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Speed Awareness Course - Oops!

Hi you can probably tell from the title that i got caught speeding which is bloody annoying because I rarely speed and everyone

around me does it all the but I end up being the one who gets caught and in my defence I was just about to drive up a steep hill

and was giving the car some welly to be able to get up it!

I have been offered to do a speed awareness course and pay £89 for the pleasure of taking it or take 3 points and a £60 quid

fine.

This could not have came at a worse time as my DLA is under review and my payments have been suspended and I’m also

mid relapse . I would like to do the course but it is 4 hours long and I know I will struggle through it but I also don’t want three

points on my license, I don’t have any on it now and never have.

So basically I was wondering if anyone has done the course and can a relapsing MSer cope with it?!

Thanks for reading,

Steph

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Of course everybody’s MS is different and what you feel able to do might be different to what I feel that I could do etc. but I hope this helps a bit.

My husband got flashed a couple of years ago not long after we moved to Cardiff when he was still a bit unclear about the quirks of the local road system. He did the course and, although it was a pain paying the money, he says that he did get a lot out of it.

It’s a classroom based course so no standing or physical excercises to do. There are breaks for coffee and going to the loo and, if you need extra trips to the loo, the tutor will accomodate that provided you let him/her know before the course starts.

Most places run them in the morning and the afternoon so you should be able to get a time that suits you better.

Take it seriously though - when Dai did his someone was failed because of his general attitude to the course so he would have lost his course fee and would then have got the Fixed Penalty notice to pay afterwards!

I have done the course and got 3 points since as well - both times only doing 37 mph in a 30 zone, so I’m no Lewis Hamilton…Course is long but as said it is bearable but my mum-in-law just paid the £60 and took the 3 points - I know loads of folk who have points on their licence, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about it…

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I know someone who did the Speed Awareness Course (not an MSer). When she left the course, was a bit late for something so ran across the carpark to her car, fell over and broke her wrist!! She is much more speed aware now when running!

Sue

Hi

I’ve done the course. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. It was informative and, importantly, not patronising.

When I booked the course I told them I was disabled and might need to leave mid session to go to the loo. When I got there the ‘trainers’ knew about me and had a seat near the door reserved for me.

For me, as I still working then in a job that involved a lot of driving, the course was better than getting the points on my licence.

If you would prefer to do the course I’d give them a ring, explain your ‘needs’ and see if they can accommodate them.

Hope this helps

Anne x

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Sorry for late reply ended up with a migraine with all the stress lately. My main worry with doing the course is with this relapse

my concentration, speech and fatigue also I suffer from a lot of back and hip pain.

I did ring to say if I could get any help or extra breaks but they said no and when I said surely under the disability act I would be

entitled to reasonable adjustments but they also said no if I was going to have so much problems doing the course I should just

take the points and fine then.

Then I had to renew my driving license but haven’t heard back from them in a good while so I don’t even know if I’m even legal

by the time the course comes around!

Steph x

Just seen this and I am very, very angry about their response!!! This is not just rude and factually wrong it is showing contempt to you as a “service user”* it is, prima facie, ILLEGAL!!!

The Equality Act 2010 would apply to this situation because you have a legally identified disability (MS) and you are being prevented from using a public service. You are at a disadvantage to another person who did not have that disability.

Government guidance to the Act is here Equality Act 2010: guidance - GOV.UK

Complain to the providers of the course IN WRITING (email will do at first). Make sure that you send your complaint to somebody in authority, telling them that somebody who is employed in their organisation is giving advice that is discriminatory in nature and laying the organisation open to possible legal action.

I would also write to your MP and, although the course is not run by the Police it is run with their authority so they have some responsibility for it, I would also fire off a copy to the Chief Constable of your area.

Yes, this is probably not the end of the world - 3 pts on your licence is not awful and the fine is less expensive than the course - but it is outrageous that public sector bodies like this are so badly trained and their staff can be so ignorant of the basic law. It’s only been 20 years since disablity discrimination was outlawed after all!

Good luck Steph. Must run now, my specially adapterd high horse has arrived and I musn’t keep it waiting. cheeky

Ruth

  • One of their favourite buzz word phrasessmiley - we are not people these days, we are customers, stake holders and service users now !!!

Thanks for your reply Ruth

I also got caught travelling on the motorway through roadwork’s doing 58 in a 50 limit, I must have set the cruise control to 60 not 50!

Like Steph I got the standard response after calling both the course provider and the Police that if I didn’t do the 4 hour course in one sitting that I would just have to take the points!

After a quick email to both parties yesterday quoting The Equality Act 2010 and possible discrimination, I received a call this morning wanting to know my situation and how they could try to accommodate me!

I was diagnosed with MS in 2014 and I am still in an aggressive relapse at the moment, I do not consider myself disabled even though I am and hate using the ‘disability card’.

I was so annoyed that just because I wouldn’t have been able to sit and participate in a course for that length of period in one go that I would have to just take the points.

So thanks again Ruth, you have given me the courage to stand for my rights and question authority, for this I am very grateful

Jonnie

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Glad to be of service

Hi Ruth & Jonnie,

I originally posted this on November would you believe me if I literally just had the opportunity to send my license away to get the of 3 points and pay for the pleasure of it!

Weeks went past and my points needed paid before that and I had such a hard time with whoever deals with the points about getting an extension that my mum took over phoning them because I couldn’t cope with it and every time I rang the DVLA it was always at medical section and then when I rang them it was elsewhere and so on!

When I got caught speeding my license was away with the DVLA to be renewed, that’s what I thought anyway, my gp wrote Diplopia on the medical part of the form under ‘any lasting disabilities’ which means double vision.

Yes I HAD double vision and have had it more than once but my last episode of double vision was in 2012 and I remember it well because it was my diagnosing symptom!

This was way it was taking my license so long to be processed as I found out when I got a letter through to tell me because of my condition I had to go for a driving assessment and I rang the DVLA and the centre that did the assessments trying to figure out what the hell had happened as I’m more fit to drive now than I was three years ago and I never had to go for an assessment then!

So my mum had to phone ‘point putter on-er people’ (that is the technical term by the way!) to tell them that I still hadn’t got my license back, the reason why and they threatened if it wasn’t back by a certain date court proceedings will go ahead!

This was all in the lead up to xmas which is stressful enough for an MS-er without all this going on! My assessment was in January there and it was a waste of my time as well as the man carrying out the assessment, the description of what was going to going to happen that day was a lot more scarier than what it actually was!

After half an hour at the most it was over and he said my driving was excellent and he is recommending that I get my license back to the DVLA doctors but it could take up to 5-6 weeks for it to arrive!

Again my mum rang the point people and whoever answered this time was fins about it and just simply said that’s fine just send it in when it arrives!

So my license arrived on Wednesday there and was away in the post again on Thursday.

Phew I’m knackered writing that, so basically after getting caught speeding which loads of people get caught doing everyday I wasn’t able to do the speed awareness course because of my ms, then being threatened with court for something that was out of my control and then made to feel little, degraded and a secondhand citizen having someone evaluate my driving.

I know some will say it was my own doing because yes I was speeding (you try and get up a steep hill with a speed limit going from 30 straight to 60 without having to speed!) but I do feel like I was treated a bit unfairly throughout it all.

Steph

Yours is a good example of how MS turns a routine inconvenience into a full-scale performance, isn’t it? Nothing is ever simple when you have MS!

Alison

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I know and at least here everyone understands that as were “normal” people think you are exaggerating and making a mountain out of a molehill!

The whole thing was stressful and it played havoc with my anxiety and mood which in turn played havoc with my MS and to round it all off the card part of the driving license has been updated to a new design and it looks fake against the my old one haha!

S

So sorry to hear about the problems you encountered Steph, hopefully you have now been able to put this dreadful experience behind you.

I have only just decided to join this MS group and I’m so glad I did.

Take it easy

Jonnie