About six or so years ago, I’m always a bit hazy upon these details, I received a 6 months’ driving ban for having amassed (was it a total of 12 points?) as a result of speeding offences.
I don’t expect any sympathy from my readers – I admit that technically I’d probably been speeding the four times concerned (because 4 x 3 points = 12, right?). However, my beef was always that firstly, in the scheme of these things I’m not a dangerous or reckless driver; and secondly, I’d just been unlucky to be caught.
[There was also a degree to which, despite my aggrieved feelings at continually being ‘caught’ by the Plod on the occasions I actually was, I accepted that there’d probably been at least twenty occasions upon which I’d been speeding and ‘got away with it’].
The sort of occasions upon which I’d get ‘nabbed’ tended – in my view – to be petty and/or minor.
You know the sort of thing – going down the A316 dual carriageway on a totally open road, no other cars around to speak of… well, only the one about 200 yards in front of me who was plainly doing 56mph in a 50 mph limit zone.
I could tell you that’s how fast he was going because that is the speed I was allegedly doing when I got ‘done’ … when in fact all I was doing was proceeding along at about 0730 hours on a Sunday morning, minding my own business, listening to Classic FM on the radio and keeping the said 200 yards minimum behind said car in front of me.
In this modern, politically-correct world of ours, you do that four times in a year or so … and bingo! You’ve lost your licence for six months.
The other occasion that one of my offending instances of speeding really irritated me was on the A4 going past the Sky television site in Isleworth.
In the morning rush-hour, doing nothing more than moseying along in order to drop my car off for its service, I got stopped as the front vehicle at a traffic lights junction on the dual carriageway. Having waited about three minutes for the lights to change to green, as soon as they had, I simply took my foot off the brake and drove at a reasonable speed towards the back of the traffic queue now in front of me about 400 yards away. Having done that, now snug again in my lightly grid-locked car, I took about another eight minutes to reach the turning into the Audi dealer’s.
And duly picked up a speeding ticket for exceeding 40mph in the 40 mph limit zone between the aforementioned traffic lights and the back of said traffic queue in front of me the said 400 yards beyond! If I’d been in one of those ‘average speed’-checking zones you sometimes see on motorways and carriageways, over the course of my twenty minutes on the A4 getting to the Audi dealership, I’d estimate that my overall average speed recorded by any such police cameras taking the trouble would have been 3 mph or less!
Call me a recidivist if you wish but frankly, given the way I get dealt with by the authorities in respect of my alleged speeding on Britain’s roads (e.g. often being ‘nabbed’ for doing 5 to 10mph over the stated 30mph or 40mph limits in set zones), I now regard speeding fines as little more than an occupational hazard/inconvenience of being a British citizen.
I’m writing that this morning only because I received a ‘Notice Before Prosecution’ from the Police yesterday for allegedly going 83mph in a 70mph restricted area, presumably captured by an unmarked police van hiding around a corner and/or on a bridge overhead.
What I can also tell you – without fear of contradiction – about the alleged incident is that I was totally in control of my car for the prevailing driving conditions on the day and indeed proceeding safely and quietly in every other respect.