Driving standards


It is not often that I become purple with anger when reading your excellent magazine, but the smug, self-opinionated letter from Mr. Holding (Dec. 1977) has prompted me to put pen to paper.

Presumably it is official police policy that it is better to prevent drivers breaking the law rather than wait for them to break it and then set out to catch them. Therefore, why is my nearside wing mirror so full of white Granadas, Range Rovers and MGB G’I’ V8’s tucked away up motorway slip roads? They are blatantly sitting there to catch somebody out.

They would do a lot more for road safety if they parked in prominent positions, festooned with orange paint and blue lights, thereby providing a clear deterrent to every car which passed.

The “big-brother” mentality of our law makers has meant that we all have to conform to the lowest common denominator of driving standards.

Because Joe Smith in his I too looks dangerous at 70 m.p.h. on the M1, skilled drivers in high performance cars are restricted.

Not so long ago, I was overtaken at 6.30 in the morning on a dual carriageway by a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer. At a conservative estimate he was doing 110 m.p.h., and, Mr. Holding please note, he was driving in perfect safety, well within the capabilities of his car and with due consideration for the road conditions. It was a joy to see an expert driver enjoying himself in a beautiful car, and less of a potential hazard than the aforementioned Joe Smith who looks in his mirror once every three hours.

To return to the subject of the police, speeding policy seems to differ from county to county. In my experience, Surrey police on the A3 tend to overlook the occasional sporting motorist as long as he is not causing a hazard to other road users; very laudable.

But, I have it on good authority that a certain police station in Kent holds an unofficial “competition” every week to see which officer has “bagged” the highest number of motorists.

I am sure that the majority of your readers will join me in condemning such despicable activities, Mr. Holding excepted of course.

The only point I would agree with is breath tests. Drinking is just not conducive to alert, responsible driving.

On a constructive note,, I would like to see much stiffer driving tests, perhaps on a par with the current Institute of Advanced Motorists examination. The increase of cars on the road seems to be directly proportional to a decrease in driving standards, and the lack of judgement shown by drivers who don’t know when it is safe to go fast is sometimes mind-boggling.

Many is the time I have been overtaken on a narrow road round a blind bend or over a brow only to find the same comedian doing 40 m.p.h. on the dual carriageway one mile later.

As the Automobile Association is patently incapable of representing motorists’ interests, may I call upon Motor Sport to consider setting up some sort of representation for the persecuted sporting drivers of the nation. If we are to stop the tide and preserve our freedoms, we have to speak with a united voice.

In conclusion, the next time I am baulked by a Triumph Stag doing 69 m.p.h. in the fast lane of an empty motorway, shall assume it is Mr. Holding doing his bit to uphold the ridiculous laws of the country.

Name and address supplied -ED.