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’.
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!
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.
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.
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