POLICE AND MOTORISTS
From Sir John Whitmore, Bart. Sir, For some time now MOTOR SPORT has carried readers’ letters and editorials about the injustices of magistrates and police alike, in dealings with motoring cases. This, though admirable in warning those of your readers, if any, who have not already suffered, is less effective in dealing with the problem as a whole. The reason is obvious; few magistrates have ever read MOTOR Sl’ORT and certainly not Ernest Marples himself. (Incidentally, Mr. IViarples’ talent has been so wasted ; he would have made a wonderful postman with his cycling and postmaster’s experience.) Might it not be possible, with sufficient enthusiasm and responsible people, to form a motorists’ defence league ? I say
responsible people because most of these Antiorganisations become a laughing stock as they tend to be supported by cranks and beatnicks and consequently become powerless. This proposed league, supported by contributions from those who are aware of, or have suffered from, these injustices, should consider certain cases and pay the costs of fighting for justice up to House of Lords level and organising national publicity for these cases. In this way, one would be able to reach a very large section of the community, who might eventually move the authorities.
I am convinced that many wronged motorists could have received justice, had he been able to afford a specialist barrister or Q.C. rather than a local solicitor. Many may say that the A.A. and R.A.C. offer some protection. May I suggest that they are powerless, useless and hidebound by their relations with the police. When a recent White Paper was published after an investigation of the motorists’ cause by some lawyers who found serious inadequacies in the system, the official R.A.C./A.A. view was given in the Press as “we find no evidence to support these allegations.” Just how apathetic can one be! I would be very interested to see the reaction from your readers to this suggestion, and may I finish with a little story CO whet their appetites :—
A breakdown truck, rushing to a garage, towing a wrecked car in which a woman was trapped screaming was stopped for exceeding 30 m.p.h. Rather than clear the road with its bell and flashing light to assist the rescue, the police car made every endeavour to hinder the truck all the way to the garage though the policemen were aware of the injured woman. The police stood by as the woman was cut from the wreck and rushed to hospital, and then took particulars. The truck driver was subsequently fined for speeding but the woman’s life was saved in the nick of time.
Letchworth. JOHN WHantoRE. [I hope Sir John Whitmore has referred the matter of the zealous police and the injured lady to his M.P. and insists on getting a question asked about it.—En.)