Every driver should take the dreaded speed awareness course

Speed camera on Bishop Bridge Road in Norwich.

Speed camera on Bishop Bridge Road in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

I left Carrow Road on Saturday pretty pleased with one point.

Nelson Oliveira's late, late goal ensured a draw for the Canaries and means we go into the East Anglian derby in pretty good spirits.

As a lifelong Norwich fan, I normally feel much happier going away from the ground with three points. That really sets me up for a Saturday night (or whenever else they play these days) to be in fine spirits.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I was pleased to leave my footballing home with no points at all.

Confused? Let me explain.

While I usually relish trips to Carrow Road to cheer on my beloved Canaries, on that Wednesday afternoon I went along with a sense of dread, concern and some embarrassment.

A room in the South Stand was the venue for a speed awareness course which I had booked on to.

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Yes, to my shame I had been caught exceeding the limit in the city a few weeks earlier.

I was doing 36mph in a 30mph after an evening cricket match.

I could have paid a fine and got the three points, or go on the course which meant not getting points on my licence.

I had heard very different experiences from people I know who had previously been on the courses.

I ignored all preconceptions and went along determined to learn and refusing to listen to those who said 'You didn't deserve to be caught as you weren't very far over the limit.'

The law is the law and the only person I could blame was myself.

There was a real variety of drivers of different ages and experiences on the course but I got a real sense of positivity from the start.

The presenters were in no way judgemental or patronising. They said all they wanted to do was encourage us all to think of the consequences of speeding.

We learned so much in the four hours from the dangers none of us consider to stats such as one person dies on the world's roads every one and a half seconds.

Am I perfect driver now? Absolutely not.

Do I think more now about my driving and the speeds I travel at? Yes.

And I firmly believe that every driver would benefit from doing a course, rather than just those who get caught speeding.