Your magazine has always been a stalwart defender of the general motoring public, and in view of this I think you will be interested in the following which occurred on the M6 motorway recently.
A white Cortina, registration number ATE 921J with a “Cut Motor Taxes” sticker in the rear window, and containing four young men, was travelling towards Preston in the third lane at an estimated speed of 75 m.p.h. Shortly a motor bike approached in the fast lane and indicated to the Cortina that he wished to pass, but the vehicle would not pull over into the centre lane. Eventually the motorcyclist set his left-hand indicator, moved into the centre lane and passed the Cortina on the inside and subsequently re-entered the fast lane in front of the offending vehicle. Amazingly this vehicle then produced a “POLICE” sign in the back window, switched on headlights and proceeded to chase the motor cyclist to flag him down.
I would be the first to agree that this motor cyclist broke the law twice, i.e. exceeding the 70 m.p.h. speed limit and overtaking on the inside. BUT I sincerely believe, and am sure you will agree, he was provoked into committing the latter offence.
I consider this a despicable trick by the Police, which will do nothing towards improving relations between the motoring public and the Law.
If it becomes common practice for the Police to use unidentified cars to administer the law, I shall return to pedal cycling!!
[We hope this is an isolated case of some over-zealous young policemen being so obsessed with the need to keep all vehicles down to around 70 m.p.h. on our fine new Motorways that they used this unhappy method of enforcing the Law, although, unfortunately, we have reason to doubt this. It is to be hoped that Chief Constables will stamp heavily on this non-British gestapo practice. The crime wave is involving more and more policemen in more manly pursuits than playing bears on Motorways which could goad drivers and riders into dangerous manoeuvres. It seems to us of some importance to keep the bulk of the population in sympathy with the Police at the present time, in case their help is needed even more in the future than now in assisting the latter in the course of their duties. And the bulk of the population are now motorists, some of whom cannot see anything very criminal in going a bit quickly in or on sound vehicles under favourable conditions—so just don’t distinguish the schoolmasters as pupils! —Ed.].