The Right To Drive

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Rant

Today, I left for work, having enjoyed a few days at sea (not sure if I had already mentioned that) only to have to turn back after getting halfway as my tummy was telling me that being back at home where I would be more comfortable would be a good idea.

As a result of this extended time in the car, I was able to enjoy the news and hear that it is now seemingly acceptable to clock up 54 points on your licence before receiving a ban.

Naturally, I listened during the day to the inevitable debate on Radio 2 at Lunchtime and was stunned to hear some ‘person’ phone in to say that he had already clocked up 14 points this year, possibly in the last 12 months though it matters not one jot, and was of the firm belief that as his job involved him driving all over the country clocking up over 110,000 miles a year that he should be allowed to clock up more points. Conversely, anyone driving less miles should be allowed fewer points.

The real worry about all this, was that this person, and no doubt others, genuinely believed this to be acceptable. Just where exactly does it state that every person on this land had the absolute right to drive anyway. It’s not a right to drive, it’s a bloody privilege.

When a person driving 110,000 miles a year runs over a pedestrian, or worse still knocks a cyclist off the road (yes, I’m a cyclist), the pain, injury and subsequent inconvenience is the same to the poor injured party as it would have been if said person had been hit by a driver only doing 5000 miles a year. And yet, people still argue that they would be inconvenienced if they lost their licence and may even lose their job. There was even a case of one person being found to have driven in excess of 140 mph yet being allowed to keep their licence as others would have suffered: As no doubt would some poor motor cyclist had he met him, or her,  coming the other way. Obviously this latter point isn’t a consideration.

While I’m at it, why oh why does the judiciary system continue to issue driving bans to persons who are proven to be repeated offenders, or those that have, through their own inadequacies, caused serious injury or even death. A ban is nothing but a slap in the face. There has to be the option in such situations to remove, FOR EVER, the ride to drive. Jail is obviously an added consequence.

I’m sorry of I seem to be going on about this, but I really, really can’t believe that there are people out there who genuinely believe that because they are ‘professional’ drivers clocking up excessive miles they should be considered as ‘special’ when it comes to points and bans. What utter balderdash, if anything, such drivers should be more experienced and as such be better behaved and able to drive within the law.

I have to say that there were other people who clearly shared my views and voiced them as such on the radio: My concern is that such debates are nothing more than that: Debates between the radio and the listeners. Nothing will happen as a result.

The whole topic today genuinely irritated me. There was the inevitable dialogue on driving when using a mobile phone. It was only about three weeks ago that I was following a car on the M4 between Hungerford and Theale (no joke or exaggeration) whose driver spent the whole journey in the centre lane either texting or reading emails on his mobile. Horns and light flashing made no difference.  And I wasn’t the only driver pointing the wrong doing out to the miscreant.

It’s actions such as this last case and this attitude that ‘I am special and therefore shouldn’t be punished’ that make my blood boil and my tummy churn, which is probably why I had to turn back for home this morning.

As a post script:

I accept:  I know: We are all guilty of traffic law violations at some point, some more than others, but for the most part, we all accept that if caught we have to pay the price.

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