Speed Awareness

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 08 May 2014, 19:24

I was not sure whether to post this in the What Attracted your Attention thread or Cunning Wheezes so I have elected to give it it's own topic.

A number of things while applying for a Speed Awareness Course.

First of all I have to say that I am not trying to make any excuses for my misdemeanour but offer this post as an observation of the processes involved and the options available if you transgress. The information may come in useful if anyone else finds themselves in the same position.

I received a notice of intended prosecution from Cheshire Constabulary with a fixed penalty notice for exceeding a temporary 40mph speed limit. My offence was in the unmanned road works on the northbound carriageway of the M6 coming down the hill off the Thelwall Viaduct. I was captured on unmanned camera travelling at 46mph. I have no excuse so do not dispute the charges against me but will add that I was travelling at the same speed as all the rest of the traffic coming off the bridge. I can only assume that there will be hundreds of others also receiving a notice of intended prosecution.

So, on receipt of the notification you are obliged to tell the police who was driving the car. This was duly done shortly after receipt of the notification. The notice advises that my speed was within the limits that may result in me being offered a place on a speed awareness course as an alternative to the fixed £100.00 fine and 3 penalty points on my licence.
Having admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time I received my options from the Cheshire Police just before the bank holiday.

I was indeed given the option of attending a Speed Awareness Course along with paperwork for applying for a course in Cheshire, the cost for this would be £75.00 with a £3.00 booking fee.

My other option was to accept the fixed penalty of £100.00 and the three points, (more on this option later).

For either action you are required to either accept the fine and points or book a course within 28 days. If you elect to ignore the notice or do not make the deadline your case is automatically forwarded to the Magistrates Court in which case the fine is likely to be greater than the fixed penalty and you may get extra points on your licence.

If you decide to do the course, you are not obliged to take the one offered by the prosecuting force. Cheshire operates theirs in Runcorn or Crewe. They issue you with all the contact numbers for all the other organisations around the country who run the Speed Awareness Course. Lancashire County Council offers the course at Leyland so I have opted for this. Wherever you choose to do the course, you must book it within 28 days of the offer notice and you must complete the course within 4 months of the offence.

The courses are normally delivered by advanced driving instructors and last approximately four and a half hours. You are obliged to turn up on time, stay the duration and actively participate in the proceedings, there are no tests involved. If you fail to attend, turn up late or leave early you will be judged to have failed and the prosecution will automatically be forwarded to the Magistrates Court.

I booked my course on line but had to register with LCC Services before I could do that. Each organisation offering the course can set their own tariff, in Lancashire it is £95.00. The booking system allows you to find a suitable date that you can attend. It looks like Lancashire run two and sometimes three each day. Starting times of 8.00am 13.30 and odd ones at 16.30. The Lancashire site currently lists 522 courses available over the next four months. Most take 22 candidates at each session and are fully booked. The system shows you all that are booked and the ones that have places available on them. I have booked Saturday 7th June at 13.30.

A quick calculation here shows that the Lancashire venue will deliver the Speed Awareness course to 11,484 individuals in the next for months. They will raise £1,090,980.00 in charges for delivering the course between now and the end of August. A good number of these are likely to be my adjacent travellers who were on the M6 at the same time as me when recorded by the unmanned camera.

Multiply this out by the 43 other regions around the country that provide this service and you start to talk telephone book numbers. I would imagine that most will be operating around the same level of provision and in comparable charging scales.

I looked at the options for taking the hit with the £100.00 fixed penalty and the 3 points but ran into an immediate problem with my licence.

Although my current paper licence (this one issued in 1978) is a perfectly legal document and still valid until 2023, it can no longer be submitted for a fixed penalty offence. Apparently you are required to have a photo identification licence to accept penalty points?

The paperwork does give guidance on how to swap out your perfectly legal but non endorsable licence for a shiny new one. It costs £20.00 to do it and the licencing authority will use the same photo as you have on your E-Passport. This is stumbling block number two, I have a passport but not one of the latest whiz bang ones so I would have to provide alternative photo’s if I wanted to swap out my driving licence.

I am obliged to turn up with my driving licence and photo identification when I take my Speed Awareness course. This can be your Photo ID Driving licence or another acceptable form of photo ID. I hope that my old but still legal (until 2015) passport will still fit the bill.
Ian

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 09 May 2014, 03:17

Hard luck Kid! My last offence was 95mph on an empty piece of the Skipton by-pass when I had the Fulvia. Not usual practice, I was just cleaning the cylinders out. I think I was fined £40..... So glad I don't have to worry about these things now.....
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
chinatyke
Donor
Posts: 1717
Joined: 21 Apr 2012, 13:14
Location: Pingguo, Guangxi, China

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by chinatyke » 09 May 2014, 07:29

Hard lines Ian. It is hard to avoid getting caught, one momentary lapse and you end up with 3 penalty points on your licence. I think the option of the speed awareness course and no penalty points is a good idea.

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 09 May 2014, 08:31

The eye opener for me is the sheer number of people who are being caught committing minor speeding offences. You are only offered the Awareness course if you are just over the speed limit including the allowance. It's a huge revenue earner and all automated, probably some clerical overheads but it's a lot of money being generated.

The other thing of course is that if I wanted to get fined and cop for the points, I cant without it costing me a lot more money. This is through no fault of my own as my green paper licence is perfectly legal, it even has a space for endorsements and points so why can't they use it? It smacks of another revenue earner as it would cost me an extra £20.00 plus the cost of the dour photographs you have to supply to change out my licence for one i could get "done" on.

Of course the extra cost of the photo's would not come into it if I had and E-Passport. Again I have a perfectly valid and legal non electronic passport with photo ID on it but it can't be used. Now swapping that out as a means to an end is a whole different ball park which entails you having to surrender your old or current passport as part of the process. The documentation you get from the police suggests you don't go down that route if you may need it for travel in the next four months!

It may be a little cynical but I think the powers that be know that people will generally go the extra mile (no pun intended) to avoid taking the hit with the points. Your insurance company will take immediate advantage of course and contrary to popular belief that the points go away after 3 years --- they don't, they never go away.

This is a fact I discovered in the 1990's when involved in a collision with pedestrian who stepped out in front of me from between parked cars. Despite dozens of witnesses who said I was not going fast, the officer who attended after checking my details on the PNC suggested that I made a habit of driving over the speed limit. This was based on a long supposedly expired endorsement (SP30) (34) from my first, (red) licence gained 21 years earlier on my motorbike when I was 17. This had been off my licence for 18 years. It's the only other offence I have ever had on an otherwise perfectly clean licence.

10mph combined transgression over two separate offences in 43 years of driving, hardly public enemy number one! I was 310 miles into my trip that day making my way home from returning my granddaughter to Stratford. As you say China, momentary lapse of concentration and just going with the flow.
Ian

plaques
Donor
Posts: 2457
Joined: 23 May 2013, 22:09

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by plaques » 09 May 2014, 08:54

I hate to think how many people will be caught in the ubiquitous 20mph zones that are cropping up everywhere especially if they decide to enforce these regulations with any real intent. It is almost impossible to keep a modern car down to these speeds all the time irrespective which gear you drive in. I quite understand the logic behind these limits but when it becomes a nice little earner who knows.

User avatar
Tardis
Senior Member
Posts: 1897
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 14:21
Location: Barnoldswick
Contact:

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Tardis » 09 May 2014, 09:34

You mean, if I had remained a member of the IoAM I could have charged you £95 for a speed awareness course?

I used to volunteer to do it for free

User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 8598
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Tizer » 09 May 2014, 11:27

Very familiar to me, Ian, and you have my sympathy. I wrote about my experience in March on OGFB, first time in 50 years of driving but that's not taken into account. I related the story here:
viewtopic.php?f=390&t=335&p=52646&hilit ... ion#p52646
But the difference is that although I had an old green licence I don't recall the paperwork saying anywhere that they couldn't accept it. I sent it to them with the cheque for £100 and it was accepted - came back with the three points hand-written on it (in a hand-addressed envelope). The reason I paid the fine is that taking the course was going to cost me almost as much and be more inconvenient...and I suspect I might have failed the course by finding myself unable to resist arguing with the instructor! Now I have three points and I observe speed limits even more carefully than before, much to the annoyance of the cars that have to queue behind me.

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 09 May 2014, 13:28

Yes Tizer, it's the anonymity of it all as well. Not touched by many human hands, someone probably has to check the admission of guilt but apart from that it is all pretty automatic. I have checked back through the paperwork regarding my issue of licence and it is perfectly clear in the wording that a stand alone paper licence no longer meets the criteria for accepting penalty points. You must have either a photo ID licence or a two part paper and photo ID licence for them to process the fixed penalty and points.

It's not right as it creates a less than fair two tier system. In effect it will cost me about £27.00 more if I want to accept the fine and points. That's just the charge for the replacement compliant licence plus the cost of pulling faces at the passport photo machine. Might be worth testing that in court but I can't be bothered. I might wing an email off to the DVLA though to see what they say.
Ian

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2014, 05:12

P. it is by no means impossible to drive a modern car at 20mph. Go to any Mid West small town in the US and you will see people driving round slowly enough to surprise a UK visitor! I can remember when the speed limit for commercial vehicles was 20mph.....
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

plaques
Donor
Posts: 2457
Joined: 23 May 2013, 22:09

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by plaques » 10 May 2014, 07:33

My experience in America and Canada is that way from city centres the average driver is much more disciplined than UK drives. Waiting in line and no sudden over/under taking. Couple with that their older cars had enormous long stroke engines with two speed automatic boxes. All very different to the high revving light weight vehicles that we have on the roads today. Plus the fact that our younger drivers have this F1 mentality.
I still say that the majority of speed cameras are positioned as money spinners rather than deterrents.

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2014, 07:43

I wouldn't argue with your last point.....
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Pluggy
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 1749
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:13
Location: Barnoldswick
Contact:

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Pluggy » 10 May 2014, 10:45

Its very easy to drive a modern car at 20 MPH, In second gear mine is running at a comfortable 1800 revs at 20. If it won't run at 20 I'd be getting it seen to. I like driving at 20 MPH, if only because I know its upsetting the lead foot in the 4X4 with the blacked out rear windows behind me who would doing 40+ if I weren't there.

You couold always hide one of these in the car somewhere (with a power supply running off the car battery to keep it going, it only runs about 12 hours on its internal AA battery).

Image

Set up properly it will store the exact time, location and speed every few metres for around 10,000 miles. You pull it out of the car download it to your computer and you can see every thing it stores or you can feed the whole file into google earth and it plots out exactly where you've been. I have one because I'm a geek, but you could have one to get a second opinion to how fast you were actually travelling at the time of a speeding ticket. Also useful to see where the mysterious extra 30 Miles on the odometer came from when it comes back from having a service.........

http://premium.aliexpress.com/en/item/H ... tAod5UMAYw

Lorry drivers may have a big downer on it because its effectively a tachograph, but its under your control and what it reads needn't be disclosed.

For the nerds this is what an entry looks like

<trkpt lat="53.836956024" lon="-2.224899292">
<ele>112.031250</ele>
<time>2014-05-09T14:43:35Z</time>
<speed>23.904480</speed>
<name>TP046341</name>
</trkpt>

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=53.836 ... 41.13,,0,0

At 15:43 and 35 seconds Yesterday I was approaching Junction 13 on the M65 at 23.904 m/s ( 53.48 MPH ) - BST is an hour ahead of 'Z' time.
Pluggy's Home Monitor : http://pluggy.duckdns.org
Barlick Computers : http://barlickcomputers.co.uk

plaques
Donor
Posts: 2457
Joined: 23 May 2013, 22:09

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by plaques » 10 May 2014, 11:51

Pluggy. Sad to say I'm one off those 4x4 (10 year old Chelsea Tractor) drives where 1000rpm (virtual tick-over) in second = 20mph. No I try my best not to speed. I like those "smiley" warnings where I think if anyone who ignores these and then gets caught speeding deserves everything they get. Thanks for pointing out the gadget, must look into it.

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 10 May 2014, 12:30

We went to the Lowry in Manchester last night to see Jack's girlfriend Tori who is the female lead in the production of the Madness musical "Our House". We went in Jack's car which is a latest generation Peugeot variant. It has a 7" head up Sat Nav unit in the centre of the dash which doubles up as the radio/CD and has USB input for data and other devices. it has a secondary smaller navigation display directly in front of the driver. The large screen gives an on road view of the route with all the roads marked and any associated speed limit in force on the bit you are travelling on. The transmission has cruise control which I am fairly certain can be linked to the speeds from GPS map data. Its smart enough as well to know about the overhead matrix displays and any temporary limits on them so it must also get live data feeds on top of the map data updates done at each service. Jack say the only downer he has found with the nav system is that it can't do postcodes because its a French marque of car. You can get various GPS overlays that will add this feature on top of the map data though. I was in the front passenger seat and it's a very impressive system.
Ian

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 11 May 2014, 04:32

I can't help thinking of the millions of miles I did with only the free Esso maps for a clue (and the tongue in my head of course). I could tell you some good tales......
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Big Kev
Senior Member
Posts: 2184
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 20:15
Location: Barlick

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Big Kev » 11 May 2014, 09:21

I have a satnav but usually end up arguing with it. 'Er indoors and an atlas makes for a more sociable journey. I will admit to speeding on major roads, 5 or 10 mph over, but do observe on minor roads. I have been overtaken, outside The Strategy on Manchester Rd, Barlick, while observing the 20mph limit.
Kev

A Resigned Observer

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 11 May 2014, 10:03

I had Sat Nav on the motorbike with the audio into the helmets through the intercom system. A map is a bit awkward at speed on a bike! That system worked a treat especially on longer journeys and the various trips over to France. Same as you Kev, Sally and a small A5 AA map can usually get us most places even when abandoning the motorways when they get too bunged up.

I also try to observe the limits around town and I am definitely not a habitual speeder. I, like I think most folk "go with the flow" which often on the motorway is nearer 80 than 70. Even so there are plenty that still pass you and think that the outside lane is a personal possession. Contrast this with France where the cops will pull you for incorrect lane usage or hogging the outside but do not bother if you are somewhat "progressive" with you speed as long as you are behaving yourself. The main roads are much better quality than ours and are not as busy with the odd exceptions around the larger intersection town and cities. The Paris periphery is eight lanes in places and is a joy to circumnavigate on a motorbike, however you do need to have your wits about you. On toll roads they do calculate your point to point average speed as the bar codes on the tickets are time stamped and will fine on the spot with vehicle impounding for major default. I have seen one or two bikers fall foul of this by ignoring the golden rule of the half hour break at some point on longer journeys between tolls. You can have your fun but not all the time. They tend no to go for the minor transgressor but target the dangerous ones and the idiots, that to me seems like a good idea.
Ian

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 12 May 2014, 04:24

It give some idea of how things have changed when you realise that I never knew exactly what the speed limit for a wagon was on unrestricted roads. We just went as fast as we could! Mind you it got serious when I had a Leyland Comet fitted with a six speed box as well as the two speed Eaton rear axle. It was designed for the five speed box but we couldn't get one when we needed a replacement. This meant it had two overdrives and no governor. To tell you the truth I don't know how fast it was! On a dark night and an empty motorway you could put the needle right round the clock.... Never got into trouble with it.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

plaques
Donor
Posts: 2457
Joined: 23 May 2013, 22:09

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by plaques » 16 May 2014, 18:15

Blanket cover of 20mph zones may now be showing some unintended consequences. Drivers could be tempted to leave the main road because the speed advantage has been lost. A secondary result may be more speed camera action in these 20mph zones. 20mph zone. link

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 17 May 2014, 04:07

In my humble opinion they should simply have replaced the 30mph zone in towns with 20mph. It would not delay traffic and would have saved a fortune in signage.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
chinatyke
Donor
Posts: 1717
Joined: 21 Apr 2012, 13:14
Location: Pingguo, Guangxi, China

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by chinatyke » 23 May 2014, 04:44

Stanley wrote:P. it is by no means impossible to drive a modern car at 20mph. Go to any Mid West small town in the US and you will see people driving round slowly enough to surprise a UK visitor! I can remember when the speed limit for commercial vehicles was 20mph.....
...and a man with a red flag walked in front! :grin:

User avatar
Stanley
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 42301
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Stanley » 23 May 2014, 07:25

No, they had done away with that requirement in 1896, a bit before even my time!
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

User avatar
Tizer
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 8598
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 19:46
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Tizer » 24 May 2014, 10:42

Ian, after my post above, I went on holiday and was offline so didn't add anything more to this topic. I've only just seen it again and I guess there must have been a change in the rules during the few months between my fine and yours.

The comments about satnavs are topical for me as I've just had my first experience using one. Mrs Tiz and I have always been map fanatics, (we luv `em!) and we've never had problems finding our way. As kids of the `50s we were taught how to use OS maps and that sets you up for life. There's so much in an OS map that they're one of the best value for money items available. But then I had a glitch...

I had to drive to Bristol Airport to pick up Mrs Tiz, checked my map, set out on the country roads to reach the M5, then left the motorway and on to the A road for the final stretch. It was only after driving along that road for some miles that I began to feel something was wrong. Consulted the map and realised I'd been silly and come off the M5 at the wrong junction - there are two junction, each with an A road going off at the same angle and I should have taken the earlier one. What really surprised me was how much trouble that could cause, I ended up only about 8 miles from the airport but on the other side of a Mendips ridge. The map showed a lane running across the ridge but I couldn't find it `on the ground'! I had to double back much further until I found another lane, a sort of mini Cheddar Gorge, that took me through. Of course I arrived late and it's good I was collecting her and not taking her for a flight. Anyway, the upshot was that one of my younger relatives decided it was time I used a satnav and, having just upgraded to a later model of her car which had a built-in device, she lent me her old satnav.

We've tried it out on holiday and I was surprised to find it had interesting information such as longitude and latitude and showed rivers as well as roads...but it wasn't very good at finding its way about! We soon shoved it in the glove box and went back to our usual methods of using maps, checking the direction of the sun and looking out of the window at our surroundings!

User avatar
PanBiker
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 7189
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 13:07
Location: Barnoldswick - In the West Riding of Yorkshire, always was, always will be.

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by PanBiker » 24 May 2014, 12:53

There was no chance of speeding yesterday on the M6. I did the Stratford run to pick Ruby up setting off a 2.00pm. Arriving home at 12.30am. M6 gridlocked so exited onto the A roads then came back via the M1. 340 mile round trip, average speed on the dash display 34.4 mph, bonus was 56.2 mpg though. Apparently the M1 is being upgraded to a "Smart Motorway" whatever one of them is, maybe it will do the driving for you. :laugh5:
Ian

User avatar
Pluggy
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 1749
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:13
Location: Barnoldswick
Contact:

Re: Speed Awareness

Post by Pluggy » 24 May 2014, 13:04

All this stuff about sat-navs from my post about something which isn't a sat-nav, the data logger isn't really useful without some form of external map. The tiny display will give you the latitude and longitude which you can use to find out where you are assuming you have a map that does latitude and longitude. A sat-nav isn't much use in checking allegations of speeding since it doesn't store historical data and you don't tend to use one when you know where you're going.

If only they did sat-navs that were vehicle size appropriate, then you wouldn't meet huge artics on the narrow twisty top road, whose driver has been following a sat-nav from the M65 to Barlick. They meet something coming the other way at a nip point and its torment and misery all around, if its another artic, you'd need a Chinook helicopter to sort it out....
Pluggy's Home Monitor : http://pluggy.duckdns.org
Barlick Computers : http://barlickcomputers.co.uk

Post Reply

Return to “Current Affairs & Comment”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users