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Speed awareness course helped avoid deer disaster, says Shropshire driver

Telford | News | Published:

A Shropshire motorist said he narrowly avoided a major crash with a wild deer – thanks to driver safety lessons he had to take after being caught speeding.

Roy Dower said he missed the animal by a few feet after it ran into his path on the A458 just outside Cross Houses, near Shrewsbury.

The 71-year-old businessman, who lives in Much Wenlock, said had he not attended the safety session in Telford just three days earlier he would probably have hit the animal.

He said he missed the deer, which was about four feet from his Freelander's bonnet, because he had slowed down to 55mph on the 60mph road.

"Normally, I would have been doing 60mph but I deliberately drove under the limit and, if I hadn't, I would have hit it. No doubt about it," he said.

"It was a lovely morning with no traffic and suddenly from the driver's side a deer ran straight across in front of me.

"Because I was not driving too fast, I was able to avoid the animal with modest braking and, as no traffic was approaching, move into the opposite lane with no real danger."

Mr Dower, a former director of the Inchcape Motors Group and Pendragon PLC, had agreed to attend the four-hour course after being caught speeding at 49mph in a 40mph limit on his way home to Shropshire from a business meeting near Manchester.

He said the speed awareness course had "awakened" him about driving responsibilities after more than 50 years of motoring, which had sometimes lead to poor driving habits.

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"I left educated and determined to take a new approach to driving," he said.

"I thought it was okay to drive 10 per cent over the speed limit to take 10 minutes off a journey.

"Now I am sticking to speed limits, remaining alert, recognising road conditions and speed limits and enjoying stress-free driving.

"The course taught me that most accidents happen in urban areas so now I am also much more careful in a 30mph limit."

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