Yes, amusing

Damon Hill, the former F1 world champion, has admitted he has been sent on a speed awareness course twice.

14 thoughts on “Yes, amusing”

  1. Speed awareness courses are something that I am cautiously in favour of. I’ve done advanced motorcycling lessons and applied some of the principles to my car driving too. I think that it is a good thing to try to improve your driving skills. So I think that motoring offenses would be better dealt with by requiring improver driving courses rather than fines. I’ve done a speed awareness course and thought that it was very constructive and only slightly preachy. Unfortunately it didn’t improve my forty year 100% safe driving record. One the one time that I did incur a speeding fine, I continued cycling to work through the winter and reclaimed the money by not paying fuel duty.

  2. Aye, Julia – Rikki Fulton’s Supercop character “Right Stirling, oot the car……” classic stuff……

  3. Back in the days of the real RAC rally (72 hours continuous). A famous Finnish driver was behind schedule and was speeding on a motorway link section to get to servicing while it was still open. He was stopped by Plod. Muddy Escort RS, knobbly tyres, wall to wall Cibie lights at the front. The cop, smiling broadly because he knew perfectly well what was going on said, “Can you explain, sir, why you were doing 105 mph?”

    The reply was, “It not go any faster, Officer”

  4. Somewhat amusing. Speed awareness is basically what driving a competition car is about. Damon Hill would have been perfectly aware of the speed he was doing. Within an mile an hour or two.

  5. There was an interview with Hill a couple years after his retirement. He had just been doing some charity gig which involved putting a F1 car round a track.
    “And what were you thinking as you sat behind the wheel once more ?”
    “Blimey, this is a bit quick !”

  6. Allegedly, (!) Werner Heisenberg was once stopped by the cops:

    “Excuse me Sir, but do you know what speed you were doing?”

    “No, Officer, but I know where I am….”

  7. There’s a story, I think from one of Moss’s biographies, about a time when he was driving Fangio back to the airport in a LHD Mercedes after a meeting in London. In true Moss fashion he wasn’t hanging-about and they were stopped by a motorcycle cop. The cop tapped on the “driver’s side” window, it opened and the policeman came out with the standard “Who do you think your are? Stirling Moss?” and got the reply “No. I’m, Juan Manuel Fangio” – who then pointed to the bloke sitting on his left, behind the wheel – “He’s Stirling Moss”. I believe that the issue of a “speeding ticket” was traded for a couple of autographs.

    Appropos of nothing… An old friend of mine used to work for Mercedes and had been attending a new car announcement/test day at Silverstone, which had been attended by Mercedes dealers from all over the Americas. After proceedings had started to wind-down he was grabbed by a very senior manager and told “xxxx, one of our South-American dealers has to get back to Heathrow and we need you to drive him back. You’ll need to get a bit of a wiggle-on though, as he’s late for his ‘plane”… Xxxx, who’s a good, quick driver told me that he thought “no probs…” until he got into the car and realised that the “South-American dealer” was none-other than Five-times World F1 Champion, Juan Manuel Fangio. He said he’s never been so nervous in his life and was glad that the car they’d provided was an automatic as he reckoned he’d have stalled a manual numerous times as he was shaking so much. They got to Heathrow in time. 🙂

  8. My pops tells a story about Damon’s Dad. They were both into motorbikes, and they were both rowers. They biked down to Henley together. Said he could stick with Graham for speed most of the time but for the fact that he had the habit of taking the racing line which was not something Pops was prepared to do. Anyway got to Henley, chatting up some girls, girl needed a hanky or lighter or something, Graham reaches into his pocket, brings out a johnny, says , “will this do?” scandalous behaviour at the time.

  9. I’ve never done a speed awareness course, but did a “national motorway awareness course” recently which is what you get if you’re nicked on a “smart motorway” (46mph by the camera on the gantry where the limit droped to 40, 11pm at night, road so empty literally not another vehicle in sight).

    I was unimpressed – it was pretty much a straight up propaganda session on why smart motorways are a good idea (hint, they aren’t, also very unpopular). No sensible suggestions for how to hold your speed down to avoid being nicked (you try driving at 40mph or less on an empty motorway!). Several statistics quoted which I know to be untrue, and that was about it.
    Must have been nice and lucrative, 9 people on zoom at about £100 each, for just an afternoon, with one trainer working from home… Earning potential of about £1800 a day for doing very little. Do they still pay kickbacks to the “Safety partnerships” etc?

  10. @theProle.. I believe that the rights to all the “speed awareness” folderols are owned by “ACPO” – which is the “Association of Chief Police Officers” – and a nice little earner it must be too.

    No conflict of interest or anything of course.

  11. @theProle and Baron Jackfield,
    Many of the speed awareness courses are hosted by serving Police officers, all on the taxpayers pennies.
    Also, as very few private cars have calibrated speedometers, and no mechanical device works at 100% efficiency, (the now renamed)ACPO laid down guidelines that no action to be taken if the actual speed was + or
    – 10% plus 2 miles per hour of the stated speed limit. So, up to 35mph in a 30mph zone, 46 in a 40, etc. To he done for doing 46 in a 40 zone seems a bit draconian.

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