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‘Hallo, Hallo; You’re Nicked Chummy’

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives

‘Hallo, Hallo; You’re Nicked Chummy’

Geoff Maxted
August 16, 2013

British Motorway
Whilst driving down the M4 the other day, DriveWrite came upon a massive camper van straddling the middle lane at a steady fifty mph. Are people so oblivious to the news and current affairs or even the comments of others that they still don’t realise how aggravating this is?

It was clear from the gesticulations of passing cars that the driver’s parentage and general worth to the planet was being called into question. Even Mrs DriveWrite, who is usually above such trivial things, had a few choice words to say. Yet the guy sat there, stolid at the wheel, ignoring the boiling rage around him.

All this pent up frustration has obviously had an effect on HM Government who have finally made this sort of selfish driving an offence. From today, a range of fixed penalty notices come into effect which render various aspects of careless driving punishable by law. £100 fine has been introduced that penalises middle lane hogging and tailgating. Other misdemeanours include overtaking on the inside lane, driving through a red light inadvertently (of which more later) and appearing suddenly out of side roads into the path of another vehicle. It isn’t even necessary to commit an offence. If an official reckons you are driving whilst distracted - tuning a radio, lighting a fag - and appear to be erratic, you’ll get done.

First of all, all this depends on how many traffic cops there are left because we’re not seeing many on our travels. Second of all, what constitutes a grave error for one person may just be an innocent mistake by another. Driving through a red light is, of course, very dangerous and terminally stupid if deliberate - but what if it’s just an unfortunate one-off occurrence? In short - who decides?

It is one thing punishing the worst offenders but it is quite another to wade into the motoring hordes with handfuls of tickets just to get the conviction numbers up and the cash rolling in. Watch this one closely, because, from overhead gantries, they are watching you.

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