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Easy mistake to make.

I’m travelling along the motorway, returning from one job and making towards an area where I have decided to spend some of my time to address the problem of a little anti-social behaviour.

My speed is about 70, the usual prescribed limit, when I am passed by Sid the suit in his Audi sporty sport injection turbo GT SRi thingy as though I am invisible. I had him checking my exhaust emissions for at least a mile & a half until I was able to pass a line of heavies and return to the centre lane. At this point he is past and off into the ether. My patrol of the Britannia Estate will have to wait whilst I decide to offer some positive yet constructive advice to Sid the suit. When you drive at about 70mph itis simply astonishing exactly how many people either queue up behind you or just drive on past witout a care in the world, of you, of how fast they may be driving or that this could contribute to the accident (collision) statistics, for the Sids of the world or anyone else they are unfortunate enough to meet.

I decide, when I can catch up, to give Sid a follow using the markers to get a constant distance and see he is travelling a constant speed well above the statuary 70mph.

Sid is not alone. It appears to be the prerogative of many of the suited travellers to not only ignore the speed limit but also to sniff the exhaust fumes of the car in front that simply refuses to get out of the way.

Anyway, Sid appears either ignorant or oblivious to the marked dog van in his wake and continued to be so despite the addition of some flashing disco lights and a racey little  repeating melody ‘ the sirens are calling ‘.  After a couple of miles he stops because he is worried that I have some sort of problem.

I assure him I do not and that there is an issue of his speed and the fact that the vehicle he was right behind is dangerously close to the front of his car and could cause any form of mayhem if it suddenly stopped or hit something.

He did not feel this was really an issue as I was not a traffic officer. He saw a sign for dog handler on the van and assumed that it was now both safe and legal to drive at whatever speed he wanted.

He was wrong, on both counts. Luckily we did not touch on paying of wages or dealing with rapists and burglars. He never knew anyone I knew nor did he lunch with anyone else I knew. Even luckier, all his lights worked, his tyres were legal, his wipers and washers were in good order, his audible warning device was completely functional and etc etc etc etc……point made. And I had a pen that worked. I also had two more that didn’t but I can confidently say that his vehicle was in a good working order and a shining example of a well maintained and mechanically sound car.

Then I had to drive back to the Britannia Estate but it was worth the effort.


7 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how many people think they have an excuse to break the speed limit.

    I watch my speed both in residential areas, and motorways, and frequently have people trying to kiss my rear bumper whilst I am at either 30, or 70 respectively… rather frustrating that I can’t yet pull them over…

  2. Up in our pairts the hound would have had to act as corroboration. Sometimes speed cameras do make sense.

  3. Good points! I was an Advanced Met driver, and drove high-perfoprmance Area Cars. (i.e. non-TraffPol). I was driving a brand new Rover 3500 in Hammersmith in the 40mph zone when I was ‘left for dead’ by a car which was doing over 70mph. Needless to say, I stopped him and this was the only ‘speed’ offence I did in all my time in the job. My speedo was tested and found to be spot-on. NFA. Why? Because I was not TraffPol, so it was not Force Policy.
    Honestly. Having regard to all of the circumstances, don’t you think that there would have been a prosecution. BTW, we were 3-up in those days, so, plenty of corroboration. Does make you wonder!

  4. I was coming back from court with a regular officer who had since moved onto traffic since we worked together in one of the marked discovery’s. with the exception of the personnel carriers, probably the largest, most conspicuous vehicles in the fleet, fully marked etc on the motorway.

    Having only been there a shortwhile he said the biggest thing that surprised him was issues exactly similar to this one. As if to illustrate the point, we were passed by a ‘Sid’ oblivious to the brightly marked police disco in the lane beside him. Needless to say the words ‘see, I told you’ where expressed and a brief stint further down the carriageway Sid was stopped and spoken to. He didn’t get three points because my mate hadnt completed his mandatory 20 hours of practice on PP.

    My mate told me when he’s unmarked,selectivity was the name of the game or he’d never stay off the hard shoulder for more than 10 mins.

  5. Did you stick him on and, if you did, was there any other form of corroboration? The reason I ask is that some time ago I was driving along a stretch of the M4 with a temporary 50mph limit due to workers at the side of the road. In front of me was a Police partnership camera van which, when we exited from the 50mph area, acccelerated up to, and over, the 70 mph speed limit. Deciding to find out how fast it was going, I followed it, keeping a constant distancebetween us for over a mile when, at a speedo reading of 84 mph and climbing, I bottled out and slowed down as the car shot off out of my sight. I wrote to the force concerned to complain and was told that corroboration was needed for NIPs to be issued and no one else had complained. This meant that the hypocrite in the camera van got away with a speeding offence while happily arranging for others to be prosecuted.
    There is no axe to grind as I have never received a speeding fine in quite a few years of driving but was rather peeved at the lack of interest shown by the local force. How I could have done with you then.

  6. Can you really not give him 3 points? I thought a policeman was a policeman was a policeman – I would expect to get the same treatment whether I got pulled by a Constable or a Chief Constable.

    Hate people like that – go flying by in their posh company-paid-for cars and think they are superior. My F reg Fiesta bought and paid for (and completely road-worthy, I hasten to add!!)

  7. Going back more than 20 years, I remember quite a neat tactic used by police in country Australia. A pair of officers would drive a old-model ute (pickup) with a few hay bales in the back. They’d drive scrupulously to the letter and spirit of the law.

    Of course, that meant all the nobs would come hurtling up and belt past them at speed, regardless of speed limits, road condtions, weather, traffic or anything else.

    Much to their surprise, a mile or two further on they’d find a marked traffic car waiting for them. A couple of minutes after they were pulled, the old ute would stop and all would be revealed.

    It would probably be called entrapment these days, but I well remember the glee as officers I knew told me about catching MPs, a magistrate, councillors and numerous other “pillars of the community”—all of whom tried to insist they weren’t proper criminals.

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