As someone who has never had a speeding ticket after 25 years of driving, it was a great shock to receive one in the post this year.
My close friends who knew me well told me ‘welcome to the club’ as they had known me as the ‘careful and deliberate driver’ who not only had never had an accident, but apart from the odd parking ticket, had never had a driving conviction.
There has been a campaign on this Winter which I am sure you have heard, about parents speeding whilst taking kids to school or driving in general, and it made me think about why I had got this speeding ticket. It was mere distraction as I had a lot on my mind at the time, and there is a limit as to how much even I could multi-task.
So this public campaign is strategically placed as when you a lot going on like work, entertaining, kids holidays, extra shopping on top of the normal pressures of life – it is only human to falter just for a moment – which could cost you your licence – or worse – someone else’s life.
Also, be vigilant as it is not just you, but be aware of the madness on the roads leading up to Christmas. Even with the endless warnings about drink driving, and with one or two glasses of wine or spirits, it can affect people in different ways. I remember being given a random breathalyser years ago. I had drunk one vodka hours before and of course I was not over the limit as I am super careful, but the police told me that some people are affected by just one or two units. (We had got chatting because they had seen me in a recent episode of The Bill). This can give you the confidence to speed up when you shouldn’t, or miss a pedestrian crossing the road randomly if you aren’t concentrating.
Last year I was collecting my young grandchild from school and a very young girl ran across the driveway to the school without looking. Thankfully my reflexes are really good and I slammed on my breaks, but if I had been planning my Christmas party in my head, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.
I hope I haven’t depressed you too much and I apologise that I am not writing in my usual way about something a little more aspirational like fashion or health and beauty, but I felt compelled to throw a shot across the bow just for once, even if it reaches just one person and saves someone’s licence or even someone’s life.
Happy driving and have a great festive season everyone. I hope it is full of joy and laughter and light, and remember if you are overwhelmed or over tired, please book a cab or go on public transport – after all you can’t put a price on safety, and you will be able to enjoy the rest of the holiday without a hitch.