Platform’s Sports editor Oliver Dickinson raises the question as to whether there is a lack of common sense in the current speeding laws:
Speeding is bad. Let’s get that out of the way right now.
If you are caught doing 45mph in a 20mph zone during a school run, you deserve to be sent to spend time with some very nasty individuals in prison. Indeed if you are caught doing 120mph on the motorway you deserve to be shot for your own safety. What irks me however are cases of one size fits all laws punishing individuals such as my friend.
This is a man who passed his driving test weeks after his seventeenth birthday. A friend who has never had a single point on his licence, who has never been involved in an accident of his own causing, who has never so much as had a warning look from a police officer in over 30 years of motoring. Furthermore it is a man who has had 30 years of experience driving as a salesperson, in all weather conditions, on all road types, across the UK and then has competed at a very high level of motorsport where awareness and car control are essential in staying not just safe, but alive.
So why is my friend now facing three points and a fine of £60? Because he did 81mph on a deserted motorway.
My friend explains: “My frustration is that whilst yes I was breaking the speed limit and that is wrong, I was done whilst doing 81mph on a Saturday morning on a motorway in very light traffic in an area that has had no accidents in dry safe weather conditions”
What is even more incredible is this: had my friend been doing 79mph just two miles per hour less, in snow, or fog, or in heavy traffic, or heavy rain or any other manner of circumstances which would have greatly reduced his ability to stop or greatly increased his chances of causing an accident. He would not have been fined. More so, had my friend been travelling in a 20 year old car, with poor brakes, poor suspension, tyres at the limit of their tread, no airbags, no ESP, no traction control, not anti lock brakes, no safety features of any kind in fact or a car that had very recently scraped through its MOT guess what would have happened. Yes you’re right, absolutely nothing.
It seems to me that this is another sign that the death of common sense policing is upon us. Gone are the days where a real police officer could have told you off or warned you not to do it again. Instead the overzealous form fillers look on a chart produced by civil servants at great expense to the tax payer and decide with no appreciation of a situation, the appropriate punishment. Yes speeding is bad, but a lack of common sense and appreciation, that’s unforgivable.