Well survived the Speed Awareness Course that I had to take as my punishment for doing 37 mph in a 30 zone at 11:35 at night and getting caught and must say, it wasn't a total waste of 4 hours but wouldn't want a repeat performance. Good job as if I get caught again in the next three years, then I get points without any consideration and don't get another chance to do the course!
One of the guys, the bloke in charge- Kevin, was a bit of a 50p and thought he was like the Head Teacher at a school or something but his colleague, Matt, was a lot lighter in tone if not in stature and made the morning a bit more relaxed. There were a whole host of different people, ages and cultures there though most of the people attending were older than me. On the way, there was an accident on the Watton Road that leads to the UEA but luckily it didn't make me late! I couldn't help thinking wouldn't it be ironic if I got caught putting my foot down on the way to the course to avoid being late (if you're late, they threaten you with no entry and you have to pay again!) but made sure I watched my speed so this didn't happen!
They showed us several Road Safety videos, both old and new, that were familiar from the telly and went on a lot about changing the attitudes and awareness of society to the point that speeding is no longer deemed acceptable and becomes as taboo as drink driving has become. One of the things I learnt was that although only 1 out of 20 ppl are killed if hit at 20 mph and 4 out of 20 at 30 mph, the figure jumps dramatically to 11 out of 20 when you hit 30-ish.....i.e 35mph!!! Thats quite a jump for so small an increase!! At 40 mph the figure goes up to 18 out of 20 and it's not even worth talking about after that as the remaining two people will probably go on to die from their injuries after a month!!
Certainly helps put things into perspective a bit when you think how many of us do 30-ish thinking it doesn't make much difference!!
Another thing I learnt was that if you are intending to turn off a main road headed right, you should angle your car to the left whilst waiting for a gap in traffic. This is because a guy locally who was waiting to turn right recently and had turned his wheel a half-turn to the right in anticipation, was hit up the arse and pushed into oncoming traffic-straight into the path of a 10 ton Arctic Lorry and was killed instantly!!! If he had angled his wheels the other way, he would have gone into a hedge and survived with walking wounded injuries! Very scary thought when I think how many times I turn my wheel half-a-turn when going right! Won't do that anymore!!
They also did some psychological tests to test our perception and illustrate blind spots and these were quite fun and interesting too! If you go on the course and have to watch a video of people playing basketball, my tip is look for the gorilla no matter what the instructors tell you! For anyone who has done the course, this will hopefully make some sense though I don't know if that paticular demostration was just local to Norfolk!
So anyway, no it wasn't like The Breakfast Club; yes, I did get some benefit and yes, I will be watching the speedometer like a hawk for next few years! Am not going to get caught again if I can help it! I did get a free(??!!)copy of The Highway Code so didn't even come away empty-handed but, seeing as how the instructors told us most of the original information was compiled in 1935 and has not been amended just added to, not sure how much that is worth!
Anyway, back to work shortly and Emilie is getting grisly cos I am writing this and not paying the little Diva any attention so until next time Sayonara! xxxx Sparky