Saturday, 12 April 2014

Keeping it clean

Howz your Saturday going? I've been out and done the Parkrun, but it isn't very warm out there, so I'm staying in for the time being. I'll get out into the garden later if it warms up. I want to re paint the side of the garage, and if I have enough paint I will do the doors as well.

I felt pretty good about the running this morning, wore my long shorts instead of trousers. Although I was a bit cold at the start, I felt more inclined to keep running for longer without the encumbrance of fabric flapping round my legs. The gloves are staying, it's nice to have warm hands. Another personal best today, knocked a minute and a bit off last weeks time. So, when I started it was 41 minutes, then 38, 36, and now 35.34. I am hoping to get it down to 30 minutes, it will take a bit of effort but it should be doable. I'm going to try some different trainers next week and see if that makes any difference. I could do with a bit more spring in my step.

I was rushing a bit this morning to get there. I am not a very good time keeper, don't like to be too early. If I have a deadline I try and get there on time, or a couple of minutes early. Most of the time I am late. On the way to town there is a 30mph speed limit through the village, then it goes to 60mph (limit for a single carriageway road), then back to 30 through the next village. After that it's 60mph for a long stretch, then there is a 40mph limit when you hit the Industrial Estates.

No matter how late I am, and how much of a rush I am in, as soon as I hit those signs I am driving at the correct speed. I can see the signs before I get there, so it is usually a matter of easing off the gas pedal and letting the car slow down by itself. By planning ahead I can reduce the wear and tear on my car, which will in the long run save me money. Even if I am driving in an unfamiliar area and I don't know where the limits change, I am always looking for the signs which tell me what speed I should be doing. It's easy to get distracted and not notice them.

During the whole time I have been driving, and over the years that has been a lot of miles, I have only been caught out three times exceeding the speed limit. That might seem quite a lot but when you think that I was driving up to 400 miles a day, that's not bad at all. I have been fined three times for speeding, and had three points on my licence each time, and all of them were when I was driving company vehicles.

The first time was not long after I passed my HGV test. I was in my first job. I was driving out of Swindon on a wide road, I thought I was out of the 30 limit, and I wasn't. A hidden speed trap got me. The second time was many years later, at 6.30 in the morning. I had just picked the empty lorry up and I was going to a depot to load it up. I was thinking about the long day ahead, the crappy lorry I was driving, and the rotten job that I didn't really want to do. I didn't slow down quick enough when I hit the 30 sign, and another hidden speed trap got me. I do think it's underhand of the police to hide behind bushes in someone's garden then jump out and order you to stop. I got done for doing 37 in a 30 limit, hardly any other traffic on the road, not a danger to other road users. Ah well, three points on my clean licence, the previous points were wiped off years before.

The third and last time was in 2008. I was driving a minibus, I had dropped my passengers off and was on my way back to base, through some roadworks on the A1. The overhead cameras got me, exceeding a 50 limit. Oh stuffin heck, not concentrating. Three points on my otherwise clean licence. They are gone now so my licence is once again clean, and I hope to keep it that way.

The moral of this story is that I can't afford to pay speeding fines now, I don't want to chuck money down the drain. I can't afford my insurance premiums to go up because I have points on my licence. So now I am extra vigilant when I am driving. I am constantly looking out for speed limit signs, always checking my speedometer on the dashboard, making sure that when I hit that 30mph sign I am indeed driving at 30mph, even lower if conditions are potentially dangerous.

I haven't passed an advanced driving test for many years, (I passed six tests altogether in cars and lorries), but most of what I learnt is still embedded in my brain. As my mind ages with my body I intend to increase concentration levels when behind the wheel. For my own safety and the safety of others, and also because it is a cheaper way of driving.

The sun has come out and I am off out into the garden. Toodle pip.    

8 comments:

  1. After 30yrs of driving I got stopped in the next village by officers standing by the road, I was doing over 30 when I passed the sign.Least than a mile from home. They told me off to my husbands amusement as I'm normally so careful, And as members of the civic society we are trying to get the limit changed outside our houses and the police were there after moaning from us about people breaking the limit.

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  2. I was caught doing 35 miles per hour in a 30 and attended a speed awareness course instead of getting points. What a waste of time that was, the instructor just seemed to be saying don't get caught next time!

    X x

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  3. I used to do a lot of driving. I once had to show my driving licence (I'm not sure if it was for a job) and the bloke could not believe that I hadn't got any points. I haven't got a car now. I went into the garden this afternoon and sowed some chive seeds and my usual salad leaves (Niche mixed). I've still got some begonia corms from last year to start off again. I did some a few weeks ago but some of the corms are so big I haven't got any pots big enough to accommodate them. I had to put one in a great big outside tub. Last year my begonias were like triffids so I am hopeful for a good show this summer. I have also sowed some poppy seeds for cut flowers and they have come up well. I was going to do some painting but decided it was a bit too cold. Natalie

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  4. I don't speed on purpose but some places you can't make sense of what the speed is supposed to be so I just go with the flow but if you ever got fined for being in the wrong lane on a roundabout I'd be skint!

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  5. I'm like you....too expensive to speed. I also require extra concentration these days. And I set my cruise control and keep a watchful eye on the signs.

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  6. My timekeeping is as bad as yours, i don't get why people arrive really early.
    I'm proud that i've only ever had 3points on my licence. The turbo went on my lorry so it was black smoking. The boss said drive it back and i got stopped.
    I'm no angel and i'm surprised i've not been done more than i have, although i got cautioned in Perth for going through a weight limit and a little tachograph fiddle cost me a trip to court and a fine.
    I took my CPC in 1995 because its best to know properly whats legal rather than taking the word of someone else.
    Thesedays i dont care how urgent the load is, i check to make sure the truck is roadworthy and keep to the speedlimits.
    I reckon that after September when we are all dcpc trained, us truckers will be fined for the slightest things because we should know, we've done the training. I've done 3 dcpc days at £50 per day and learnt very little.
    Dave.

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  7. Like Please May I, above, I was also caught doing 35 in a 39 zone and attended a speed awareness course, rather than have points. It was really useful; the instructor showed us the effects speeding can have on other road users and ourselves, and gave us lots of useful tips for staying out of trouble in other driving situations. Friends have reported similar good experiences.Perhaps Please May I was just unlucky. Glad to see I'm not the only one who cuts her own hair...and husband's...and dog's! Saves a fortune and no-one has said OMG, what have you done! Yet!

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  8. I've not been caught speeding but 5 years ago was caught going through a yellow light (according to me) but it was a red light according to the policemen in their car who watched me do it. Oops! I now do a lot of slamming on of the brakes at traffic lights to avoid the same thing. I'm not forking out £60 quid again!

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