Welcome to my second blog post of the year; a blog post I kept meaning to do during December but never got to it.
But if you read my last blog post it was all about My 2017 hopes & dreams and one of the points was to blog more so here we have it – I am making a more consious effort 🙂
So whats this blog post all about?
Around the 17th October 2016 I was caught speeding (48mph in a 40mph zone). I was on my way back from a physiotherapist appointment when I spotted the speed van I’ll be totally honest I speed along that road quite often (usually never over 50mph), it swaps from national speed limit to 40mph and then back to the national speed limit. I wouldn’t always speed in general as I am quite a careful driver and I don’t think there is a single person out there that can safely say they have never went over the speed limit.
I got the letter through the post on 27th October to say that I had been caught and I had to fill out a form with all my details on it – whilst reading through the form it was said that I would be considered for a Young Drivers Scheme through the AA if I met the criteria.
I found out a week later than I was indeed eligible for the AA Young Drivers Scheme and they gave me the choice of the Scheme & a fine Or 3 penalty points & a fine. I didn’t know which option I wanted to take so I took a few days to think about. Eventually I chose the Young Drivers Scheme which include: a course fee, 3 hour discussion workshop which looks at all aspects of driving and speed control in particular.
On the lead up to the course in December I was totally bored by the thought of going. Don’t get me wrong I was glad of the option of no penalty points but I dreaded the thought of a 3 hour course thinking it would be someone talking constantly over everything and being patronising towards us because of being caught.
Well I take it all back!
The course in my opinion was great, very informative, helpful and not at all patronising. It was 3 hours of learning (from AA employees – not the Police) the things that I had either forgotten, didn’t know about driving/the situations or just didn’t bother to acknowledge some of the things. After the 3 hour lecture you have to complete 4 online modules and a 12 question multiple choice test to complete the course – if you fail to complete any part of the scheme you are referred back to the Police which then issue penalty points and a heavier fine than before.
There were around 25 of us and we were split up into 4 groups; throughout the night we had to brainstorm together, answer basic speeding questions, watch videos and answer questions put to us from the lecturers. The amount of things that I didn’t know scared me to think I was so ignorant to these things, these things I never gave a second thought to. I know everyone isn’t perfect when it comes to driving but after going on this course makes me think about how mediocre we all actually are when it comes to driving and how we start to take driving for granted after doing it for so many years. We tend to forget how important it is to concentrate and be aware of our surroundings whilst being in charge of a lethal weapon; a weapon that could and can kill someone or yourself it not controlled properly.
The course totally opened my eyes to all things driving and has made me wake up when driving and be more conscious whilst in charge of my lethal weapon. I’m so glad glad I chose to take the course instead on taking the easier way out of penalty points and then forgetting about them.
I would encourage anyone who gets the option to attend one of these courses go for it and don’t be ignorant to it like I was at the start. It is a little more expensive than the fixed price of the Police fine but is totally worth it and you don’t get the penalty points ;).
I would even go as far to say that everyone should have to give up 3 hours of their year to attend one of these courses annually to make us all more aware whilst driving (some of you have probably read that sentence and are thinking I’m nuts) :D.
If you want a nosy at more info about the course you can check it out here. The don’t only have courses for young drivers – they alter them depending on age and situation etc but it is up to your offending situation and the police discretion to send you on these courses but do go if your given the opportunity.
My situation went from being negative after getting caught to being almost glad I got caught because of the knowledge I gained from the experience. (Sad as I am ;))
The course is run by the AA Drive Tech, anything you say in the room is confidential and cannot be reported back to the Police which gives a more relaxed trusting environment. As much as I took the course seriously there were some funny stories on how people got caught which obviously I can’t repeat as we all agreed to it being totally confidential.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it and can take something away from it all 😀