Eleventh Commandment

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Sir,

It has long been my view that Motor Sport reflects the views and interests of motorists.

Whilst I appreciate the fact that correspondents (including this one) express personal views, I feel that it is unfortunate that there should, through your columns, be exacerbated a problem which has existed for years and will exist ever after.

The motorist and the law have conflicted since motoring began. To impute the individual officer the responsibility for the whims of the legislature is in my view invidious. Certainly police officers seem to consider the motorist who breaches the “criminal” code as fair game, once properly apprehended within the current legislation. Equally a “shoplifter” would probably be considered fair game on apprehension and treated as such by the law enforcement officers.

The courts which then deal with such indiscretions cannot be blamed for convicting a defendant properly charged if the evidence is sufficient to warrant conviction. It is the legislation which is “at fault.” It is rarely the case that a Magistrates Court will respond to the cavalier attitude implicitly advocated by your correspondent Mr. Steinberg. Equally it is fair to say that there rarely exists any reluctance in convicting on proper evidence.

My moderation is borne not from apathy. I have suffered the dreadful effect of “totting up” for such dreadful offences as exceeding the speed limit and contravening double white lines. Three offences in three years. None bad. I had driven over 100,000 miles (accident free) in that time. I thought I needed my car and after some weeks my licence was restored after appeal.

I thereafter thought that there are lessons to be learned from such trials. I sold my MGB to discourage the perceptive police officers. I purchased a Saab 96 and have rediscovered the joys of motoring.

In 70,00o miles there has been no crisis. It starts first time, does over thirty miles to the gallon, holds the road extremely well and, should I wish to, will cruise at speeds well in excess of the legal limit.

In conclusion, let us aim at the proper re-education of the legislature in matters motoring. In the interim let us have regard for the rt th commandment: “thou shalt not get found out”.

Cardiff PATRICK HARRINGTON

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