Yep, you read right. I have been nicked for speeding. Again.
Pic.No.1 You wouldn't believe what I get up to on the school run
A few weeks ago, I was safely careering down one of the country lanes that surround my house, when (without a by-your-leave), I encountered this ..........................
Pic.No.2 A mobile speed camera van. Bloody bastards
It was on one of those straight, wide roads with excellent visibility, and no history of accidents. However, unusually for a road like that, the speed limit was 30mph rather than the usual 50mph that characterises similar Oxfordshire country roads.
So, when you amalgamated all those factors, it meant that it was the perfect place for the police to park a police camera van and
And so I was nicked doing 36mph in a 30mph zone. Good job they apprehended me when they did, for I most certainly would have mown down the queue of geriatrics at the bus-stop if they hadn't. Not.
Anyway, a couple of weeks after my heinous crime, a letter arrived from Thames Valley Police detailing my offence, and bizarrely, presenting me with two options to repay my debt to society:
1. I could either pay a £60 (USD $96) fine and have three penalty points added to my license; or
2. I could waive the fine and the penalty points, and pay £95 (USD $151) to attend a Speed Awareness Course; during which I would probably learn what a menace I was, self-flagellate a bit according to their instructions, and then get released a humbled shell of my former self.
The thieving gypsy bastards. Either way the coppers would walk away with a fist full of the (my) fiscal stuff.
After much umming and aaahhhing, I ended up selecting option 2. Although it was more expensive in the short-term, it worked out cheaper in the long-term; specifically because my insurance would go up if more penalties were added to my driving license.
And it was last Tuesday that it was my lucky turn to attend the Speed Awareness Course in the neighbouring town of Bicester. My interest in the course had piqued somewhat, because in the interim I had chatted to a couple of other people who had attended a similar course, and they said that they have never speeded (sped?) again.
So I sat in the training room, and watched as the trainer - a woman with the worst matching clothing combo I have ever seen - stood up and introduced herself, "look, I don't want any arguing. I get enough of that with my teenagers at home," she said with a sneery smile.
Ummm. An auspicious start.
Pic.3 For four hours we were fed misleading and patronising fluff
There were some interesting parts of the course - like the photographs of crash scenes and a forensic breakdown of the cause. But the rest was just a blatant attempt at brainwashing everyone about the benefits of speed cameras. It was done like this:
She showed lots of videos of cars crashing at 30mph, 40mph and 50mph.
Then they told everyone how many Speed Cameras there were in Oxfordshire and how they cost £20,000 each (aren't the police kind, trying to help us like that?).
But. And a BIG but. There was a significant link missing in the data presented - exactly how many accidents had been prevented through the use of these speed camera?
And do you know what? Given that the police are so keen on keeping our roads safe, they don't actually collate statistics relating to accidents pre- and post- the installation of safety cameras. Yep, you read right. Bet they know how much money is generated though.
Back to the Trainer. Whenever she was asked challenging questions (always politely I noticed) - about things like the efficacy of Speed Cameras - her response was sneery, patronising and dismissive. Thus, she effectively stifled any interesting debate.
Then at the end, she made all the delegates turn to their neighbour and say the following; "I promise never to speed in the roads of my hometown." It was like a bloody AA meeting. I said it with my fingers crossed.
So what a waste of four hours, except for the fact that I realised I am pretty good at using my hands to mimc a car swerving to avoid a pheasant.
After the drive home, I opened the front door to be greeted by Naughty George. The git obviously hadn't moved for the whole duration I had been away ....... the giveaway being ................
Pic.No.4 He was still wrapped in the blanket that I had put on him before I left
Not being the brightest dog on the planet, he probably didn't notice how obviously he had blown his 'vicious guard dog' ruse.
So dahlink, have you been convicted of any crimes recently?