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Speed Awareness Scheme
10-04-2005, 10:06 AM
Post: #1
Speed Awareness Scheme

I was recently caught speeding in Reading by Thames Valley Police. I wasn't aware that there were camera's where I was driving and my speeding wasn't too excessive (36mph in a 30mph zone).

Anyway, I got a letter a couple of weeks ago from Thames Valley Police stating the details of my offence, which I was expected to sign and return. the letter stated that the penalty for my offence was that I would get a fine (bummer) and 3 point on my licence (MAJOR LEAGUE BUMMER!).

Anyway, yesterday I got another letter from them. Apparently, becaue my speeding wasn't too bad I am apparently eligible for a "Speed Awareness Course", which aims to educate rather than penalise. The upside of all this is that should I choose to attend this workshop, I pay a slightly higher fine but I get no points on my licence.

I already have 3 points. I drive a lot for work so am keen to keep my licence as clean as possible. I am more than happy to be "educated" on what a speed limit is and how I can stay within it for half a day to avoid getting more points. Patronisation or Points? I'll be patronised please! Oh yessir!

Seriously, I think this is a bluddy fantastic scheme! I've never heard of it before though. Is this just a Thames Valley thing, or is it nationwide through all forces? Also, has anyone else been on these courses?

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10-04-2005, 10:32 AM
Post: #2
Speed Awareness Scheme
Karen I have heard of these schemes - but that is it - just heard the term bandied about. I had no idea what they entailed. It sounds a fantastic scheme.

I presently have 6 points on my licence - both speed camera's - I do have mitigating circumstances for both my offences [one I was trying to escape from a loony road rager who had tail-gated me for over 50 miles and I was seriously in fear of my safety]. But in law I was driving too fast. I paid the fine and accepted the points with shame.

I, more than most, should be well aware of traffic law, and yet I still sped and I still got caught. I would happily have accepted this course had it been offered. I don't think it is patronising, unless people are of the mindset that 'they know everything' and are arrogant.

We are never too old, too experienced or too knowlegdable to learn new things.

My second offence was doing 41 in a 30 zone. Now this zone had been 30 mph for the last 40 odd years of my life, there were no houses nearby, in fact the road was bordered by a 10 foot stone wall on one side and on the other a wrought iron railing. It had apperently changed a few months previously - I didn't know, I wasn't paying attention - this just goes to highlight the importance of reading the road, and sign awareness!

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10-04-2005, 10:47 AM
Post: #3
Speed Awareness Scheme
Think its a good idea. We keep making the driving license harder and harder to pass, but the danger is not from the new drivers its ones who have developed bad habits - how many drivers would pass if they retook the test.

My ex is a bobby and took a advanced driving course a year ago so he could drive with blue lights. He had had his license for around 5 years and it shocked him what a bad driver he had become. He also comments that he gets alot of hassle from drivers he pulls over for speeding. Now when he does speed checks he puts himself outside schools as people find it much easier to visualise the dangers in a built up area when children are about.
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10-04-2005, 11:47 AM
Post: #4
Speed Awareness Scheme
I think it is a great idea. Last year I received a fine and 3 points for speeding (caught by a speed camera) doing 40mph in a 30mph zone and I would have preferred this to the points on my licence but I wasn't given the option.
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10-04-2005, 12:19 PM
Post: #5
Speed Awareness Scheme
ilovesurvivor Wrote:I think it is a great idea. Last year I received a fine and 3 points for speeding (caught by a speed camera) doing 40mph in a 30mph zone and I would have preferred this to the points on my licence but I wasn't given the option.

Like I said, I don't know if this scheme is nationwide, or confined only to certain forces, so it might be that Sussex Police don't even do the scheme. But even if they do, I think the offence has to fall within a certain "margin" before you are offered the course. I can't remember the exact wording of the letter, but it definitely implied that I was only being offered the course because my speeding wasn't a great deal over the limit.

You get about a 10% margin over the speed limit which is allowable anyway (so I wouldn't have been penalised at 33mph) - so you might only be offered the course if your speed is that within 20% more than the limit or something. At 40mph in a 30 zone,you'd be exceeding that percentage.

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10-04-2005, 12:27 PM
Post: #6
Speed Awareness Scheme
I am honestly not sure about the discretion of camera's - but in real life ie caught bang to rights by a calibrated system on hand by the actual police, then there are discretions available - and I think the national 'average' is 10% of the speed restriction.

So if you are in a 30 mph area and you are between 31 and 33 mph [ie 10% of the speed] - then it is generally just a caution, obv. this rises with the speed limit.

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10-04-2005, 12:48 PM
Post: #7
Speed Awareness Scheme
I would welcome this too. I got "caught" by a speed camera doing just over 40 in 30 where there were roadworks. What peed me off is that there was no-one working there at the time and the road was pratically empty. Still, I paid the fine, got the points on my license. It is the points that really stick in my throat. I would say that I am in the majority of occassions a careful driver in build-up areas, but when you are on dual carriageways (it was dual carriageway where I got caught), I think you need to keep up the speed as it is when you are caught behind a slow driver that people get annoyed.

I would also welcome that the age to start driving be increased. It is sad to constantly read about 17/18 years being killed in car accidents where the cause has been speed. I think it should be increased to 21. There is a huge difference between a 21 year old and 17 year old. At 21 you will probably be holding a stable job and be more mature, and not have the urge to do your hand-brake spins and see how fast you can you round a corner. It would save so many young people's lives.

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10-04-2005, 01:20 PM
Post: #8
Speed Awareness Scheme
Bella Wrote:I would also welcome that the age to start driving be increased. It is sad to constantly read about 17/18 years being killed in car accidents where the cause has been speed. I think it should be increased to 21. There is a huge difference between a 21 year old and 17 year old.

I'd be inclined to agree with this Bella - only I'd raise the age to 25.

During the time I've been driving, I've been involved in 2 quite serious car accidents where somebody was hurt. On both ocassions it was the fault of the other driver, and on both ocassions the other driver was under 21 (in the first accident, the guy was 17 and had only passed his test 3 days before).

Of course I have also seen and experienced careless driving from drivers much older than 21, but on the whole older drivers do tend to be more responsible. E.g. When you see a car full of men, and the driver is "showing off" by driving recklessly at speed and overtaking other cars in built up areas, the chances are that the driver is a young lad!

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10-04-2005, 02:03 PM
Post: #9
Speed Awareness Scheme
MMM under that my ex would'nt be able to drive his police car and a third of the British Forces would'nt be allowed to drive. You could have a nine year old child, a degree and been working for 4 years before you could actually drive. Oh and the countryside would be dead as no self respecting 24 year old will ask mum to give them a lift in to town as the bus comes once a week on market day.

If you're going to do that then you should also rule out anyone over 60 as their reflex reactions arn't as good as they used to be.

Luckly I am 26 today and so under your 25 and over rule will be able to drive.
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10-04-2005, 02:04 PM
Post: #10
Speed Awareness Scheme
I've never been caught by a speed camera but thats becasue I don't speed :angel_not , well I do on the motor way, but not been caught yet.
I think they should introduce these courses to people visiting the country side . What I find so annoying is that all the local roads are 60 mile roads but some people drive at 35 mph and then when we go through a 30mph village they keep going at 35mph giving me no chance to overtake them :ranting: at the passing points once we go back to 60.
One of these days I'm going to paint some signs and hold them up to silly drivers
National speed limit road!
Pull over and let me pass you snail
Slow down you wally it's now 30


I've heard of these schemes Karen and I think they can only be a good thing.
It's true that some roads that are 30 are empty but there are plenty that are not and are full of children playing. If people can get used to automatically sticking to them then there will be less accidents

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