AII along the years MOTOR SPORT has campaigned against what it has seen as unfair and discriminating legislation against car owners and motor vehicle drivers. To recall but one such fight for a fair deal for road users, there was the MOTOR SPORT petition against the proposed lowering of the 70 mph motorway speed limit, an aim today of chief constables and other authorities who, indeed, see higher motorway speed limits as a useful move towards reducing traffic congestion, line-ahead cruising and giving a better traffic flow when conditions for higher speeds are favourable. Our petition was presented to the ministry by Earl Howe, Graham Hill and Denny Hulme. If it had no apparent effect, it did, we believe, prevent the speed limit on our motorways being reduced to 60mph.
The new 1992 traffic laws look very much like a war on drivers. However, in saying that we are aware that we tread on a damaging knife-edge, because safety is paramount at all times and when a sporting motor journal binds against what, on the surface, looks like being genuinely directed to this laudable accomplishment, we are, as it were, cornering on slippery ice. However, the ‘big brother’ automatic cameras to spot speeding vehicles, the vastly increased fines for traffic offences, the stricter MoT tests at much elevated cost and the right of a passing constable to cause a driver whose vehicle is found to have a fault which might conceivably be regarded as dangerous (a faulty handbrake, non-functioning wipers) to abandon it immediately, have it removed by transporter and subjected to a police inspection after repair, might seem to hint of using such legislation to mask inadequate roads, even to rid them of the older vehicles?
According to the Daily Mails motoring correspondent, the spotter-cameras may not surface until 1993 because of their high cost, which is one small respite! One wonders if those who have invested in non-photographable rear number plates will get a refund? W B