Blog: Speedy way to learn to slow down

Blog: Speedy way to learn to slow down

Blog: Speedy way to learn to slow down

First published in Latest Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

I cursed when I saw it. A police van parked at the side of the road, flashing intermittently as cars streamed past. A speed camera.

I had a good idea that I’d been snapped, but was I driving over the limit? Just a few moments previously, my youngest daughter had teased me for driving too slowly, calling me ‘tortoise’. I have always driven at low speeds, rarely going over 55mph, even on motorways. But on this stretch of road, in the dark, with driving rain, I have to admit I had no idea what the limit was – I guessed it was 40, so thought I’d be fine.

A few days later, I found out exactly what it was, when a letter arrived informing me I’d been driving at 40mph in a 30mph zone and inviting me to choose between penalty points and a fine or a speed awareness course, costing almost as much as the fine.

Like most people in this position, I chose the course. It was a revelation. If you passed your test as long ago as I did and think you still know your stuff, or have ever known it, you’re mistaken. It was as though the Highway Code were new to me, I’d forgotten so much. For instance, if I’d known that, unless otherwise indicated, street lamps always mean 30mph, I wouldn’t have been in that classroom. Time after time I’ve been confused when driving in the dark and failing to spot any road signs. Now, thanks to some valuable tips, I’ll have an idea as to what limits apply.

I didn’t know that closely spaced central white line indicate a more hazardous stretch of road, or that the position of your tyres when waiting to turn right could save your life if you’re bumped from behind. Keep them straight.

I’ve been driving, completely oblivious to such things, for more 35 years. Scary. Yet I wasn’t alone in my ignorance. The other people – mostly my age – filling the packed room, also had gaping gaps in their knowledge.

But I did know that a few extra miles per hour on the clock could make a big difference to the outcome in the event of an accident. We all knew that – yet still we exceeded the limit. Everyone does it – whether we are late for an appointment, rushing to get the kids to school, or just not concentrating.

As the course tutors said, it is far harder to keep to low speeds than to travel at higher ones.

So I’ve served my penance: four hours in a room with a bunch of strangers and an overhead projector being urged to take care and slow down. I know I will.

Comments (14)

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8:58am Tue 8 Apr 14

Excluded again says...

Sorry, you are just the sort of person who should not be driving a car.

By your own admission you have no idea what speed limits are, you drive too slowly on roads safe to drive fast and too fast on roads not safe to drive fast and you have no idea about road markings.

You are not cut out for driving.There is no shame in this - I am not cut out to be a surgeon and I feel no desire to try out a scalpel on someone. You risk hurting yourself or someone else very badly. Possibly your daughter.
Sorry, you are just the sort of person who should not be driving a car. By your own admission you have no idea what speed limits are, you drive too slowly on roads safe to drive fast and too fast on roads not safe to drive fast and you have no idea about road markings. You are not cut out for driving.There is no shame in this - I am not cut out to be a surgeon and I feel no desire to try out a scalpel on someone. You risk hurting yourself or someone else very badly. Possibly your daughter. Excluded again
  • Score: -3

5:20am Fri 11 Apr 14

oldnorm says...

You were unlucky, drive with faulty lights, do not use signals, tailgate, get run off the road by 4x4s pushing in and you will be O.K. . As for the highway code, ignore it unless your 4mph over the limit.
You were unlucky, drive with faulty lights, do not use signals, tailgate, get run off the road by 4x4s pushing in and you will be O.K. . As for the highway code, ignore it unless your 4mph over the limit. oldnorm
  • Score: 2

8:31pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Copperhead says...

Your contrite little article misses the point entirely - we motorists are regarded as fodder by the anti-motoring lobby.
Speed limits in the dictatorship formerly known as Britain are far too low. They are artificially low so that more money can be obtained by fining motorists who are really just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time.
Some of the anti-car lobby are politically motivated and wish to see an end to all forms of motorised transport. These Luddites have much in common with the Green lobby who wish us all to live in caves, eat grass, walk everywhere and die before we reach 30 because there are no medicines as we are not allowed to use animals in research. These idiots were brainwashed at university by marxist deconstructionist anti-western, anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-progress lecturers who are still bitter at the failure of the " revolution " in the 1960s.
Then we have the traffic cops. Every road-users sworn enemy - even cops who are not involved with traffic hate them. None-traffic cops like CID detest traffic cops - they call them " the Black Rats " - partially because of the colour of their uniforms, partially because they love to " eat their own " - ie., arrest a fellow cop for a driving offence.
Don't believe any traffic cop when they say they are only concerned with " safety ".
They have targets to reach, like all of us these days, and they are targetting YOU.
Lastly, in this ghastly parade of incompetents, we have the politicians. They are after us for one reason only - our money. They crucify motorists on a cross of money - anything and everything to do with motoring in the UK is more and more expensive every year because the vermin who run the UK need more of our money every year in order to finance their hair-brained schemes as well as their pensions.
Ignore all you see, read and are told about road safety enforcement - it's all really to do with politics and money.
Your contrite little article misses the point entirely - we motorists are regarded as fodder by the anti-motoring lobby. Speed limits in the dictatorship formerly known as Britain are far too low. They are artificially low so that more money can be obtained by fining motorists who are really just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time. Some of the anti-car lobby are politically motivated and wish to see an end to all forms of motorised transport. These Luddites have much in common with the Green lobby who wish us all to live in caves, eat grass, walk everywhere and die before we reach 30 because there are no medicines as we are not allowed to use animals in research. These idiots were brainwashed at university by marxist deconstructionist anti-western, anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-progress lecturers who are still bitter at the failure of the " revolution " in the 1960s. Then we have the traffic cops. Every road-users sworn enemy - even cops who are not involved with traffic hate them. None-traffic cops like CID detest traffic cops - they call them " the Black Rats " - partially because of the colour of their uniforms, partially because they love to " eat their own " - ie., arrest a fellow cop for a driving offence. Don't believe any traffic cop when they say they are only concerned with " safety ". They have targets to reach, like all of us these days, and they are targetting YOU. Lastly, in this ghastly parade of incompetents, we have the politicians. They are after us for one reason only - our money. They crucify motorists on a cross of money - anything and everything to do with motoring in the UK is more and more expensive every year because the vermin who run the UK need more of our money every year in order to finance their hair-brained schemes as well as their pensions. Ignore all you see, read and are told about road safety enforcement - it's all really to do with politics and money. Copperhead
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Sun 13 Apr 14

happycyclist says...

Unbelievable. Other than the tyre position when turning right, I know all the stuff that Helen Mead doesn't know and I don't drive a car. Excluded Again is right; people like her shouldn't be driving on the roads. She makes a brilliant case for everyone being re-tested at least every ten years.
Unbelievable. Other than the tyre position when turning right, I know all the stuff that Helen Mead doesn't know and I don't drive a car. Excluded Again is right; people like her shouldn't be driving on the roads. She makes a brilliant case for everyone being re-tested at least every ten years. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Sun 13 Apr 14

happycyclist says...

Copperhead wrote:
Your contrite little article misses the point entirely - we motorists are regarded as fodder by the anti-motoring lobby.
Speed limits in the dictatorship formerly known as Britain are far too low. They are artificially low so that more money can be obtained by fining motorists who are really just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time.
Some of the anti-car lobby are politically motivated and wish to see an end to all forms of motorised transport. These Luddites have much in common with the Green lobby who wish us all to live in caves, eat grass, walk everywhere and die before we reach 30 because there are no medicines as we are not allowed to use animals in research. These idiots were brainwashed at university by marxist deconstructionist anti-western, anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-progress lecturers who are still bitter at the failure of the " revolution " in the 1960s.
Then we have the traffic cops. Every road-users sworn enemy - even cops who are not involved with traffic hate them. None-traffic cops like CID detest traffic cops - they call them " the Black Rats " - partially because of the colour of their uniforms, partially because they love to " eat their own " - ie., arrest a fellow cop for a driving offence.
Don't believe any traffic cop when they say they are only concerned with " safety ".
They have targets to reach, like all of us these days, and they are targetting YOU.
Lastly, in this ghastly parade of incompetents, we have the politicians. They are after us for one reason only - our money. They crucify motorists on a cross of money - anything and everything to do with motoring in the UK is more and more expensive every year because the vermin who run the UK need more of our money every year in order to finance their hair-brained schemes as well as their pensions.
Ignore all you see, read and are told about road safety enforcement - it's all really to do with politics and money.
Poor old motorists just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time? How about pedestrians who just want to get across the road alive? The faster cars drive, the less time pedestrians have to cross the road in between cars. THAT'S one of the main reasons why there are speed limits in urban areas. You might think your journey is more important than everyone else's, but it isn't.
[quote][p][bold]Copperhead[/bold] wrote: Your contrite little article misses the point entirely - we motorists are regarded as fodder by the anti-motoring lobby. Speed limits in the dictatorship formerly known as Britain are far too low. They are artificially low so that more money can be obtained by fining motorists who are really just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time. Some of the anti-car lobby are politically motivated and wish to see an end to all forms of motorised transport. These Luddites have much in common with the Green lobby who wish us all to live in caves, eat grass, walk everywhere and die before we reach 30 because there are no medicines as we are not allowed to use animals in research. These idiots were brainwashed at university by marxist deconstructionist anti-western, anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-progress lecturers who are still bitter at the failure of the " revolution " in the 1960s. Then we have the traffic cops. Every road-users sworn enemy - even cops who are not involved with traffic hate them. None-traffic cops like CID detest traffic cops - they call them " the Black Rats " - partially because of the colour of their uniforms, partially because they love to " eat their own " - ie., arrest a fellow cop for a driving offence. Don't believe any traffic cop when they say they are only concerned with " safety ". They have targets to reach, like all of us these days, and they are targetting YOU. Lastly, in this ghastly parade of incompetents, we have the politicians. They are after us for one reason only - our money. They crucify motorists on a cross of money - anything and everything to do with motoring in the UK is more and more expensive every year because the vermin who run the UK need more of our money every year in order to finance their hair-brained schemes as well as their pensions. Ignore all you see, read and are told about road safety enforcement - it's all really to do with politics and money.[/p][/quote]Poor old motorists just trying to get from A to B in a reasonable time? How about pedestrians who just want to get across the road alive? The faster cars drive, the less time pedestrians have to cross the road in between cars. THAT'S one of the main reasons why there are speed limits in urban areas. You might think your journey is more important than everyone else's, but it isn't. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Graham Hartley says...

What I have always found so fascinating about speed limits is that the (Galilean) relativity is never explained. Relative to the sun, Earth travels at some sixty-seven thousand miles per hour - a figure so large that a few tens of miles per hour makes no never-mind. Relative to Earth's centre, at UK latitude we travel a little over six hundred miles in an hour. S'fact, innit.
What I have always found so fascinating about speed limits is that the (Galilean) relativity is never explained. Relative to the sun, Earth travels at some sixty-seven thousand miles per hour - a figure so large that a few tens of miles per hour makes no never-mind. Relative to Earth's centre, at UK latitude we travel a little over six hundred miles in an hour. S'fact, innit. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

11:59am Thu 17 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ?
Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ? myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

11:59pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Graham Hartley says...

myhatisgrey wrote:
Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ?
Study science so that you may know. To convince, evince. Where am I, you, the rest of us?

I don't know but I've been told
Hot meat pies taste better cold.
[quote][p][bold]myhatisgrey[/bold] wrote: Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ?[/p][/quote]Study science so that you may know. To convince, evince. Where am I, you, the rest of us? I don't know but I've been told Hot meat pies taste better cold. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

10:31am Sat 19 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

The rest of us need to give and receive an unconditional love. To do that, to accomplish that, we will need to feel The Original Unconditional Love. I need devotion pure and simple, but more importantly than that, you need to have an unconditional amount of unconditional sex as well.


ANYWHERE CLOSE pie face. ?
The rest of us need to give and receive an unconditional love. To do that, to accomplish that, we will need to feel The Original Unconditional Love. I need devotion pure and simple, but more importantly than that, you need to have an unconditional amount of unconditional sex as well. ANYWHERE CLOSE pie face. ? myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

10:38am Sat 19 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

I have more unconditional sex than a pie.
I have more unconditional sex than a pie. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sat 19 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Sexier, than a pie factory.
Sexier, than a pie factory. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Sat 19 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

You are the hottest sizzling and most dazzling woman in the entire pie factory.
You are the hottest sizzling and most dazzling woman in the entire pie factory. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Sat 19 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

A 'genderless' cognition, or third sex, is a biologically unconditioned gender cognition. A cognition, that is free of either gender conditions. They are the last to be genetically and the first to be consciously and are set aside from the natural cycle of reproduction. They can be either male or female with the power of cognition, while their cognition free and unconditioned by either male or female condition.

Sometimes referred to as the sans gender or gender-free sex they are gender neutrois beings of which very little is known.
A 'genderless' cognition, or third sex, is a biologically unconditioned gender cognition. A cognition, that is free of either gender conditions. They are the last to be genetically and the first to be consciously and are set aside from the natural cycle of reproduction. They can be either male or female with the power of cognition, while their cognition free and unconditioned by either male or female condition. Sometimes referred to as the sans gender or gender-free sex they are gender neutrois beings of which very little is known. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

10:46am Wed 23 Apr 14

myhatisgrey says...

Graham Hartley wrote:
myhatisgrey wrote: Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ?
Study science so that you may know. To convince, evince. Where am I, you, the rest of us? I don't know but I've been told Hot meat pies taste better cold.
Evincing people, is not a difficult problem for me.
[quote][p][bold]Graham Hartley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]myhatisgrey[/bold] wrote: Where are we travelling to at over six hundred miles an hour I don't know. Heaven is here, where are you ?[/p][/quote]Study science so that you may know. To convince, evince. Where am I, you, the rest of us? I don't know but I've been told Hot meat pies taste better cold.[/p][/quote]Evincing people, is not a difficult problem for me. myhatisgrey
  • Score: 0

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