Last Saturday, when the rest of you were enjoying a rare burst of early springtime sunshine, I was tucked up inside a training room at our local sports hall, consuming the medicine that is a speed awareness course.
A couple of months earlier I’d been photographed by a mobile speed camera at 81mph on a dual carriageway, which put me precisely two miles per hour into the red. Had I been photographed at 79mph on the same piece of road the brown envelope would simply never have arrived.
But anyway, that was then, and this was now. And so for the next four hours I had to sit there, listening to what would presumably be some startling new facts about speeding.
To begin with the man taking the course seemed quite jovial. We were each asked how fast we’d been going. At 81mph I won the award for highest speed in the room (there were between 30-35 other people there) but in this case I didn’t win a prize – because most other people had been done at 30-something.
To begin with I found that quite surprising. But then as the course went on, it began to make sense – because most of the people in the room that day were, for some odd reason, drivers who rarely venture out of town. And most of them didn’t know too much about driving, or speed limits, or what happens to a car if and when things start to go wrong.