Scottish speed awareness courses welcome, but watch out for Braverman - Vladimir McTavish

More drivers caught speeding.More drivers caught speeding.
More drivers caught speeding.
I know Suella Braverman is a fan of speed awareness courses, but only discovered this week that the Scottish Government is planning to introduce them north of the Border some time in the future.

This is a very good idea, although I suspect that one particular hotelier in Berwick upon Tweed may disagree.

In November 2019 I had managed to run up nine points on my driving licence. Or to put a positive spin on my situation, I was 75 per cent carbon neutral. In other words, three-quarters of the way to 100 per cent carbon neutral. One further speeding ticket and I would achieve net zero – or get a six-month ban.

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Then, on the way home from a gig in Sheffield, I hit a speed camera and received a summons in the post.

Fortunately for me, this happened in England so I had the option of attending a speed awareness course. The costs of the course was £100, roughly the same as the potential fine but with the added bonus of keeping my licence. This was essential, as I had a packed diary the following spring. Without wheels it would have been a logistical nightmare.

The closest course available was in a hotel outside Berwick upon Tweed at eight o’clock on a Monday morning. Getting to Berwick by eight in the morning – how would I be able to do that without breaking the speed limit? Just to be on the safe side, I decided to book a room in the same hotel on the Sunday night, which cost another hundred quid.

It turned out that half of the people on the course were other drivers from Scotland caught on camera south of the Border, and that quite a few had also decided to stay overnight. Indeed, there didn’t appear to be any other guests in the hotel apart from reckless drivers from Scotland.

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As things transpired, all those engagements in my diary in spring 2020 were either postponed or cancelled due to lockdown. By the time we emerged from the second wave of Covid in 2021, a six-month ban would have long expired. So I’d basically wasted £200.

It could have been worse – Suella Braverman could have been on the course.

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