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Speed Awareness Course

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Speed Awareness Course

Old 28th Nov 2017, 09:46
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Speed Awareness Course

Just did my first SAC and enlightening it was too.

A varied cross section of 'guests' (@ 90 a pop). Ranging from granny with her blue rinse, to white van man.

Some comments from the audience:

"Things have changed so much since I last read the highway code, I have given up keeping pace."

"If someone tail gated me - I'd slam the brakes on hard!"

"How come the speed limit sign for dual carriageways is the same for motorways?"

"Speed averaging cameras are only switched on for 2 hours a day because of the amount of data they are gathering".

There are some scary people out there on them thar roads.

Some refreshers for me:

1.Parking within 10m of a junction is illegal and subject to a fine and 3 points. It also invalidates your insurance.
2. You cannot go to prison for excess speeding. No matter how fast you were driving.
3. Double white lines do not mean: No overtaking. They mean: Do not stop/wait or cross said white line(s). [Exceptions (apart from a parked vehicle): tractors/service vehicles/2 abreast cyclists ONLY if their speed is <10mph].
4.Hatched markings in the middle of the road allow you to enter them IF safe to do so and the hatching is a broken white line (as opposed to a continuous white line - where you can't enter).
5. Driving in a motorway lane where there is a red X above it on the gantry is a fine and 3 points. The law is going to change to an instant ban! [The CCTV's record people doing this it seems, so no-one will come after you at the time, you'll get a letter in the post].
6. The stopping distance of a 40 tonne artic is the same as a modern car up to 30mph.
7. 180,000 reported instances of road injuries in 2016. 24,000 serious injuries (life changing), 1780 deaths.

And remember - driving in the middle lane of a motorway when the inside lane is clear - is a motoring offence subject to a fine and points. MOVE OVER!
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 09:53
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The stopping distance of a 40 tonne artic is the same as a modern car up to 30mph.
If they are not full its less.
If they are going down hill full its a lot more.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:22
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7. 180,000 reported instances of road injuries in 2016. 24,000 serious injuries (life changing), 1780 deaths.
No need for complacency but that figure of 1780 deaths comes 50 years after the worst peacetime figure for road deaths which was in 1966 when 7985 died. Obviously car and road design is a factor, with seat belts and air bags making a big contribution, but attitudes to driving have changed - nobody makes a joke about driving home drunk any more.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:22
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Originally Posted by Thomas coupling View Post
2. You cannot go to prison for excess speeding. No matter how fast you were driving.
No but at some point the excess speeding becomes dangerous driving, which can result in a prison sentence.


Speeding and dangerous driving do not have a direct relationship though... 140mph on an empty motorway in good conditions for example is far less dangerous than 40mph on many NSL roads. But try arguing that with someone who's just pulled you over, or when you're in the dock.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:27
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I commend you for having an open mind and acknowledging that you learned something useful.

My IAM Advanced Motorcycle Observer (they are actually tutors/trainers but have to be called Observers!) and another Observer I know are facilitators for Speed Awareness Courses in their area. I hear quite a lot of conversation about the level of complete ignorance of traffic rules and law, even basic speed limits e.g. what the speed limit is when you see a National Speed Limit sign.

I am told that there are always some who are determined to keep their mind fully closed to anything they might learn but, in general, most people do gain some useful knowledge. Statistically people who have attended a course are far less likely to be caught speeding a second time, I forget that actual numbers but it is significant.

My Observer always opens his courses with a show of hands to answer the question 'Who wants to be here?' which breaks the ice!
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:30
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The only thing I would disagree with is this:
Originally Posted by Thomas coupling View Post
1.Parking within 10m of a junction is illegal and subject to a fine and 3 points. It also invalidates your insurance.
An insurer may refuse to cover your personal losses due to the illegal parking but they can't invalidate your insurance regarding third party liabilities and would still have to pay out should you be deemed to be at fault.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:31
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Thomas coupling

You posting highlights the need for all drivers, whether or not they've been caught speeding, should be legally required to go on refreshers course every 5 years, with a test at the end of the day, which if failed first time should require further training, and which, if not completed should result in the withdrawal of the driver's licence.

We're all guilty, whether or not we chose to admit it, of rarely, or never picking up a copy of the Highway Code again after we've passed our test, yet it ought to be required reading for all drivers - perhaps as part of an increased fee for a driving licence a subscription to the booklet might be a good idea.

With regard to the over concentration on speeding (because it's a lucrative "easy nick") I just wish PC Plod was at least as interested in use of mobile devices whilst driving. If I had a choice, I'd prefer to see a driver doing 38mph in a 30 limit concentrating on the road, than a driver obeying the speed limit piddling around on their phone, handheld or hands free.

I shall be going on a Speed Awareness Course myself in the next couple of months; I hope that they might spend some time drilling into us the importance of concentrating on the road, not the phone or the entertainment system at some stage.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:35
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As someone who has had a lifetime of exceeding speed limits (I enjoy driving fast cars). Over the last 10 years I have arrived at a situation where I now always drive within the limits. I even use a speed limiter on motorways as I am aware how easy it is to speed up although it generally finds me on the empty left lane with most cars passing me, many on the far right.
The reason is that I attended a speed awareness course and I know that I only need to get nicked to get points and a fine, both of which will put my insurance premiums up. There are so many cameras around that I just won't take the risk.
I could drive a lot faster safely of course but.....
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 10:41
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One bonus of driving alone along the left hand lane of a motorway with all the boy racers in the far right lane, is the lovely smug feeling you get. You sit there repeating "look at that stupid man" "look at her" "there's no-one in this lane" "get over you stupid bastard" - the conversation goes on and on in the same vein.
Now I know how the Jehova's feel when you don't answer them!
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 11:21
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The stopping distance of a 40 tonne artic is the same as a modern car up to 30mph.
A National Express coach driver once told me never to drive close behind one of their coaches. They can stop quicker than most cars in the dry.

He also told me never to let one of their coaches drive close behind when the road is wet. In the wet they are a pig to stop.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 11:43
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Friend got caught and went on the speed awareness course, they asked what people did for a living... van driver... waitress...plumber..... came to my mate and he said retired... Instructor said ok what were you before you retired... Police Traffic Officer was the reply......... the room erupted in laughter.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 15:29
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Think I have posted this before. My cousin`s wife attended a SAC in Penzance, and believing she knew it all after suffering four hours in a classroom, drove home quite agitated, went past a speed camera and recieved a penalty notice in the post. Dont know what became of that.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 15:44
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
No need for complacency but that figure of 1780 deaths comes 50 years after the worst peacetime figure for road deaths which was in 1966 when 7985 died. Obviously car and road design is a factor, with seat belts and air bags making a big contribution, but attitudes to driving have changed - nobody makes a joke about driving home drunk any more.
TTN, about 80% reduction but how many more drivers and unlicensed ones at that. Truely remarkable.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:12
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We're all guilty, whether or not we chose to admit it, of rarely, or never picking up a copy of the Highway Code again after we've passed our test,
I have to disagree, not "all" are guilty of that!

I keep a copy of the HC (the latest one) on the shelf next to my bed and often have a look to refresh my knowledge. I find that it sometimes helps me to get off to sleep (if not some of the threads on this forum will).
Over the none too distant past I took part in teaching all my offspring to drive (all four now passed their tests, the latest was quite recent) and I wanted to ensure I was fully up to date and not ever giving out false information.

Anyhow, I have to take a professional pilot licence proficiency test every year and it makes good sense to me, as someone who depends for a living on a car licence just as much, to at least know the rules.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:24
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They seem to have abandoned the horse-whip signals . . .

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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:30
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Its not just about learning how to drive a car or know the regulations as in most things all is fine until its not fine
There should be compulsory skid pan training so that drivers are taught how to handle a car out of shaped not to just drive it

How many accidents would be avoided because car driver A understeers straight into a brick wall steaing wheel fully locked over and hard on the brakes because they have never experienced an out of shape car ?
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:31
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HGV stoping distances at 30mph are roughly double that of a car. Put in " HGV stopping distances". This doesn't surprise me that incorrect information is given,the courses are run by social workers with a driving licence.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:38
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Also the stopping distances where arrived at using cars from the 60s so not the ones with ABS and all manner of driver aids
That is what I was told so dont know if there is any truth to that claim
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 16:44
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Originally Posted by Pace View Post
Its not just about learning how to drive a car or know the regulations as in most things all is fine until its not fine
There should be compulsory skid pan training so that drivers are taught how to handle a car out of shaped not to just drive it

How many accidents would be avoided because car driver A understeers straight into a brick wall steaing wheel fully locked over and hard on the brakes because they have never experienced an out of shape car ?
Not sure if this was aimed at me, but if so, rest assured that I do also know how to handle slippery conditions well enough, having learned to drive a tractor and an old MOT failed Anglia van with bald tyres (and also how to ride a motorbike) almost fifty years ago, on a muddy field at a farm. That was at least five years before I was old enough to apply for a driving licence.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 17:25
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Originally Posted by Thomas coupling View Post
.... Just did my first SAC and enlightening it was too. ....
Your first? You are set on attending another?
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