I did my Speed Awareness Course yesterday as it was a bit cheaper (£85) than the £100 fine and meant that I did not get the three points on my license. The course was held at the Mancure Dunkehalgh Hotel near Accrington. It started at 13:00 and ran till 17:00, but we all had to be there at least 20 minutes before the start time to book in. There were 24 of us there on the course.
The course was run by 2 ADI instructors, there were no police in attendance.
I have to start by saying that there was no "talking down" to any of us - We were all reminded that we were there because we had been caught breaking the speed limit, and that was that - Not quite what I had expected (as I did expect a little "wrist slapping and being told that we had all been naught people" but that didn't happen.
It started with the instructors introducing themselves and then an interactive talk about the consequences of speeding - Mainly the risks of injuries and fatalities at different speeds. Then it went on to how to be more aware of the many different speed limits on different roads.
We were then shown some short video clips and asked what dangers or hazards we could spot, and if we hadn't recognised the hazards they were explained to us along with how we could recognise then in advance in the future.
Throughout the entire course we were all asked to participate and offer our own input thought and comments and at the end of the course we were all asked to write down a "pledge" to ourselves in the handbook that we were given to work with. This pledge was personal to each individual and was not made known to either the instructors or any of the other "candidates".
The course offered two breaks for coffee etc, but we were all reminded that timing was crucial to get the entire course finished on time and anyone returning late would be asked to leave the course and marked down as not completed the course - Which wa fair enough and all completed the course.
There are several things that this course taught me and I am glad that I took it: It drove home the fact that even though I thought I was a good driver (After holding a full license since November 1968) there were things that I could do to improve my driving and also if I took another driving test again I would almost certainly fail through being over confident and too "cock sure" of myself and my driving abilities!
If any of you are unfortunate enough to get caught for speeding and are offered one of these Speed Awareness Courses as an alternative to the fine and points I would urge you to accept it. It will only take four hours of your life but it will be four hours well spent and you will almost certainly learn and gain something from the course which might well help to make you a better and safer driver!