Result! Surrey Police have offered me the chance to go on a speed awareness course instead of paying a fine and getting three points on my licence.
As I detailed in a previous blog, I was only doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone so I think that’s fair. Plus this is my first offence in nearly 30 years of driving. Still £95 though, for the course. (I seem to be doing a lot of courses at the moment and it's mounting up.) I am a bit concerned by what methods they might use to re-educate me too. I hope we don't get shuffled into Room 101 and have unspeakable tortures inflicted on us purely to make us slow down
Even without the points, I will have to tell my insurer about the penalty. That’s what my research says. Otherwise if I am in a real crash, they might use it as an excuse not to pay up. The downside is that I’ll now be seen as a higher risk driver and you know what that means: a mysterious increase in my premium next year.
So what does Direct Line have to say? Reluctantly I called the 0845 number printed on my policy, gritting my teeth at the premium line cost, only to be told the number has changed to a cheaper 0345 one. Well done, Direct Line!
After all the robot blurb of pressing one and two for this and that, I finally got through to a customer adviser. She tells me that because I’m going on the course and I won’t have points, I don’t have to notify them and my premium won’t go up.
What a sensible attitude – and not one I was expecting. Different insurers have different rules, I guess. I’m glad I fessed up though. You don’t want to mess with the outcome of a car crash. Honesty is the best policy.
I found these pages helpful if you're in a similar situation and want to know more: