World Cup referee and police officer Howard Webb has been caught speeding.
The South Yorkshire Police sergeant and world-renowned referee was caught travelling at 45mph in a 40mph zone close to his home in Rotherham.
Webb, aged 42, who drives 35,000 miles a year, was on his way to a Saturday morning keep fit session ahead of the new football season when he was clocked breaking the speed limit.
The police policy in South Yorkshire is to allow certain drivers the chance to avoid a fine and penalty points if they complete a speed awareness course instead at a cost of £85.
Webb completed the four-hour speed awareness course, run by the TTC Group in Rotherham, the day before the start of the new football season – and said it was time ‘well invested’.
And the Yorkshire-born referee, who is known for his fairness on the pitch and is counted among the all-time top referees by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, admitted getting caught speeding ‘could happen to anyone’.
“It was only a slight error of misjudgment,” he said. “It’s something that happens to everyone as part of their driving life.”
He said he was thinking of ‘other things’ when he should have been concentrating on the road, and praised the safety course for making him rethink his driving habits.
“It is easy to creep over the limit but the speed awareness course showed there can be severe consequences of speeding,” he added.
Webb, who received the MBE for services to football, said: “It was a positive experience to make you think about the way you drive and the information stays with you.
“There were useful road safety messages, not just about speeding but how to drive more safely and economically.
“It wasn’t four hours wasted. It was four hours well invested.”
Visit www.ttc-uk.com for information about the course.