Speed Awareness Course Blog
Tony Martin, Only Young Driver’s Managing Director, recently took part in a Speed Awareness Course having been caught for doing 39mph on a 30 mph road. He was keen to share his experience with OYD customers…
“The hook for the Course is you avoid the normal 3 points on your licence. Of course I was interested in this but also the Course in general and how persuasive it might be in potentially changing my driving habits. I wouldn’t call myself an especially fast or unobservant driver but I do know that I’m not great at heeding speed limit signs to the letter.
So 26 people gathered on a chilly Friday afternoon at a Guildford Hotel paying £95 for the privilege! The group featured equal numbers of men and women with an average age of 50. I was very interested that there were no young drivers attending…
Our Course tutor Peter (a Driving Instructor by trade) was an avuncular fellow with a low key friendly style. The whole 4 hour course was presented in an informative way with group discussions on a number of topics e.g.how speed limits are presented to drivers on different road types and the UK’s record in improving road safety. Our group definitely engaged with the subject matter and I didn’t see too many clock watchers.
It was definitely case of more ‘carrot than stick’ though some shock tactics were bought out at the end when some videos showed the potentially fatal impact of relatively low speed collisions plus a horrific reconstruction of a 51 car pile up on the M4 from 1991.
So what did I learn? Well quite a lot actually. The single most compelling fact was that the speed of impact was always far greater than the mph the car is doing due to the momentum and weight of the vehicle. 30mph never feels like any speed but the difference between 30 and 40mph is literally a life or death outcome especially for unfortunate pedestrians. So if I’d been unlucky when I was doing my 39mph I literally could have killed somebody. I liked ‘more paint, more restraint’ and the really simple tip of driving in 3rd gear in a 30mph area.
So will I drive differently? I guess we’ll have to see. A week on from the course I can honestly say I have used 3rd gear more than before but with driving on familiar roads often an automatic pilot exercise it’s difficult to do things differently and make it habit. I think some sort of aide memoire would have been useful – maybe a sticker or just something visible in the cab would help. Actually I’m lucky – my wife went on the same course 10 months ago and is still reminding me about what she learnt!”