Letter of the Law

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Sir,

With reference to the letter from a Mr. Prior of Daventry in the September issue of Motor Sport under the heading “Unmarked Police Cars”, I should like to make the following points.

Neither Mr. Prior nor any other motorist has the slightest grounds for complaint against the use of unmarked police cars provided they are behaving themselves and keeping within the law. If they are not doing so then they deserve to be caught and punished it’s as simple as that.

Now before anybody shoots off with any rubbish about fair play, etc., I would suggest they watch a line of traffic following a marked police car in a 30 m.p.h. area, all going along steadily and sedately and I may add safely, too. Now see what happens when the police car turns off and disappears. Do they continue keeping within the law? Do they continue to restrict their speed to the one laid down? Not on your life! With the removal of the police vehicle it immediately becomes a case of frantic jockeying for position, overtaking, bad road manners, and a wholesale display of law-breaking. Is this fair play?

As a driver of 45 years experience without having had any trouble whatsoever with the police not even for parking and with a claim-free insurance right front the start, I am all in favour of unmarked police cars. There should be many more of them and they should be used in all parts of the country. am also very much in favour of a great increase in random breath-tests. When I see all the packed hotel car parks, especially on Saturday evenings, I shudder to think of the potential that exists for even more highway slaughter.

And I also maintain that there should be greater use made of radar in weeding out our numerous speed maniacs. Once again it boils down to the simple fact “Behave yourself and you’ve nothing to worry about; ignore the law and you get what you deserve.” Nothing could be fairer, surely.

I do not drive old bangers and dawdle along, as some cynics might try to infer from these views. My present car is a Stag not exactly what might be termed a boot-dragger. But I do know and respect the fact that those round discs marked 30, 40, 70 mean exactly what they say, and I obey their instruction. I also know what double white lines mean and I keep on my own side of them.

It is not a case of a “holier-than-thou” attitude; it’s a matter of realising that these regulations are made for the considered safety of all road users. The fact that in any particular circumstances I personally may consider the 30 m.p.h. limit unnecessary does not enter it at all.

Finally, by referring to the police as “fuzz” does not improve my opinion of Mr. Prior, nor does his apparent glee in mentioning the smart-Alec tactics of the driver who shot off down a side road. These references merely indicate a lack of appreciation of the splendid work done by the finest police force in the world and I say more strength to their elbow.

In conclusion I would like to say how I enjoy the excellence of Motor Sport, and can only hope that Mr. Prior’s letter is one of those to which the heading of the “Letters” section applies, viz. “Opinions expressed … etc.” But if it does, how can you justify the publication of the advertisement on page 1189 of the Radarspotter, which is purely and simply a device to obstruct the police in the execution of their duty. This, I feel, must surely be illegal.

Manchester LESTER HOLDING

(Opinions expressed … Ed.).