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Speed awareness courses instead of points + fine

(5 Posts)
duchesse Thu 15-Nov-12 09:38:06

I accidentally sped past a speed camera at 1am in July on a stretch of the A30 through Sunningdale (one of those 40/30/40/30 roads with no discernible difference between the two if you miss the sign like I did blush). Anyway, I was doing 36mph in what turned out to be a 30mph limit.

Instead of points + fine, I was offered a speed awareness course. It cost £80 and lasted 4 hours on a weekday.

When we all turned up, there was a air of slight guilty hostility among the participants, and a kind of chirpy fatalism from the tutors. The 2 tutors probably had a combined driving experience of around 90-100 years, and appeared both to be retired army guys.

They were efficient and non-judgmental, and did not in any way make the participants feel small or criminal although clearly we were all there in the context of a criminal prosecution.

The participants turned out to have a very wide variety of driving experience and requirements, from not even passed their test to 55 years driving experience, and were aged from early 20s to late 60s. The average age was about 40-45 I'd say.

The course was basically a refresher of the highway code and common sense related to speed, at an age when most of us had been driving around 20+ years and had probably tbh become a little blasé.

It was actually fun in parts. I personally didn't feel talked down to, and left the room feeling that I'd done something valuable and sensible. OK, there is an element of compulsion involved and you do have to take it seriously or they will ask you to leave, but the people skills of the tutors meant that it felt more like a refresher than a punishment. It didn't feel punitive iyswim. You can only do one every 3 years- if you are caught speeding in-between times you get the points and fine.

I would heartily recommend accepting one of these courses if you are offered it. I learned quite a few things of the kind that you can probably only absorb properly once you've been driving a few years.

Cahoots Thu 15-Nov-12 16:01:16

I took a speed awareness course as well. I was also doing 36 in a 30 MPH area. I had the same experience as you and found it to be beneficial. Even thoughi never intentially sped before taking the course it really does help you think about your driving. My course was full of drivers like me, normal drivers who just need a reminder.

Our instructer asked thegroupwho considered themselves to be an above average driver, I think everyone put their hand up grin

doglover Thu 15-Nov-12 17:46:40

I quite agree. I did one of these courses over the summer and it was EXCELLENT! Informative without being preachy and actually ........ quite fun! It would be great if ALL drivers could participate: it acts as a reminder about all the little things that we tend to 'forget'.

Acinonyx Fri 16-Nov-12 10:14:37

I did one of these - would really recommend it too.

Saracen Sat 17-Nov-12 01:09:53

Another thumbs-up from me. Several useful tips from the instructor have stood me in good stead ever since. Not all were directly related to speed as such.

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