Stratford-upon-Avon may have been the Home of the Bard. It is not the home of British Justice, evidently. According to that reliable newspaper, The Birmingham Post, which thought it justified a terse Editorial, Stratford-upon-Avon Magistrates fined a second-offence 17-year-old labourer £5 for assaulting a policeman, £1 for damaging a police car and £9 for restitution of damage. The same court, under a different Magistrate, fined a first-offence 70-year-old pensioner £29 and £14 3s. costs on a charge of careless riding of a motor scooter.
The Birmingham Post asks: ” . . . can it be seriously argued that this driving offence by an old man was so much more heinous than a youth’s assault upon a policeman as to merit a fine four times as great?” and concludes: “This whole question of punishments has got to be so thoroughly ventilated that these discrepancies disappear.”
Certainly it is war on the motorist under Marples; better, it would seem, to be a fighting Mod or Rocker than a tax-paying motorist who has the misfortune to make a single error in his driving.—W. B.
That standby of motoring writers, politicians (if they are on our side), broadcasters and journalists, “Basic Road Statistics” is available in the 1964 edition, price 1s., from the British Road Federation, 26, Manchester Square, London, W.I.