31.8.07

Am I just being shallow….

...or is it right to be really, really, really glad that they're building a subway resturant just a few minutes walk from home?

 WOOO !!!!

 Have a great weekend people.

27.8.07

Incognito…..

Wow, it seems like it's been forever since my last post. And since then, life has been moving fast, really fast, like living every minute at 100 miles an hour. So many things have happened, most of them good, and I'm sure I'll blog about them as things start to get finalized.

Anyway, Baby O can now say her name !! It's really sweet to hear, and she loves saying it, over and over again. Melts my heart every time.

I took my speed awareness course about 2 weeks ago, and I have to say it was nothing like I expected. In fact, I would like to say, it has made me a safer driver. I was the youngest person there, and it was mostly middle aged, middle class people, who just wanted to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. Anyway, let's hope I don't get caught by any speed cameras again anytime soon....................

I've also taken my 'Life in the UK' test. This is the test you take before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or British Citizenship. So let me share some interesting facts I've learnt from studying for the test:

  1. One third of all adults in the UK have used hard drugs (heroin, cocaine) at least once in their lives. Even worse, HALF of all young adults (under 19) have used drugs.

  2. Employment law in this country is pretty tight. The only way you can be dismissed immediately from your job is for 'gross misconduct'. For poor performance, or consistent lateness, you must first be issued with a warning, before you are given notice to leave your job. Very unlike Nigeria, where some people are rumoured to fire people for very trivial reasons. I will mention no names (Mike Adenuga).

  3. There is actually a situation where you are allowed to discriminate. If you are hiring someone to work in your home, you are allowed to refuse to give the job to someone based on race, sex, etc.

  4. Guy Fawkes night is actually the celebration of an assassination attempt. Guy Fawkes was trying to kill the King, and the entire parliament at the state opening of parliament. Only the English would have a sense of humour to celebrate such an event.


Anyway, I'll try and blog a bit more often, take care people !!

2.8.07

Go, speed racer, go !!

Those of you who have me as a friend on facebook, would know that I was caught by a speed camera a few weeks ago. (And those of you who don't send me an email, and we'll fix that).

It was a Monday evening, about 6pm, it was raining heavily, and I had just come back from a days' work at a customer site in London. I had gone to my wife's office to pick up the car, picked my daughter up from day care, and decided to do the nice thing, and pick up my wife from work, so she wouldn't have to walk in the rain. I was clocked doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone. In my defence, I have always thought the speed limit on that road was 40 mph.

Fortunately, instead of getting 3 points on my newly acquired license (which would have led to increased insurance premiums), and paying a £60 fine, I have been offered a 2 1/2 hour speed awareness course for £74, which I have gladly accepted. Coincidentally, there is a recent article about this course on the BBC News website, here.

Speed cameras are meant to make roads safer, and reduce accidents. However, in my case, this whole episode has, if anything, made me a bit more reckless on the roads. Let me explain.

Anyone who knows me, knows I do not speed when driving. If anything, I can be accused of driving too slowly (and my wife does this on a regular basis). I have always driven like this, at university, I was called 'family driver' by my friends, due to the fact that I was driving like I had my family in the car, and was being careful/slow. So, I'm not exactly a 'boy racer' or a daredevil. However, on occassion, when driving on slower roads, I tend to lose concentration, and go over the speed limit every now and then, not by much, but I do go over the limit.

Well guess what? The speed cameras do not enforce at the beginning of the zone. In a 30 mph zone, that means that you don't get caught unless you're doing 35 mph or more. 46 mph in a 40 mph zone, 57 mph in a 50 mph zone, 68 mph in a 60 mph zone and a whopping 79 mph in a 70 mph zone. Plus, Thames Valley Police has 330 fixed speed cameras, of which only 22 are in action at any one time. (According to the BBC article mentioned above) So the probability of you getting caught if you are speeding? 6.6 %. Just oveer 1 in 20.  The engineer/mathematican in me tells me that in the event that even if I'm over the 'real' limit, the odds are in my favour.

Please note that the figures above are for Tmaes Valley Police Speed cameras, I can't confirm for other police forces.

Unlike a lot of people, I'm a fan of speed cameras. I don't like people who speed, I think it's dangerous, and I've seen how bad driving can destroy lives, not only for the drivers, but for innocent people as well. Left to me, more speed cameras the better. If I'm over the limit, I should be punished, because I'm breaking the law.

So to find out that the cameras are  not as effective as I thought, I'm actually quite dissapointed.

You're only offered the speed awareness course if you're caught in the first few mph of the enforcement zone:

30 mph zone - 35 -39 mph
40 mph zone - 46-50 mph
50 mph zone - 57-61 mph
60 mph zone - 68-72 mph
70 mph zone - 79 -83 mph

Anthing higher than that, and you have no option but the points and the fine. Points on your license translate to higher insurance premiums.  Plus, you can only do the course once every 3 years.

Let's just hope I don't get caught again anytime soon. Otherwise, I'll be seriously considering buying this.