A fellow motorist was stopped at a spot check and was asked to show his driving licence. It was brought to his notice that the licence was three months out of date. The motorist apologised and said that he would renew it at once, as he could not remember having received a reminder from the local authority.
The police officer took down the details of the offence and the motorist subsequently received a summons.
In the summons, in the statement of facts, the time of the offence was wrong and the motorist thought that he had an avenue of escape. He asked for advice on this point, and was told that the Court would probably say that there had been a typographical error and add costs to the fine.
The motorist then resigned himself to the inevitable and was fined £3.
At 5s, per year for a driving licence, this I calculate to be 48 times the cost when he drove unlicensed.
In the same Court within a week or two of this offence, I read a report in a local paper (enclosed) concerning an adult male who created a disturbance in a local bowling alley. The management estimated that £160 of damage had been done.
Instead of making the offender pay back 48 times the cost of the damage, either in cash or by working part time at the bowling alley, he was put on probation for two years and ordered to pay 15s. costs.
Has justice been done? Has justice been seen to be done?
Earlier this week there was report in the national Press of a Labour M.P. who had had his car towed away and then been told that his Road Fund licence had expired.
Will he receive a swingeing fine comparable to that of the motorist mentioned at the beginning of this letter?
[Name and address supplied –ED.]