05/04/2013 09:30 BST

Ed Balls Admits Speeding Offence: 'I Went Too Far, Too Fast'

Ed Balls often attacks George Osborne for going "too far, too fast" in cutting public spending, but the shadow chancellor has been forced to admit doing the same in his car on the M62.

Balls conceded on Friday that he had to attend a speed awareness course after being caught doing 56mph in a 50mph zone.

"Like many local people, I was caught out by the never-ending roadworks on the M62," he confessed on his blog.

"Pulling on to the motorway at Morley I realised too late that the speed restrictions were still in place. I was caught and bang to rights – doing 56 in a 50 mile restriction zone. Going too far, too fast, you might say.

"I paid my fine and chose to attend a speed awareness course. I currently have no points on my licence and would like to keep it that way. Which is why, this week, I ended up in the Holiday Inn with 39 others.

"The course was very professional and actually really worthwhile. What hit home were the statistics which link speed to car deaths. At 20 mph, less than 10 per cent of people will lose their lives if hit by a car. But the probability rises exponentially, going above 40 per cent at 40mph.

"Our course instructors explained that casualty rates have fallen over the past decade, as drivers have become more aware and car design has improved. The worrying thing is that this trend has started to reverse in recent years."

It is not the first time Balls has been caught misbehaving on the roads. In 2010 he had to apologise for his "stupid behaviour" after being caught using his mobile phone whilst driving.