Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Commit the crime - do the time

Hey - I'm no hippy. If you commit a crime then you have to be prepared to do the time. So when I was photographed by a sneaky camera van on the M4 in Wales doing 93 miles per hour 3 years ago I didn't complain about it, I forked over the £60 and took the 3 points on my license. I was in the wrong and I admitted it. If anything I was fortunate because I subsequently learned that if you are caught doing over 95mph then it is an instant ban. Having those 3 points elapse off my license allowing it to return to its previously unblemished state was most gratifying a couple of months ago. So imagine my chagrin this morning when a new speeding fine presented itself in my post box!

Had I once more been hurtling along the Queens highway like Jenson Button? Had I been throwing caution to the wind and catapulting myself as if I had no fear? No. I was travelling at 53 miles per hour on a nearly empty M6. Now I know in America 55 mph is considered pretty racy, but here in Blighty that is virtually walking on a Motorway. And why am I being subjected to this ridiculous trumped up charge? Because apparently there were roadworks and the speed limit was reduced to 40mph. This reduction in speed being presumably to protect the traffic cones which are arranged neatly across the back of the hard shoulder. There were certainly no human beings performing any work or even in attendance. The supreme irony? I was on the M6 on the way to visit a northern police force :-(

2 comments:

Daz said...

I picked up 3 points last year for doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone. A fair cop. I disagree with people who moan about speed cameras being a breach of their civil liberties - there are speed limits in this country and they are there for safety reasons. People who exceed the speed limit are more likely to kill you, me and our families. Sounds melodramatic? Possibly, but tell that to someone mourning a loved one. I am constantly horrified by the speed people drive at around the largely residential area that I live in.

People say that 70 mph is too slow a speed limit for motorways, but what happens is this... the limit is 70 so people think it' okay to go at 80, perhaps 85. Raise the limit to 80 and people will think it's okay to go at 90 or 95. Or faster.

Like you Ports I do a lot of driving... M1, M4, M3, M40, M25 (not much chance of speeding on that one). There are so many long stretches of cones accompanied by absolutely no-one doing anything. So we're expected to slow down for the safety of a work force who set some cones up and dug a small hole three weeks ago and have now gone AWOL. And then you get done for doing a thoroughly reasonable speed.

Ben Rose said...

It's all to do with legislation.

To do roadworks, they have to get pre-approval to enforce the temporary speed limit between specific dates. When approved the new limit is then posted on those days, whether anyone is present on site or not; it's unrealistic to put up the signs and take them down again each day.

Road-workers do get killed each year and in many countries outside the UK they enforce double fines in work areas.

As for 55mph being fast...Texas just approved an 85mph speed limit on their highways...55 is now an outdated myth!