Well it was a surprise to everyone who knows me... the exclaim that me, Emma-Lou could be a girl-racer, couldn't possibly be true, perhaps I should challenge the summons... "I mean really Emma-Louise, can your Honda Jazzy get up to more than 40".... Yes it was me, I was flashed speeding... at the time I thought it was thunder and lightening... and mentioned to the kids to look out and start counting for thunder to strike!
It was me. the camera caught me, the number plate, time and date all evidenced to convict me of my crime.... dum dum dum... 58mph in a 50 zone! Obviously I do speed, I can't claim otherwise, I've been caught! The fact of the matter however is; I do drive
slowly cautiously, I like to maintain a nice steady 28mph... if I'm not triply convinced of 40, 50, national speed limit, then I safely bob along in my 28mph!
For my kidding though, I was mortified to get a speeding ticket in the post, it's all very official looking the letter, and it comes in two parts. I had to send off admitting it was me who has a speedy arse... following this, I got a letter giving me two choices... a. FINE £100, 3 points and increases to car insurance or b. the speed awareness course (the marginally cheaper option at £80). I went for the speed awareness course, Mr C (who is a more likely candidate for speeding if you ask me) has done the course and weirdly said "you're the type to enjoy that sort of thing". I didn't want to take a day's leave or do it at the weekend, so went for the 5:30-9:30 slot (after a working Wednesday... on the plus side I did swerve the Brownie run!).
Hearsay told me that if you turn up even a minute late, you get taken to the gallows (or less dramatically fined and denied admittance), so I headed to the lovely Carrington Business Park with plenty of time to spare. Not related but on waiting for the course to start, I looked round the cafe type of waiting area, 40 or so people sat round waiting, and they were all plumbed into their phones (mine had run out of charge... hence why I was glancing up from an actual book). No doubt people were updating their status "can't do the time... don't the time at Carrington Business Park". Anyhow... it made me feel like we all communicate in wires and don't see each other any more (now there's a tweet!).
So the course started... ran by two fairly enthusiastic men, well one was really enthusiastic and the other had no choice to up his game. I imagine they put on this course 3 times a day, week in week out, how they keep so upbeat about it, you've got to wonder.
I was expecting, I think 4 hours of being told off for being a bad driver, but it wasn't like that, it was geared up to be interactive, and looking round the room, we were a fairly mixed bag, so that was interesting in itself. It does of course go over speed limits (it's all about lamp posts). It's more the about the psychology of driving, talking a lot about 'road rage', tailgating, driving against the clock when running late.
The fact of the matter is, it's safer to drive within the speed limit, and I don't want the death of a stranger on my conscious or as horrific an injury or death of the loved one I was giving a lift to (thinking about it, my main passengers are my children... shudder).
Also, speeding 5-10 miles over the speed limit doesn't actually save any time. If I drove steadily at 80mph from Manchester to London (like that'd be likely on the M6), I'd save in actual time, about 10 minutes. So thinking about my journey from work creeping up to 35mph is pretty pointless, BUT crucially driving that 10mph over, if I hit a pedestrian; I'd likely seriously injure or kill them. So don't do it kids!
Now for pop-psychology... right so somebody doesn't give you gap to pull out... you're there "for godsake where you going in such a hurry... FFS let me in", imagine my 'nasty pasty' face... well I'm going to force my nose out, somebody will HAVE to let me in, seeing my mean face, they'll go "that's not a gap Div" and then start pulling their own version of 'nasty pasty' face. So two of us are in short tempers now, those tempers are what distract our safe driving... and well you know, cause accidents... So, from now on, I'm going to be smiley driver who lets people in, if somebody gives me a mean face, I'm not going to react, you can call me the cool cucumber type.
The course was interesting, and not a boring drain of four hours (you get free biscuits too), I think we should all be made to attend, I know I'm now a safer driver from it. To note I did very well on the quiz, but ashamedly I for the life of me didn't know this sign:
I really should get an updated copy of the highway code.... .