!‘ The letter offered me the chance to take a Speed Awareness Workshop for £85  instead of getting a £60 fine and 3 points on my license. I opted for the Workshop but wasn’t looking forward to it. It was going to be a waste of 4 hours, someone preaching to you about going too fast.. what a bore!!

I attended 2 weeks ago, there was 15 other speeders in attendance, men and women of all ages. I still thought I’d rather be elsewhere! To start with you have an ice-breaker quiz on the Highway Code. I’ve not looked at that since my sons learned to drive about 5 or 6 years ago!

They go on to show you accident statistics, did you know that death rate at 30mph 7/100 and at 40mph 31/100. At 35mph its 18/100.. 5 mph faster than 30 and the death rate more than doubles! Makes you think doesn’t it?

Next was recognising the speed limits – how do know what the speed limit should be?  Street lights? road signs? home zones? How do know what speed limit applies to which type of road.

We then went on to a mnemonic called COAST.

  • Concentration – Communicate to concentrate. You’re on an unfamiliar road or area, talk out loud to keep your concentration level up. What’s happening on the road, what’s the speed limit? What road signs are there?
  • Observation – How often do you take in all information your eyes are presented with? Our eyes tend to flit about and take in what we want to see. We often miss out less important ‘stuff’.
  • Anticipation – You know there is a junction coming up so slow down rather than brake at the last minute, someone has just pulled in on the left – get ready for them to open their door.
  • Space – leave an appropriate gap between you and the vehicle in front.  Leave at least a 2 second gap, especially on the motorway, if someone drops into the gap just drop back from them. At most of all DON’T tailgate!!
  • Time – Prepare for your journey, think of how long you need to get to your destination. If you’re held up and running late then so be it, better to get there in one piece than not at all!

Some facts:

At 30mph you are traveling at 44 feet per second – the length of an articulated lorry! Now think about that, if you have children in the back of the car and you turn around quickly to check on them you have traveled the length of a lorry..scary or what?

For each 10 miles you drive, you’d get there a 1 minute earlier if you were driving at 80 instead of 70 (assuming  a constant speed for the whole distance, which is unlikely).

Driving at 80mph uses 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph.

A speeding fine and points on your license will increase your vehicle insurance for the next 3 years.

Quiet urban road

Quiet urban road

Some tips:

In a 20mph zone keep in 2nd gear, in a 30mph zone keep in 3rd gear. If you feel that you need to change-up a gear you are going too fast!

If on unfamiliar roads try the ‘Communicate to concentrate’  method to keep you aware of what’s going on around you.

What’s happened since the course?

Well I’ve definitely changed my habits. I keep in 3rd gear in 30mph zones and am much more aware of what’s going on around me.
If I have the grandson with me I wait until I’m at lights or a junction to check on him.
I don’t worry about other road users wanting to exceed the limit – I sticking to it and if there is a speed camera coming up they’ll eventually thank me for holding them up for a few seconds.

Do you have any tips to keep within the speed limit? Do you think any of this will help you? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Photos and post are copyrighted to Soosie Wales and cannot be reproduced in whole or part without permission.

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9 comments on “But I was only doing just over the limit!

  1. Really interesting. I already used the 3rd gear in a 30 thing, and it really helps. I’m now in the States where limits are even lower, and driving an automatic… so, I have to really pay attention! The statistics are sobering though, and make you stop and think. Great post. #PoCoLo

  2. Cathie B says:

    FAB post. Thanks for highlighting the importance of these courses. I know people think they’re boring but they CAN have an impact – like you’ve very kindly shown. I’ve seen too many cases where people’s lives are destroyed by speeding and I know for the majority, a few MPH doesn’t matter…….. It can though……. You may be the best driver in the world but you physically cannot stop a vehicle if you absolutely have to… you are reliant upon braking and stopping distance. Sorry to drone on…… but this is an amazing post xxxx

  3. Jaime Oliver says:

    What a great post! I got caught doing 33 in a 30 and i took the points but i should of taken this course i could do with refreshing! (must buy the highway code to refresh)

  4. I’ve been a driving instructor for over 9 years now and as a result am really conscious of sticking to the rules (unlike prior to becoming an instructor – but not in a major way I hasten to add). I wish they offered these courses to everyone learning to drive – not just to speeding offenders. Thank you for linking up to PoCoLo and welcome on board xx

    • Sue says:

      Thank you. I have to agree that this would benefit everyone. I think this would be better than doing Pass Plus, perhaps as an extra after 6 months driving experience.

  5. judithkingston says:

    Thanks so much for sharing what you learned on the course – especially the articulated lorry thing is terrifying. I will have to be much more carefuly when I drive and not try to do any multi-tasking…

  6. Alison says:

    Fab post and thanks for sharing! It is quite scary when you realise the difference a few miles an hour in speed make to stopping distance

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