Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

Bad Boys

(Wham!)

A few weeks ago I was caught speeding. I confess I was doing 85mph, on a beautiful sunny day on an almost empty A130 between the A12 and the A132.

I have read reports elsewhere that over 50% of drivers exceed the 70mph limit on that stretch of road, so it’s very much a ‘cash cow’ for the authorities.

I’m also convinced that the officer who caught me was not wearing hi-vis (unlike the officer below) and while he wasn’t hiding as such, I presume he was stood behind his motorcycle for protection.

Either way, I was concentrating on the road ahead, not who might have been lurking in the lay-by.

Anyway, I was caught, and a few days later the letter arrived, inviting me to attend a ‘Speed Awareness Course’ and avoid the points on my, hitherto unblemished in 39 years, licence.

I chose to attend a course at ‘Wat Tyler Park’ near Pitsea, and after a very sedate drive I arrived in good time, ready to enjoy the ‘unlimited tea and coffee’ on offer.

It was an interesting diversion, a Saturday morning given over to informative presentations on stopping distances, safety gaps and the possible effect of speeding cars on hapless pedestrians.

There were twenty of us, six females (including the charmingly named ‘Cherish’) and fourteen males. The requirement for our attendance – and thus avoiding getting points on our licences – was that we ‘attend and participate’.

The scary one was ‘The Terminator’ who was huge, shaven headed and wore black jeans, black T shirt, black hoody and impenetrable wraparound shades. His name tag was something East European and unpronounceable, and his participation consisted of five, heavily accented words “I. Like. To. Drive. Fast.”

I wasn’t surprised when, on departure, he climbed aboard a black Harley with ‘ape-hanger’ handle-bars.

I could easily visualise the attendees as the inspiration for a Kay Mellor TV Series – let’s call it ‘Fast Friends’ – where the group spark up friendships, relationships and at least one criminal gang.

Anyway, no points, and no influence on future insurance quotes.

And a valuable lesson learned, I’ll be a good boy from now on.