QUAYS News reporter Andie Riley was on a speed awareness course yesterday, he tells us about his experience…

A couple of months ago, whilst driving to Scarborough, I was clocked on a duel carriageway doing 63 miles per hour.

Within two weeks, I was offered the chance of either three points and a fine, or a speed awareness course.

As I have a clean licence, I opted for the course.

To be perfectly honest, I was more than a little upset at getting snapped, as I thought duel carriageways were 70 MPH limits, so I was under the limit.

I went into the course ready to argue the point with whichever self-righteous person that had been sent to teach me a lesson.

After all, I’ve been driving since I was 17, never had more than the odd car park scrape (apart from that one time in the Army, but that was not my fault. My commander told me to drive up the embankment at a stupid angle. I was cleared of any blame) and have only had 6 points in total over the years.

Anyway, arriving at the centre in Bury, I was nice and early and was surprised as the room began to fill with over 50 people.

Not all of them were there for speeding. Some were there for using mobile phones, some for driver alertness courses and others on different versions of the speeding course.

As 1pm rolled around, I was ushered into a room with 20 other miscreants, all of us who had opted for a Saturday afternoon rather than a weekday course.

As I said, initially I was hostile toward the course, as I felt that I had been wrongly caught on a duel carriageway under the limit.

Within 10 minutes of starting though, I had been won over by our two instructors, Laith and Stephen. Not only did they know what they wanted to teach, but made it fun as well.

We worked through how easy it is to go over the limit, as well as how to tell the limit without signs.

Did you know that ANY road with street lights is classed as a built up area and should be driven as a 30mph zone?

I didn’t, but I took my test that long ago, I only had a four speed gearbox in an old Army Issue Land Rover to work with on my test and lessons.

That was why I’d been sent the notice of intended prosecution though. The duel carriageway, although usually national speed limit, was actually a 60mph zone and I was wrong.

Believe it or not, most of us drive “blind” as in we assume things based on what we learnt a long while ago, and the last time most of us looked at a copy of the highway code was just before we passed our test.

As it is, I relearned about repeater signs, hazard perception and the word COAST, which stands for:

Concentrate

Observe

Anticipate

Space

Time

I came away from four hours of videos and well put together lectures with a new appreciation of why we have speed limits, and also how to make certain I obey them without realising in the future.

I’m proud to say I still have a clean licence, and a better idea of what I thought was just a money making exercise on behalf of the police.

It cost me £80, but it was worth every penny and minute of my time.

OK, I will probably stray over on occasion, but nowhere near as much or by as much as before.

By: Andie Riley
@andie99uk

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