Saturday 16 December 2017

Working it out: Speed limits - they just make them up

A 'GoSafe' speed camera van
A 'GoSafe' speed camera van

John Masterson

Ever since a teacher accused me in the wrong in secondary school I have maintained a healthy sense of injustice. Particularly in matters that apply to me. I learned that being innocent, and protesting one's innocence forcefully, may not be sufficient even as a 12-year-old. Were I to bump into that teacher in the street today my first instinct would be to continue that discussion and get a pardon. They would not have the slightest idea who I was or what I was talking about, but it still rankles.

That is how I also feel about the fish-in-a-barrel penalty points and €80 fine I have just been presented with. I have no problem with speed limits and penalties. If there was any logic to them and there is none.

I was driving from Dublin to Kilkenny on a Sunday afternoon listening to Gaybo on Lyric and everyone knows you cannot listen to that programme and break the speed limit. I usually take the motorway and set the cruise control at 125. I drive an old but beautiful Range Rover but it is still easy for the speed to creep up and more than once I have caught myself nearing the ton. Since cruise control I have not had any points for the last eleven years. The idea of not having a driving licence is unthinkable where I live, so I am careful. And I am not in a mad rush anywhere.

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