Speeding in a 7 Seater
I have recently been charged with speeding. I was driving my 7-seater car through a 30 mile an hour zone and was caught driving over the speed limit at 35 miles an hour. Although what I did was wrong I didn’t realise I was over the speed limit at the time because I was sandwiched between two cars, following traffic at a speed which I assumed to be within legal limits.
It was Me Gov
The prosecution letter arrived within about a month and it was addressed to my husband who immediately corrected the driver information and returned it to the powers at be, to re-send out to the correct person, namely me. Ordinarily my husband isn’t so quick to deal with such administration tasks, but on this occasion the threat of a £60 fine and 3 penalty points seemed to jolt him into filling in the paperwork quickly.
The correctly addressed prosecution letter arrived within a few weeks. I had to complete the form indicating that it was me that was driving, and return the form to the stated address.
Course or Fine? My Choice
After about 2 weeks I received a letter informing me that I had the choice to either undertake a “Speed Awareness Course” or be prosecuted. The threat of prosecution indicated that I could be fined up to £1,000, but in reality it would have only been £60 and 3 points for an SP30.
What I have to Pay!
What shocked me the most about the Speed Awareness Course was the cost! It was going to cost me £80 for a 4 hour course which would remove this speeding fine and penalty points from my driving record. They’ve gauged the price just right because it is just higher than the fine and with the increased insurance cost of having 3 points it makes it an easy decision. I chose to attend the course.
Reluctantly I attended the course and completed it successfully. At the end of the course I was informed that I had successfully taken part in the course and as such my driving record would be clean.
Apparently only 6% of people who attend the Speed Awareness Course end up speeding again. To that end it is quite honest to state that 94 people out of 100 who attend this course do not speed again. It must work then?
Another interesting fact I learnt was that of the people who choose to take the fine and penalty points a far greater percentage do re-offend again. I can only conclude that taking the Speed Awareness Course is an effective method of teaching people to comply with speed limits and subsequently reduce death.
According the presenter of the course three quarters of deaths caused by vehicles are in urban areas where the speed limit is 30 mph. This leaves 22% in rural areas and 3% on motorways.
I was asked to write down why I occasionally exceed the legal speeding limit and these were my responses:-
- To get somewhere in time
- Driving is boring
- Following traffic/being tailgated without looking at speedometer (that’s me!)
- In a hurry
- Clear road – good conditions
- Fast music
- Dithering drivers, making me want to overtake.
What made me re-consider all of the reasons why I might speed were the personal consequences of causing death by exceeding the speed limit. I stated these to be:-
- Road Traffic causing Injury
- Road Traffic Accident causing Death
- Criminal conviction
- Prison sentence
- Loose job
- Loose licence/freedom
- Guilt on causing harm/death to another
- Financial implications such as insurance premium increase
- Severely altered life following any of the above
Steps considered positive approaches to adhering to speed limits include concentrating, not driving, not worrying about deadlines, leaving earlier and checking speedometer. Since taking the speed awareness test I have cut my driving in half. For example I get my food delivered, walk my children to school and get a lift as much as I can. Not only has this reduced my chances of ever causing a road traffic accident I am saving money on fuel.
If you hit 20 children at 20 mph one will die. If you hit 20 children at 30 mph, 4 will die. If you hit 20 children at 40 mph 18 will most certainly die. It’s true what they say, “Hit a child at 40mph and there’s an 80% chance that they’ll die!” My advice would be to drive at 20 mph or less in areas where there are children around, such as roads surrounding schools.
Be aware of hazards on the road such as closed road markings, cars driving too close, country roads, side lane junctions and slow road markings.
Don’t drive when you are tired. Open the window! Take a break. You should always stick to the two second rule. To keep to the two second rule just look at the car in front and count two seconds from when they pass a certain object. You should not pass that same object until the two seconds are up. If the roads are icy you need to make it a 10 second rule.
The course isn’t run by the Police but by Telford Training Consultants, (TTC), who are a national driver training organisation. When the Police wanted to offer courses instead of fines and penalty points a tender went out to training companies and the best competing quote came from TTC. The Speed Awareness course has been approved by the secretary of state after being appointed by the Department of Transport. For more information on controlling your speed visit, www.checkyourspeed.org.uk.