Road Safety News
 

Top ref gives top marks to speed awareness course

Monday 9th September 2013

One of Britain's top football referees says that opting to attend a speed awareness course turned out to be four hours “well invested”.

Howard Webb MBE, who refereed the World Cup final in 2010 and is one of the best known referees in the Premiership, opted to attend a speed awareness course run by the TTC Group the day before the start of the football season.
 
The referee, who drives 35,000 miles a year, was caught on camera driving at 45mph in a 40mph limit close to his home.

Howard Webb said: “It could happen to anyone. It was only a slight error of misjudgement. It's something that happens to everyone as part of their driving life.

"It is easy to creep over the limit but the speed awareness course showed you there can be severe consequences of speeding.

“It was a positive experience to make you think about the way you drive and the information stays with you. There were useful road safety messages not just about speeding but how to drive more safely and economically.

“It wasn’t four hours wasted. It was four hours well invested."

The TTC Group educates more than 250,000 motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians through courses covering speed awareness, driver alertness, minor motoring offences and drink drive rehabilitation.

 

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Most, if not all, professions/jobs where public safety is involved require constant training, refresher courses and re-examination and is accepted as being necessary by those involved (and assumed to be the case by the public) - and yet the one activity so many people do as part of their daily lives which, if not done properly, can be devastating i.e. driving, does not generally involve or require re-training or refresher courses. So any opportunity to get a motorist on such a course should be supported and the circumstances by which the person ends up on - in this case a speed awareness course – is academic to some degree.

I’ve always thought, however, that the SACs should be called ‘driver improvement courses’ rather than be referred to by a specific aspect of driving. We don’t have ‘tailgating’ awareness courses or ‘traffic light’ awareness courses. Just the one 'safer driving' course would do it.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (7)
-3

Although the speed stated is below the ACPO guidelines as you (Dave Finney, Slough) correctly identify, delegates are not required to disclose the information regarding their offence, however they will often self-report the speed at which they were detected travelling at. Despite the arguments that may arise as to what constitutes marginal speeding, speed is an absolute numerical offence. What we can be sure of is that it was within the minimum and maximum tolerances for him to be offered the opportunity to participate in an educational intervention. The outcome appears to be that there is now a positive advocate of the scheme in Mr Webb, and this can only be good for the road safety agenda given his public profile.
Alan Prosser, Shropshire

Agree (14) | Disagree (4)
+10

Speed Awareness Workshops have received a lot of praise from those who have attended them. Education works - in most cases - better than a punitive slap on the wrist and points. It is indeed regrettable that they have been discontinued in some areas.
Mark - Wiltshire

Agree (9) | Disagree (5)
+4

That's interesting. 45 in a 40 is below ACPO Ltd guidelines of 10% +2. I keep hearing of people being advised they will be prosecuted for speeds lower than the guidelines (such as 32 in a 30 etc) if they don't pay to go on a speed awareness course, but I've never seen proof of this. Therefore I have to doubt that it is happening. Do we have any evidence that the speed actually was 45 in a 40?
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (12) | Disagree (5)
+7