I had to drive up to Penrith today. Having negotiated the the congested M62 and the M61 and M6 past Preston, the motorway quietened down and there was a clear run in front of me. And as you do when the weather is fine and the traffic light, I started to speed. A bit. And the thought struck me as it has before: I could have lost my licence by the time I get home.
That’s the thing about these speed cameras — you don’t always know if you’ve been caught. And that isn’t really fair. To me, the point of these ASBOs or Gatsos or whethever they’re called is threefold:
1. To raise revenue for the police. Is there anyone out there who thinks they’re not?
2. Punishment for a misdemeanour in the shape of a fine.
3. A deterrence aginst future speeding. If another three points will mean you lose your licence, well you’re going to think twice before you do it.
And it’s that last point that makes me feel that there is an unfairness here. Points on your licence only works as a deterrent if you know you’ve got them. I could have picked up any number and wouldn’t know until that brown envelope landed on the welcome mat.
I reckon that you should have to pay the fines for each offence to achieve points one and two (okay, so I don’t really) but you should only get the first set of penalty points on the grounds that you didn’t know you had them. It’s either that or hire celebrity lawyer, Nick Harrison, who can get you off the hook if you’ve got enough money.