Anyone who regularly drives any distance, with any sense of urgency at all (i.e. not retired or retarded) has, at some point in their driving career been sat in a queue on the motorway.
The radio hails you to let you know that a lorry and a car have collided 12 miles ahead you. You’ve moved half a mile in the last hour. The next exit is 8 miles ahead. You think out loud. “What’s wrong with the useless fucker who couldn’t keep his car on a straight piece of road, in dry clear weather? Get on with it you morons – I have a meeting to get to.”
Then, if you’re that way inclined, you do a little adding up. At least 8 miles of queues. 3 lanes. Average 15 yds per vehicle. Average vehicle occupancy 1.2. That’s [start/run/calc] 3216 people who will be delayed – let’s say, on average – half an hour. 1608 man-hours (1233 woman-hours metric). That adds up. And if you’re employed, you employer must get more out of you than he pays you, or he’d have to fire you.
Unless you’re self employed, or you’re on your own time, it’s your employer who loses out – to the tune of his opportunity cost, which is probably 2-3 times higher than your wage. That’s the economy, that is. AND. That’s all before the cost of all the clear-up work (brooms, cones, fluorescent jackets, safety boots, Shoguns, bananas, simians) and the various other knock-on effects.
Annnnnnyway. What difference would it make if the stupid twat who caused the thing was ticketed with 3pts/£60 for being a mong? The knowledge of it would make queuing hoardes glow inside a little, to think that the dickhead was being slapped by a shiny jacketed Nazi.
Thousands of drivers who would have escaped prosecution for collisions after simply swapping insurance details will now face likely prosecution as soon as the police become involved.
An array of trivial motoring offences in addition to minor crashes are also likely to lead to action under proposals to give police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving.
They could include eating, drinking or smoking at the wheel, reading a map, tuning a radio or arguing with a passenger.
What about wrestling with recalcitrant infants in the seat behind you? Or wearing a hat? I know that I have been in a situation where the only way to avoid crashing my car is to turn off Chris Moyles by retuning the radio with my fist – is that to be an offence?
All funds raised from the on-the-spot fines will go directly to the Treasury, which already makes more than £100 million a year from speed cameras.
The proposals triggered fears of a surge in the number of drivers being prosecuted, as happened following the introduction of speed cameras.
There were 260,000 people convicted of speeding offences in 2000-01 when speed cameras were in their infancy but by 2006-07, after they had been rolled out nationwide, this figure had reached 1.75 million.
What could possibly go wrong? Oh…
“Cops aren’t daft,” said Kevin Delaney, Scotland Yard’s former head of traffic. “They are human like the rest of us and will take the easiest option.
“The easier you make it for them to meet performance targets by issuing tickets, the more likely they are to do it.”
Sadly, the TPA totally miss the point:
“This smacks of trying to make a fast buck out of already heavily taxed drivers,” said a spokesman for the TaxPayersAlliance.
And the article could not be complete, in this climate, without a crudit crench mention. The TPA characterised itself as a single-issue mong factory by providing this:
“Obviously dangerous driving should still be penalised. Ordinary families are struggling with the credit crunch, trying to get more money from them is wrong.”
You dick – it’s misappropriation of the issue, just like this, that allows sanctimonous old (and pre-old) twats to say “well they shouldn’t be driving like that”.
Amazingly though, the public transport and lentil-mental round table – aka the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) – also see the problem:
The plans were described as a “bombshell” by Rob Gifford, director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, and normally sympathetic to the Government’s strategy. “This could lead to policing by numbers rather than policing aimed at raising standards,” he said.
And what’s this? The law of unintended consequences?
At present police can only prosecute motorists for careless driving through the courts. Most of those taken to court plead guilty and are penalised with points on their licence and a fine.
But the Government has been alarmed by the fall in the number of convictions for poor driving.
Could that be because they took coppers off traffic duty – scrapped the role altogether in some constabularies – in favour of the evil grey/yellow/blue kerchingo-cams? Stupid bastards.
On the other hand, I have got away with an awful lot of dangerous and drunk driving in the last ten years on account of this policy, so I can’t be *completely* unhappy about it. ;-) Just as some people have to accept that they’re gay or a leftie, I have to accept that I’m a hypocrite. And I do.