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No Excuse?

Entry 394, on 2006-09-14 at 14:19:27 (Rating 3, News)

On several occasions in the past I have been issued tickets by traffic police for speeding. I have never been doing anything really dangerous, just a bit over the speed limit. I know some people will say that exceeding the speed limit is always dangerous, or use the current catch phrase "the faster you go the bigger the mess". I agree that in general that is true, but the logical outcome of that point of view is to remain stationary at all times. There are undoubtedly times when doing 60 in a 50 k zone with very little traffic around is safer that doing 50 with a lot of pedestrians present, for example.

Whenever I am stopped I always offer some justification to the cop. But in the end it gets down to the "fact" that there is no justification and no excuse for speeding. I have been apologetic, argumentative, debunked police propaganda campaigns on TV, acted ignorant or forgetful, made jokes, etc. It makes no difference - I still get the fine!

I have never been stopped while driving over the alcohol limit but I'm sure a similar argument would apply. It seems to me that its easier to persecute people who drive a little bit too fast or have one drink too many, because those are easy things to test for - and to collect fines for. Stopping people who are genuinely driving dangerously is just too hard.

The reason for the rant above is this. Recently a cop in sole charge in a small town was called out to a traffic incident while he was off duty. He had been having a few drinks at the time and was later tested and was found to be 30% over the limit (who was the idiot who tested him?) The verdict of the subsequent court case, where he pleaded guilty, has just been released, and he wasn't convicted. In fact the judge congratulated him on his behaviour. So obviously there are occasions when its OK to break the law. I'll need to remember this next time I am stopped by a cop!

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Comment 1 (256) by Anonymous on 2006-09-22 at 13:40:46:

You seem to think drink-driving and speeding are the same thing. And how often would you be speeding so that you can get to an accident and maybe save someone's life? The comparison doesn't seem very relevant.

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Comment 2 (271) by OJB on 2006-10-17 at 18:32:52:

Well yes, I know I wasn't being particularly precise here. And I wasn't being entirely serious either, although I do think there should be more flexibility in how laws are applied.

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