Grapevine Stories

Grapevine's speed awareness course!

I hope by reading this, it will help prevent you getting points on your licence!

I have just done a speed awareness course, so I thought I should share with my fellow Grapeviners a few things that may just save you all a few penalty points on your licence or to endure the speed awareness course I’ve just done.

These new Smart Motorways are a lot smarter than me! So here are a few points you need to know.

How do you know you are on a smart motorway? 

When the overhead digital signs have a speed displayed on them, you really do need to take a lot of notice of them. They all have cameras on them, as I have sadly found out. 

Even if it’s 5am in the morning and no traffic, I drove under the displayed sign saying 60 and was reducing to 60 as I went under the overhead display and because I wasn’t down to exactly 60, I got done. So the moral of this story is that you HAVE to be on or below the speed limit as you go under the sign, there is simply no leeway at all.

X marks the spot

If you see an X marked on the overhead display telling you that lane is not to be used, you must not be in that lane when you go under the sign, as you will also get done.

Say cheese

You will not necessarily see any flash of the camera when you are caught speeding, many of the new cameras on these smart Motorways don’t flash now, so you can be completely oblivious to it.

Keep to the speed limit

With these smart motorways, even if there are no speed restrictions displayed on the overhead signs, there are still cameras operating there - so do not risk going over the speed limit.

And the worrying news is....

There are going to be an ever-increasing number of smart motorways completed over the next few years.

And finally a few points I was re-acquainted with at my delightful morning at the Holiday Inn in Gloucester the other day.

Street lights - Where there are street lights on either side of the road, the limit will be 30 or 20 if near a school. There won’t necessarily be repeated signs, so if there are street lights, that’s your indication it’s 30 or below.

Mobile sat nav - Apparently you cannot use your mobile phone as a sat nav if it’s not fixed to the windscreen or dashboard. This gives you a minimum fine of £200 and 6 points on your licence. Six points!

Yum yum - Eating or drinking (soft drinks I mean!), applying make-up in a traffic jams or even changing a CD can be a penalty of up to 9 points at the discretion of the officer.

Splish splash - Also this is an interesting one. If you splash a pedestrian driving through a deep puddle, if caught in the act, you can face a fine of anything from £100 to £5,000! This is an offence of driving without reasonable consideration for other persons.

Drive thru - This is a strange one…you can’t pay for any drive-thru food with your phone - apparently it’s illegal!! Better warn my husband, who is sometimes partial to the occasional Mackers…

Honky tonk - Honking your horn at anyone out of frustration is also a no-no. I didn’t know that one. So if you feel a spot of road rage coming on, take a deep breath and refrain from beeping that horn.

Lap dogs - Dogs on laps is also forbidden, which is pretty obvious, but I have been guilty of it in my younger past... 

You may well be saying the above are totally obvious, but if there are a few of you I can save from those dreaded courses and penalty points, then this has been worth writing.

So, lovely Grapevine members, you can’t say I don’t look after you! 

Safe driving team!

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