TapWhat I learned today

…on my Speed Choice course. That is the course you can go on to avoid getting points on your licence if you get flashed by a money maker speed camera. Actually the course was quite good; I went in expecting to learn nothing because I have moderated my driving over the years so that I now observe speed limits whenever possible, but I picked up a few helpful tips. They guys were really very pleasant and were seriously trying to help—unlike their organisation which seemed to be trying to be as obstructive as possible.

The main thing I learned was how poor the government (for want of a better description) are at communicating changes to the road laws and highway code. For instance, I hadn’t realised that large trucks were not allowed to go any faster than 40mph on single carriageway roads so there is not point in fuming if you get stuck behind one. And that Transit we hired to shift daughter’s furniture—it is supposed to be only driven at 60 on dual carriageways. They don’t tell you that when you pick it up.

I never knew that they had changed the rules about how to recognise a 30mph area when there were no signs. When I took my test it was all about built up areas and the distance between lamp posts, something that was almost impossible to determine. Now it is quite clear—except for motorways, if there are no signs but there is street lighting then the limit is automatically 30.

There were some other hints which I am not so sure about but will give a try; for example they claimed that at 30mph it makes very little difference to your fuel consumption if you stay in 3rd gear, and the car is a lot more controllable. Another is the best thing to do if you are being tailgated is … nothing … or perhaps slow down just a little bit without brakes to create a gap in front; after all, one thing worse than being followed by a bad driver is an angry bad driver.

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