The motorists' lot (1/2)

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Sir,

As just one more example of gross injustice being unfairly inflicted upon the unfortunate motorist, I cannot help but relate a recent occurrence which has staggered me.

At 8.45 a.m. on Sunday, November 1st, 1970, having already motored 70-80 miles on a main trunk road without seeing more than half-a-dozen other vehicles I came across some road works on A65 at Crooklands in Westmorland.

As I approached this spot I came up behind another car and we both slowed down because of some temporary traffic lights which were at red. These lights, which seemed to be of a distinctly temporary nature, were controlling a short length of road works where there was room enough for only one-way traffic.

Because the road ahead was completely straight for quarter of a mile and clear, and only because it was entirely safe to do so, the other motorist and I proceeded slowly past the road works which were no more than 50. yards long. This we did in entire safety and without any danger to ourselves, our passengers or any other road users.

As we were accelerating away on the straight road ahead a policeman, who must have been out of sight, emerged and drove towards us on his motorcycle. He stopped us both and booked us (delaying my journey by 20 minutes. The offence seemed so trivial at the time that I thought no more of it until I received a summons to my enormous surprise three weeks later.

The final horror appeared in the Christmas mail, incorporating an endorsed licence and an order to pay £15 fine, with one day’s notice.

I am quite sure that you hear enough about motorists’ experiences from your readers and I am sure that some are more extravagant than this. At the same time, I felt that I needed to register this instance with some motoring fraternity, and I apologise for choosing you! Should you wish to quote anything out of this letter, or require any more details concerning this conviction, you can be assured that you have my fullest permission and co-operation.

R. Barraclough.
Mirfield.
[These temporary traffic lights have legally to be obeyed. But still…—Ed.]

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