A girl's life was "saved" a few days after a motorist put into practice what he had learned on a speed awareness course organised by Durham Constabulary.

Father of two Chris Roe, 46, deliberately slowed his car down to around 20 mph when he saw a bus dropping off passengers in his home village of High Handenhold, near Chester Le Street in Durham, just ten days after attending a speed awareness workshop delivered by TTC2000 on behalf of Durham Constabulary.

"As we were passing the bus, out of nowhere, a small girl no older than six rode her bike out from behind the bus directly in front of me," said Chris, who was on the way home after picking up his son from football practice.

"I slammed on the brakes and literally managed to stop by millimetres. Her hands just touched the front of my car and then she fell backwards on the ground shocked but unhurt. If I had been going at 30mph which was the speed limit for the road, my car would have knocked her flat.

"I spent the whole night going over it in my head and thinking even if I had been going two or three mph faster or not being aware of a bus as a hazard, the effects could have been devastating.

"After being on the speed awareness course I was much more aware of hazards. I firmly believe that because I went on this course after being caught speeding, it saved this girl's life."

Chris, an office worker for BT, said he had learned a lot on the course held in Durham including watching out for road hazards such as the bus, stopping distances, and being more aware of other road users.

Alan Prosser, who oversees the courses run by the award winning TTC Group, said: "This incident reinforces the benefits of driver education courses like the speed awareness workshop. If Chris hadn't taken on board the positive messages about driving at an appropriate speed within the speed limit we could now be talking about an incident with tragic consequences.

"It is important that, as drivers, we take seriously our responsibility to make safer choices on our roads and recognise the potential consequences that even just a few additional miles per hour can make."

Speed awareness courses are run by the TTC Group as a "not for profit" education enterprise with profits channeled to the police for the benefit of road safety. The aim of the Government approved courses is to offer an education alternative to a fine or court appearance to reduce road casualties.

The TTC Group, of Hadley Park, Telford, is a renowned nationwide driver training specialists which put on courses on behalf of police, councils and companies, with the aim of reducing road traffic casualties. They are also a pioneer provider of the long running drink drive rehabilitation scheme.

The company puts thousands of drivers each year through courses when they fall foul of the law by drink driving, speeding or careless driving. Through TTC Automotive, they also run business driver training and are vehicle fleet management specialists. They also help councils and local authorities provide cost effective road safety education.

For more information visit www.ttc-uk.com