Archive for Apr 30th, 2015

On 10 March I went to visit my dentist in Lympsham.  Her practise is next door to a school and when you leave her driveway, you’re immediately in a 20mph zone.  Three days later Gordon received a speeding ticket, but for my car which he never drives.  It was mine :(.  Apparently I was doing 26mph and held my hands up to this.  Doing wrong, probably while in auto-pilot.  However, since then, things have definitely verged on maniacal.

Firstly, because the ticket was in his name I had to notify them that he wasn’t the driver.  I sent the form back and waited for its return.  When it came back in my name it told me I could either pay a fixed penalty with points on my licence or go on a Speed Awareness Course.  I opted for the latter, sent the form back to them with my choice and waited again.  The reply came on Easter Saturday.  There was a website address included and it said I should go there to book my NSAC20 course – I assume NSAC stands for National Speed Awareness Course.  The website told me the nearest course to me was in Swansea; a three-hour drive into Wales – unless I was a crow of course, because as the crow flies it isn’t that far.  Far enough by road though.

I couldn’t ring them to discuss this until the Tuesday so spent the day trying, but unfortunately ‘all their lines were busy’ for the entire day.  On Wednesday I spoke to someone to ask whether I could go on a standard speed awareness course being held in the next town.  Apparently not.  They’ve introduced this new crack-down on speeding near schools without any appropriate courses being offered countrywide.  We eventually narrowed down a course in Filton, but it was still further than I really wanted to go so I told her not to worry, I’d just pay the fixed penalty if she could send me a form.  She immediately attached one to an email and it told me I could pay my fine online, by phone or by sending a cheque alongside my driver’s licence.  I went to pay it online but it wouldn’t let me so I tried by phone – it wouldn’t let me do that either.  She pointed out in her email that when I sent my licence to them, registered post would be a good idea since a licence is a valuable thing.  I conceded defeat, wrote a cheque, paid for the registered post and off it went.

It came back today.  Not just my licence, but my cheque too.  The letter was clear – since I’d opted to go on a speed awareness course, no payment was necessary at this time.  It came back in a plain envelope by second-class post!  I didn’t even have to sign for it.  I rang the Speed Enforcement Unit again and they were apologetic.  Something had obviously gone amiss on their system and she would rectify it straight away.  Within thirty minutes I should be able to submit my payment online and then I’d have to send off my licence again (she still recommended registered post) and all would be peachy.

I tried.  I couldn’t.  I’m losing the will, to be honest.  I’m a bit of a mouse when it comes to ‘rules’ and have been fretting.  I wish they’d just sort things out.


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