I think it is safe to say the majority of us have dreams and aspirations.

We have probably all made a little list or two, whether kept privately in our minds or in laminated form and stuck to the fridge, of the things we would like to experience or achieve.

Some are highly unattainable, some might need a great deal of planning and saving for and some are more simplistic, such as aiming to make it to midday without having already scoffed the contents of your lunchbox.

I am still working on that one.

However, this week I did experience something I never have before.

It was not exactly on my wish list, nor did I relish the opportunity, but 28 years after passing my driving test I have finally attended my first ever speed awareness course. Oops.

Believe me I am not proud of this fact, but going on the course was preferable to taking three points and a fine.

In the interest of honesty, I will tell you I was snapped doing 37mph in a 30mph limit, on that stretch of dual carriageway of Old Shoreham Road, Hove, that passes the cemetery.

Call it an excuse, but I was not even aware of my speed at the time, I was just keeping up with everyone else –something I learned on the course is a very common occurrence.

So, while I was hardly travelling at F1 speed, I was most definitely over the limit and broke the law.

As an ardent square and rule follower, this did not sit well with me at all and my stomach dropped to the floor when I saw the fluorescent van on the brow of the hill and looked down at my speedometer.

I knew I had been caught and I knew a letter was on its way giving me the option of the course, or the penalty.

It was an obvious choice for me, so I found the course most convenient for me online and signed up, reluctantly parting with £90 for the pleasure.

As the day grew closer, I cannot deny I became anxious about attending and wondered what I would be faced with. I fretted I would be the only 40-something in a room full of much younger, less experienced drivers and I imagined stoney-faced trainers, lots of tutting and finger wagging.

My other concern was the thought of being shown disturbing videos of serious road traffic collisions and the potentially horrifying outcomes of breaking the speed limit. How wrong I was. Admittedly, when I first walked into the registration area and everyone turned to watch as I found a seat, I felt pretty uncomfortable.

We all sat in complete silence for a few minutes, no one even daring to make eye contact. It was not unlike being in detention at school – until someone bravely cracked a joke and the whole room erupted in relieved laughter.

One of the trainers then swept in with a big smile and encouraged us to grab a cuppa, reassured us the session was not as painful as we were all expecting and that humour was allowed.

That really helped and it felt like we all entered the training room with a lot more confidence than we had first arrived with. Ice. Broken.

In terms of the participants, there were as many women as there were men and, at a guess, ages ranged from 19 to 70 years old – an interesting mix.

The majority of us had been caught just a few miles over the limit on lower speed roads. Still an offence though, so there we were. The course itself was genuinely interesting and featured zero gore whatsoever, thankfully.

It not only reminded me of things I had become complacent about over the years, but it also opened my mind to new information as well as the wider consequences of speeding.

I quizzed the trainers on the ten per cent myth, as my husband has always maintained you will only be caught if you are exceeding the limit by more than that margin.

Turns out that is a load of nonsense and travelling at 31mph in a 30mph zone is still an offence.

This fact was supported by a video of an experiment carried out on a test track showing the different stopping distances relevant to slightly varying speeds and the facts clearly speak for themselves.

Even the smallest increase in your speed can have a dramatic effect on the impact you would have if you collided with another vehicle or, worse still, a pedestrian.

Some pretty damning statistics have stuck with me too. Figures from 2017 show 1,793 people were killed on UK roads in 12 months, 24,831 were seriously injured and 144,369 slightly injured – the clear-up bill totalling around £36 billion that year.

In fact the course was so informative and useful, it should probably be delivered to all drivers every five to ten years, just to keep them on their toes and their wits about them.

A tall order I know, but one that could potentially save untold lives.