back to article 90mph police chief cops 42-day ban

Meredydd Hughes, the chief constable of South Yorkshire and former chair of roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), has copped a 42-day driving ban for doing 90mph on the A5 at Chirk near Wrexham in May. He was also slapped with a £350 fine by Wrexham magistrates, the BBC reports. Hughes, 49, was off …

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  1. Dan B
    Stop

    points?

    Do policemen not get points on their liscence for speeding these days?

    And come on - a 40 day ban? Surely if it's a real ban he will be required to sit his test afterwards, I BET you this is not the case, I really wish this point had been elaborated on.

    Why should the rest of us motorists take speed limits sereously (on fast roads: dual carriageways, motorways etc.) if one of the integral players in making these rules is breaking the law himself (he admits) for no good reason. The irony of course is that he himself campaigned for more obscure speed cameras. Perhaps he was caught out by the other half of his split-personality.

  2. Chizo Ejindu

    He may be guilty as sin...

    But credit to him for owning up immediately and stepping down from his position immediately. If only all police officers in positions of senior responsibility would stepdown when they've been caught screwing up...

  3. Ben
    Unhappy

    Effectively let off

    This police chief will obviously have an car and driver for official duties, so this ban is going to make no difference to him at all. The fine is also negligible for someone on his salary.

    Perhaps we should have a system like Finland where the level of the fine is proportional to the offender's income. This would give a fine of at least a few thousand pounds.

  4. adnim Silver badge

    At least

    he didn't try to bullshit his way out of it. Fair play to him for honesty, that surprised me more than the sentence.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if he'd hit and killed a child?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=483152&in_page_id=1770

    "South Yorkshire's Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes has backed the family of seven-year-old Kyle McDermott who are calling for harsher penalties for drivers involved in fatal ACCIDENTS...Kyle died in September last year after he was riding his bicycle back from a sweet shop when he was struck by a van "

    "Mr Hughes said: "Kyle's death was a tragedy not only for his family but also for the community."

    "Collins was jailed for five months at Doncaster Crown Court after admitting driving without due care and attention, failing to stop and failing to report an accident and perverting the course of justice. After the hearing Kyle's mother Katy, 32, said: "It's disgusting. He should have got life."

    I highlighted one word there.

  6. Chizo Ejindu

    @Dan B

    To be honest this seems like a perfectly reasonable punishment, if not bringing the full weight of the law beacuse he's a road safety copper. I know for a fact that you can be stopped by police doing that around speed and just get 3 points and a £40 fine (ok this was actually a number of years ago so fines may have gone up since), certainly no 42 day ban which is a much stiffer penalty. IMHO the court actually made an example of him which is nice to see.

  7. John Latham

    @Dan B

    He had 6 points already. The guidelines for this offence are 6 points. 6+6=12=ban.

    John

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not his fault

    Everyone breaks the speed limit on the motorways and dual carriageways. No doubt he would've felt a bit pathetic slugging along at 70...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No extra punishment for being a hypocrite

    It looks like the court dealt with this no differently from normal. The Reg didn't point out (but the BBC did) that the limit was 60mph, so this is what you'd expect - you get an automatic ban if you go 30 or more over the limit.

    As for points on his licence, even though it didn't say so in the article, there would definitely be some points along with the ban, there always is.

  10. Chizo Ejindu

    @Anonymous Coward

    Well if he had been involved in a fatal accident i seriously doubt he would have failed to report the incident or pervert the course of justice and again the courts would have made an example of him entirely because of his public position.

    However he probably wouldn't have campaigned for stiffer sentences during his trial.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @ "Not his fault"...

    I agree - the problem is the A5 near Chirk isn't dual carriageway... For some ridiculous reason it's single carriageway, and a 60 limit once you get past about Oswestry, despite being easily wide enough for four cars at a time to fit down it - (ie, it's possible to cars to be overtaking in both directions without any danger of collision...). Keeping to 60 would probably be more dangerous than doing at least 70 due to the number of people who'd be itching to overtake...

  12. Ron Skoog
    Happy

    ASBO?

    Give him an ASBO...

  13. Graham Wood
    Stop

    Small fine...

    But for the next 5 (10?) years when renewing his car insurance he'll need to declare that he's been banned from driving. That's going to have to hurt, and cause hilarity in the call centre when he admits to being a policeman with a ban.

    He will not (for a while at least) get as high a position in the police force, until it's happened "long enough ago" not to be an embarassment.

    Assuming he was in a 70 zone, the crime wasn't that great (as others have pointed out), depending on the road - and this punishment (on him) is pretty high. The same punishment on someone that isn't a copper would be a lot less effective - but that has to be taken into consideration when dealing out the penalty.

    BTW if they gave him 6 points, he'd get the ban, and have a clean license when he got it back. If they just gave him the ban directly, he's still got the 6 points on it.

    All in all, considering how many people do those sort of speeds, this is more of an example than a "let off". Stop sign picked to represent that he should slow down.... :)

  14. Tag

    @AC

    I would imagine if he had hit and killed a child, the punishment would have been much more severe.

    Plus...there's probably not many sweet shops/playing children on the 60mph A5.

  15. Eduard Coli
    Go

    Salute and yes sir

    A salute to Chief Constable Hughes for taking it like a man.

    In the US the "just-us" system rarely sees these offenses and often ignores them when they do.

  16. Mark
    Joke

    punished to the full extent of the law?????

    Sounds like he got off scott free to me. £350 is neither here nor there for somebody on his wage and if he was given the extra 6 points and then as a result a ban of 42 days he gets a nice clean driving license back when he has finished.

    6 Week holiday abroad and a bit of loose change out of the bank and he's back on the roads with a clean driving license, result!!!

  17. /\/\j17
    IT Angle

    @ @ "Not his fault"...

    "By Anonymous Coward"

    Geez, get a pair of cahoonas if you're going to try and make a point.

    "agree - the problem is the A5 near Chirk isn't dual carriageway..."

    From which I can only assume the A5 near Chirk is some special form of single carriageway road that is it's self travelling at 30MPH in the opposite direction to the traffic (not one of those good old stationary dual carriageways)???

    If the road WASN'T moving then the only problem is the person responsible for the car travelling at 90MPH (excluding some component failure/act of god/quantum event/etc) was the guy with his foot on the loud pedal.

    "Keeping to 60 would probably be more dangerous than doing at least 70 due to the number of people who'd be itching to overtake..."

    ... while the prat doing 90 tries to over-take everyone.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Whats the problem?

    I don't know about England, but in America posted speed limits are complete bollucks, and 20 over is often reasonable. Real safety issues are related to driver attentiveness, defensive driving, maintaining an "out", safe distances, visibility, etc. But because these are harder to enforce than just sitting around with the speed gun on, bad driving practices are largely ignored, while speed limits are continuely decreased "for safety". Pretty soon we'll all be *really* safe driving everywhere at 20 fucking miles per hour.

    To demonstrate the deepset mindset that low speed = safe, in my town they keep putting up hedgerows in the middle of roads for "traffic calming". Effectively decreasing safety, by lowering visibility, to scare drivers into driving slower? What kind of perverted retard thought of that one? The city openly admits accidents have gone up, but insist they are "safer accidents". That's great and all, but I am sure the motorcycles, pedestrians, and insurance companies that have been in these accidents disagree.

    The solution is to actually pay cops to *drive around* looking for people breaking important rules (not yeilding, not following order in round abouts / stop signs, illegal lane usage), and take their licenses away! I always see soccer moms and elderly people compeletely break the rules, in front of police officers, because they don't even know the driving code, and get away with it.

    I'm also a student pilot, and I've got to say the FAA rules make alot more sense. And they drill them into you. Every pilot is required to remember specifically what FAR's apply to specific circumstances, and remember them by number for their test. If you break a rule you are in serious risk of having your license revoked, which makes sense. If you can't understand/handle/follow the rules, you've got no business having a license! I've never even seen a complete book of road regulations!

    Appologies for the rant. I'll grab my bat and head down to city hall now.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Evil Graham

    "As for points on his licence, even though it didn't say so in the article, there would definitely be some points along with the ban, there always is."

    Not so. I've known a 14-day ban to be awarded with a fine but ZERO points ....

  20. Spleen

    Good news

    It's good to know that although the bluebottles can execute and taser us with impunity, they will face the full penalty of the law for speeding... if they own up. Oh, unless they're having a high-speed chase with some joyrider and run you over, zero chance they'll be sacked, let alone prosecuted in that case.

    I like these feel-good stories that restore my faith in humanity.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if it was an accident?

    "I would imagine if he had hit and killed a child, the punishment would have been much more severe. Plus...there's probably not many sweet shops/playing children on the 60mph A5."

    What if he was doing 60mph and hit a child *accidentally*? Punish or not? What if he was doing 61mph and hit a child accidentally? Punish or not? 70mph? 80mph? 90mph?

    What if there is a 1% chance a driver will hit a kid on a particular road while doing 60mph. 99 drivers travel down this road safely, but 1 hits a kid. They all had the same chance, it's just that this guy had the accident, so why not punish the other 99?

    What if there is a 2% chance a driver will hit a kid on a particular road if he's travelling 30mph over the limit, by speeding they increase the chance of not stopping in time. 49 drivers travel down this road speeding at 90mph without hitting a kid, and the next one hits a kid. But they were all speeding and all had the same chance of hitting the kid.

    In my view you don't punish people for accidents you punish them for their wrong doing, he is as culpable as any other speeding motorist is in relation to the amount he's speeding. That he didn't run over a kid is pure chance.

    If a person does 90mph and *does* hit a kid on that road, the penalty should be a 42 day ban because the crime is speeding, and a 42day ban is apparently the correct length of ban for doing 90mph on that road.

  22. Steve Evans

    @Chizo Ejindu

    "But credit to him for owning up immediately and stepping down from his position immediately. If only all police officers in positions of senior responsibility would stepdown when they've been caught screwing up..."

    No credit at all...

    What if he hadn't been caught? He would have kept speeding to his office and then being an anti-speed demon at his desk.

    Such hypocrisy.

    It's like finding out Peter Tatchell is straight! (For the non-UK, he's on Wikipedia)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Paris Hilton

    Where is the Paris angle?

  24. Dazed and Confused

    @Ben - Fines

    > Perhaps we should have a system like Finland

    > where the level of the fine is proportional to the

    > offender's income.

    This idea comes up every few years.

    Would you support the idea that the unemployed were given longer jail sentences, coz they've got got more time on their hands?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    One rule for one, a different one for everone else

    in 16 years of driving I've had the following points:

    1. For doing 44 in a 40 - 3 points

    2. For doing 43 in a 40 - 3 points

    3. For doing 48 in a 40 - 5 points.

    It would seem from this guys court case that I should have put my foot to the floor, done at least 30 mph over the speed limit and avoided any points at all.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    RE: One rule for one, a different one for everone else

    -- in 16 years of driving I've had the following points:

    1. For doing 44 in a 40 - 3 points

    2. For doing 43 in a 40 - 3 points

    3. For doing 48 in a 40 - 5 points --

    Obviously, you are one of those people who never learn a lesson then lol

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No points for a ban ... weird

    @AC - a bit of Googling shows you are right - you can get a ban without getting any points.

    I wonder if anyone can explain how the totting up works in this case then? It doesn't make sense if you can do 90 in a 60, get a 42 day ban, get your licence back, do it again, ad infinitum.

    As a poster above says, you might as well nail it and serve the short ban so that you don't get any points, thus avoiding a (generally longer) totting-up ban in the future.

  28. Steve Browne

    Points ..

    I think you will find that a discretionary ban is an alternative to points. So, get banned for a period, dont get points.

    The issue here is one of credibility, though he does seem to have avoided the hide behind the badge symptom and has admitted his guilt.

    Ultimately, this case is of no real consequence, what is required is a proper and reasonable review of the road traffic act. The imposition of 24 hour solutions to 2 hour problems needs to be revised. For instance, there are not many children near schools during the holidays at 2AM, so why insist on a permanent 20 mph speed limit. Likewise with motorways, it is time to remove the nits, in the middle lane doing 50 and increase the speed limit, if you can't drive fast, don't use motorways. It would be really nice to start banning trucks and buses from motorways during the peak commuting periods.

    So, drop the sanctimonious attitudes and try to be constructive. Though, it is nice to see the biter bit from time to time.

  29. Alan
    Alert

    @Not his fault - Anonymous Coward

    You said, "Everyone breaks the speed limit on the motorways and dual carriageways..."

    Please, don't try to tar all drivers with the same brush! Maybe you exceed the speed limits, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I certainly don't, and I would say the majority of other drivers don't. It is thoughtless idiots who speed.

    In my 44 years of driving, I've had exactly zero points, zero convictions, and have never even been warned for speeding, simply because I don't do it. I respect life, but speeders obviously don't.

    Having been a professional driver for many years, I've seen the results of accidents where someone was speeding, and believe me, there really are more deaths in accidents involving speeders than accidents where nobody was speeding.

  30. Billy Goat Gruff

    hypocrisy

    A good % of problems and disillusionment with today's UK is hypocrisy.

    If someone spews forth about a law, then they should honestly believe it to be correct, not convenient for revenue.

    It's not sufficient that a Chief Constable with strong opinions on how we behave is judged on the law, he should be judged according to his own opinions. His opinions dictate the direction of law enforcement. He shouldn't be sacked but he should have a life ban.

    If Labour make laws about accepting dodgy donations then it's not simply 'an error of judgement' if they knowingly break the law, it's far worse.

    Everytime these people are caught out, they should be convicted according to their soundbite convictions.

    Maybe then we'd have less 'style' and more considered substance.

    It's be especially good for ID cards and the associated soundbite promises.

  31. Sam

    Validity

    The posters who on the whole seem to be anti law and order or anti copper (despite the fact that he put his hands up), may find their credibility is enhanced by actually using correct spelling and grammar.

    Posting ill thought out bollocks just makes the case for the other side better, and you? You look like dick brains.

    Your choice.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're either a Libertarian or an Authoritarian

    If you're an Authoritarian then you basically believe nobody should easily pass through life without good regular beatings (i.e. parking tickets, speeding fines, no you can't do that, get down from there, you naughty boy, ect, ect..) because if you were allowed to live your life without someone continuously poking their nose in (where it's not wanted) then things might be a little too relaxing and the freedom might be a bit too enjoyable. (and too much free thinking might cause you to rise above your station)

    If you're on the other side then you don't agree with the concept of micro-managing people’s lives (for the greater good... oh really) and you prefer that people are simply allowed to get on with things as they see best and to learn from their own mistakes and to use their own intelligence to develop themselves to be thoroughly decent human beings.

    Guess which side of the fence Hitler sat on! - no, he wasn't a libertarian, he had an extreme personality and he was an authoritarian - not a great combination we subsequently discover.

  33. Chris

    Speeding the states

    I lived outside of Atlanta, GA for a while.. so I was on the highway every day. When it's not rush our, -every- car, bar one or two, was doing at least 20 over the speed limit. Going to speed limit was downright dangerous because you'd run the risk of being rear-ended constantly. I'd be forced to go 20 over, and -still- be passed by about 40% of the cars, and I sure wouldn't be overtaking anyone at that speed.

  34. Ben

    @Dazed and Confused - Fines

    > > Perhaps we should have a system like Finland

    > > where the level of the fine is proportional to the

    > > offender's income.

    > This idea comes up every few years.

    > Would you support the idea that the unemployed were given longer jail

    > sentences, coz they've got got more time on their hands?

    I support a system where the punishment relates to the individual. Pretending that a particular punishment (such as a standard fine) means the same to everyone is nonsense. For someone on a low income, a £1,000 fine would be a massive deterrent, but to a high income person it would be pocket change.

    Unfortunately this government seems to believe in fines for everything - especially those traffic offences that have been decriminalised and put into the hands of councils. There is a benefit though - I can now drive down bus lanes and ignore a number of traffic rules, and all I have to do is settle the bill at the end of the month :-)

  35. Emmett Jenner

    @ alan

    Why do you automatically assume all of the crashes you've seen in your many years of driving were all caused by speed? Obviously it's impossible to have an accident while you're sitting still (let's just be clear - a road traffic accident and not the other kind of accident- because let's face it; you're at least 61 so we can't rule-out the possibility of a stationary trouser accident at the traffic lights) so it's a fact that speed is a factor in every road traffic accident... But why must speed be the only cause? or the first cause? or the most significant cause... Personally I don't put the speed of the travelling cars at the top of the list of causes and I don’t think it deserves the attention it gets in this country. Especially when we're talking about the danger of any speed over 50mph anyway. Two cars hitting each other head-on at 50mph is a 100-hundred-mile-per-hour accident and you'd be lucky to survive. Likewise hitting a stationary object, pedestrian, motorcyclist, child, animal, ect, ect... is almost certainly going to involve some death.

    As you explained to that anonymous coward above (not that I’m taking sides or anything!) you said you never speed you can't really comment on what I'm about to say so I speak freely and without fear and with experience... things don't start to get out of control in a typical family car until you've passed something like 110mph. When you're up at 130, 140 or 150 mph in a standard road-going car the car does not handle well and your reactions aren't really fast enough to be able to cope with anything unexpected. I've driven on many race tracks and the German autobahns and I know how speed feels. I have also passed the test with the IAM so I also know what it's like to drive at 29.5mph in a 30-limit with a pile of traffic sitting behind you itching to overtake.

    So I don't think you make a valid point.

    Speed in itself is not the issue. It is the inappropriate application of speed in the wrong place at the wrong time. Consider the situation of a country lane with a national speed-limit (i.e. 60mph on a single carriageway) Would it be appropriate to travel at 60mph at night in the rain on a twisty narrow country lane with which you are un familiar? No - of course it wouldn't!! Under those circumstances the driver is allowed to travel at 60mph if he or she believes it is safe to do so but anyone who knows how to drive would not be so foolish! Likewise, if you are travelling on a dry, deserted, well-illuminated 4-lane motorway at 3:30am is 70mph the best speed to travel at? I think not!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Alan

    "Having been a professional driver for many years, I've seen the results of accidents where someone was speeding, and believe me, there really are more deaths in accidents involving speeders than accidents where nobody was speeding."

    Oh yeah? If an 'accident' occurs as a result of high speeds it'll usually get a lot of publicity. Years ago (in the UK anyway) we got headlines like "Jag in high speed chase" - often referring to the indigenous perps affection for Jaguar cars - simply, they could outrun the police (but not out drive them!). These accidents,as a proportion of total traffic accidents, is small but attention grabbing.

    Now, how about all those other accidents that occur through what we'll call 'careless driving', such as tailgating, running red lights, illegal U turns, inattention to the road conditions, shouting at kids, mobile phone, changing the tape/CD/Radio. For this latter one I know someone who, whilst attempting to change a cassette tape, lost control of the car and rolled it. Caught fire. They survived but not good.

    Everyday I see people safely exceeding the speed limit but I never see anyone safely running a red light...

    Interest: I ride a motorbike - in London.

  37. Ken

    Play along at home ...

    For those who want to play along at home, the magistrate guidelines (Adult Bench Book) can be found at http://www.jsboard.co.uk/magistrates/adult_court/complete.pdf

    (Page 169 of 381 for speeding). The magistrates were looking at 21-30mph above a 60mph limit, the guideline is 4-5 points OR disqualify for up to 42 days. Looks like they chose the latter. He'd have needed to be over 91mph to fall in the next band of 6 points OR 56 days. An offence specific ban does not wipe out any pre-existing points, only a totting ban (where someone is banned because they reach 12 or more points) does that.

    The fine depends on income, so unless anyone knows what his take home pay is, we'll have to assume they went with the guidelines on this as well.

  38. Red Bren
    Happy

    @You're either a Libertarian or an Authoritarian

    So if you're a Libertarian, you're quite happy for people to murder and rape, give kids heroin and crack in return for sex, migrate from any country in the world to claim benefits here, then go out and blow themselves up on a crowded tube? Because anything else would be Authoritarian and "poking their nose in where it's not wanted" instead of allowing people to "get on with things as they see best"

    I can see why you posted as A Coward...

    Personally I'd prefer to be a Humanitarian and let people get on with doing whatever they like as long as it doesn't endanger anyone else.

    And Hitler certainly thought he was doing what he thought best!

  39. Rune Moberg
    Go

    Good road, speed away

    If your car can handle it, if the road is clear and easily navigable, if the visibility is great... And if there are no kids (or indeed people) around...

    What is wrong with 90 mph? The roads with high speed limits set those limits based on the assumption that there are no pedestrians around, that the visibility is usually great and that the road is up to the task.

    I think doing 48mph in a 40mph zone sounds more hazardous. Lower speed limits are usually there for a reason. You should obviously be able to make a complete stop before a pedestrian crossing if someone suddenly decides to cross. etc... (on a related note, the fire road leading up to my dad's place has a 70km/h speed limit, but you'll be hard pressed to actually keep up such a speed all the way as many of my passengers have experienced <g> One time I made my brother scream, ah the fun never ends)

  40. David Evans
    Go

    @Red Bren

    Yeah, that's right, if you believe in liberty you're happy for people to "murder and rape" blah blah blah. Don't be so childish. In the case of speeding, if there was actually any intelligence attached to speeding rules rather than the usual hysterical "think of the children" ranting, perhaps more people would have respect for the rules. If 2 million speeding tickets A YEAR are being issued, it may not be telling you there are 2 million evil selfish bastards out there, it may be telling you that they're just the ones that got caught. If the majority of people speed, then it may be telling you something about "the will of the people". Of course, when was the last British government that gave a toss about that?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Alan

    I strongly suspect that that is utter cr@p. Everyone speeds at one point or another, even if purely by accident. The only way to avoid it is to remain significantly below the speed limit.

    Mind you, your high and mighty statement makes me think you're may well be the type of driver who would happily sit at 40 in a 60 and infuriate the queue of cars behind you.

    I don't know the circumstances of this case, so can't commnent on whether it was fair or not. Fact is speed doesn't kill, bad driving does. If speed alone killed then why is flying the safest form of travel (it still is). Fact is poor driving is the most significant cause of accidents (of which excess speed in the wrong conditions etc is part of). This driver may well have had additional training, the road could have been well lit and dry with no other traffic, who knows. The point is his speed could well have been just as safe as doing 60.

    Let he without sin cast the first stone - you first Alan...

    Personally, I no longer trust the police or the camera safety <strike> money making sheme </strike> partnership to protect the innocent. I feel most of them aim simply to hit targets, raise money, or justify there own jobs. I'm sure some have the right intentions, but I doubt it's the majority.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Godwins Law!

    Coat -> Door

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Emmett Jenner

    "Likewise, if you are travelling on a dry, deserted, well-illuminated 4-lane motorway at 3:30am is 70mph the best speed to travel at? I think not!"

    I used to agree 100% with this statement but something important is overlooked here - noise. I've stayed in houses near fast moving roads / motorways and especially in the summer you really notice the vehicles doing 90mph+ even a mile away (and I'm talking about tyre slap not moronic big-bore exhausts).

    Check out http://www.safespeed.org.uk/ for the facts on road safety and speed.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny this

    The BBC website doesn't have a 'Have your say on this article' - I wonder why? Either it's load or it's political correctness. Whichever way you look at it, it's censorship.......

    There's no reason for someone who preaches like Meredydd Hughes to be forgiven the wrath of all the motorists who have also been caught.

    Why?

  45. Martin Usher

    Just-us, US style???

    >In the US the "just-us" system rarely sees these offenses and often ignores them when they do.

    Not true. The cops are notoriously mechanical when it comes to giving out tickets. It doesn't matter who you are or what you're doing.

    That said, we don't have silly speed limits like England. If you're stopped for speeding then it will be for "excessive speed" -- you're going too fast given the road, the conditions, the time of day and so on. None of this speed camera ticketing you for doing 36 in a 30 zone at 4am BS. Speed limits (at least in California) are also set by measuring the speeds that people actually travel at -- they assume that most people know what a safe speed is.

    90 might have been a safe speed for this stretch of road. But its not a divided highway (dual carrageway) so the limits just got to be 60. Any faster than that and you'll be mowing down children and old ladies. (But, OTOH, you can drive the limit on a crowded road, scattering all before you, and its perfectly legal.)

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Believe it or not

    While stupid, police are supposed to be able drive without crashing or hitting anyone at 90 and up it's actually something they do as part of their jobs, so him doing this like I said pretty stupid, but he's supposed to be able to. As to children playing on a 60+ mph road of any kind I would blame their parents not a driver hitting them.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advisory or compulsory limits?

    This is a very simple question. We do not have to have mandatory speed limits. We could just go to advisory ones. This is what most people objecting to cameras and enforcement are really advocating. When they say they were unreasonably convicted for going at 50 on a safe clear 30mph stretch with good visibility and no houses, the implication is that you should be allowed to make your own judgment of what Highways think is a safe speed.

    The other way is to have mandatory ones, which is what we do now. In that case, like all other laws, we have a duty to comply with them whatever we think of the particular circumstances. It does not matter whether YOU think the Axxx on this stretch should have a limit of 90mph. Fact is, its 50. Whether this is right or wrong is immaterial.

    Now, if we have mandatory limits, there can be no objection to enforcing them, and what we need in the way of enforcement is more and more effective speed cameras. In particular, speed over a stretch is much better than spot speed monitoring.

    The other underlying assumption of objectors is that the objective of speed regulation should be to allow the maximum possible safe speed over a given stretch. It should not be. Whether the road can safely be driven faster than the limit is completely immaterial. It is of no importance. It is not a bad thing either for you or society to drive 10 or 20 mph slower than the safe limit.

    Just get control of your impatience, drive at the limits that are posted, and if you cannot or will not do this, get the hell of the road!

  48. Mr Larrington
    IT Angle

    @Anonymous Coward

    "Check out http://www.safespeed.org.uk/ for the facts on road safety and speed."

    Help, nurse! My sides! You forgot to put quotes around "facts".

  49. Nigel

    Points Are Cleared After A Ban

    Hi

    From what I can gather, your slate is cleaned after a ban.

    An aquaintance was banned for drink-driving (the pr1ck), his previous 6 points had gone when he got his licence back.

    43 days ban was perhaps a price worth paying for the copper to get his slate wiped clean.

    Speed does not kill, innapropriate speed kills. I got done recently for doing 79MPH on a deserted M9, dry as a bone, perfect visability. IMHO thats just cash generation!

    Nigel

  50. /\/\j17
    Flame

    @ You're either a Libertarian or an Authoritarian

    "By Anonymous Coward"

    Pussy.

    And to continue your logic to an alternative end...

    "Guess which side of the fence Hitler sat on! - no, he wasn't a libertarian, he had an extreme personality and he was an authoritarian - not a great combination we subsequently discover."

    Hilter, bad man - check.

    Hitler, responsible for most of German Autobhan system - check.

    No speed limits on Autobhans (in Hitlers time).

    Conclusion: All speeding drivers want to invade Poland.

    Hell, it makes as much sense as some people's "it's OK to speed - aka break the law - if the conditions are suitable" arguments (and their logical partners "I know she's only 14 your honour, but she said yes" and "yes I shot him, but he was ginger, so it was for the good of the gene pool").

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed limit = lowest common denominator

    Can I point out that the 70mph limit covers everyone, from 17-year-old kids with no experience to 80-year-olds who only just scraped through the sight test. It's been in existence since the 60s. It's a lowest-common-denominator covering pre-ABS cars and infirm drivers. Of course it is reasonable for a fit, alert 40-year-old in a modern car to exceed the posted speed limit, and it will be until the limit is brought up to date with reality.

  52. Mike Bell

    Who's the Gimp?

    "He doesn't seek to make any excuse about this matter. He totally accepts that the police have a duty to do. He is no exception and he accepts that he must be punished for the offence. He asks me to apologise for the offence. He recognises that the matter is a serious matter."

    Christ, he's got some issues. A cop on a guilt trip who absolutely must be punished. There are, apparently, men who dress up in strange attire and pay to be humiliated by some Madame in a dungeon. He could bring his own uniform!

    Or is it more likely that these are weasel words designed to get a lower fine? Ooh now, let me think...

    Get real. Like the OVERWHELMING majority of drivers, he was using his judgement to drive at what he considered to be a reasonable speed for the conditions. There is no such thing as a safe speed. Ever. Most accidents happen well within the speed limit. The Mary Whitehouse brigade who trumpet their joyous compliance with fixed limits really should get some kind of life.

  53. Steve Davies

    Fines et al. minimal hit for him.

    Check out page 75 of the Magistrates Sentencing Guidlines.

    He should have got a 56 day ban - but that includes losing your license and having to resit your tests.

    He should also have been fined at 'Level B' which is 100 percent of weekly take home pay. 300 quid then ! I think not. (the fine was 300 the other 50 were added minimal costs)

    Meanwhile he gets NO points on his license (handy with his speeding habits) and can use his police driver for a few weeks.

    This is the nearest thing to getting scot free as you could get.

  54. Chris Morrison
    Pirate

    RE:Advisory or compulsory limits?

    You make a good point but from your point I take a very different viewpoint.

    An Advisory spee dlimit is a good idea. Whilst you might say how do you know then whether you are breaking the law or not. We have an offence in this country called Driving without Due Care and Attention. Surely this is just as hard to know whether you are breaking the law as an Advisory speed limit would be. But I dont hear many compalints about that.

    My two shillings, scrap motorway/dual carriageway speed limits and make more use of the Driving without due care legislation.

    Speeding is a lot less dangerous than folk who run red lights, drive along the hard shoulder or tailgate.

    Chris

  55. Julian Bond
    Stop

    Speed camera?

    So was he caught by a speed camera or by a hidden speed trap? Inquiring minds and all that.

  56. Philip Webb
    Alert

    @Anonymous Coward

    > in 16 years of driving I've had the following points:

    >

    > 1. For doing 44 in a 40 - 3 points

    >

    > 2. For doing 43 in a 40 - 3 points

    >

    > 3. For doing 48 in a 40 - 5 points.

    then you should of challenged the first 2 offences, the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) guidelines state a tolerance of (10% + 2mph) over the speed limit before you should be penalised. So the case of a 40mph zone you should not be award a penalty unless you are travelling at over 46mph (according to their equipment not your speedo).

    Can't find the the original document that's in but a police reference to it is here...

    http://www.cambs.police.uk/camops/safetycameras/yoursay/question.asp?ID=155

  57. Martin Dunn

    For all those moaning about the lack of points

    I did an average of 117mph on a motorway once.. £400 fine & 30day ban, but no points. You either get points or a ban - the ban affects your insurance too. Quite a bit as I found out!

    I'm not condoning his speed, but it does appear that he was punished to the same guidelines as everyone else. However, I didn't have a police car waiting to take me to work the following morning!

    Now driving slower cars. :)

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ By /\/\j17

    Hitler's autobahn's were built for military reasons, he believed having the roads was a tactical advantage. The fact that the autobahn's of Germany ended up being very useful for getting people to work and for hauling loads of stock all over Germany was a side-benefit and not something Hitler did because he was a nice and reasonable sort of person. So to conclude that anyone who 'uses' an autobahn (because they're not 'speeders'... let's be clear...) automatically wants to invade Poland any sympathises with Hitler is totally wrong.

    I admit - perhaps I didn't explain the principle clearly enough for you to understand... so maybe it's my fault that you were so wrong when attempting to continue the logic but right place and time and all of that... I should say, it is possible to be an extreme Libertarian or an extreme Authoritarian. Dictators, politicians, managers, religious leaders (but not spiritual teachers!) and hand-wringing nambie-pambies are typically somewhere in the Authoritarian bracket - at different levels. People who aren't really interested in politics and those who don't make it their business to go around poking their noses into other peoples lives are typically liberal to one degree or another. If you are extremely liberal you might be a bit of an Anarchist and that's also not workable in a moderate society. The fact that there is a political party called the Liberal Democrats has no bearing on this. The Liberal Democrats are politicians same as any other and their policies are not liberal. Liberty is a difficult concept to grasp sometimes. It does not mean outright anarchy where we all run around naked setting fire to things but at the same time you cannot call yourself a liberal or believe that you practice liberal politics if you force your will on other people or try to interfere on the basis that it is for the greater good and that you know better than they do.

    On another note... to anyone who believes that all points are cleared from your license after a ban... this is not true. Points stay on your license for a fixed period of time (I think it's 3 years for a speeding fine) - The confusion comes in when the ban has been in place whilst the points have expired so it looks like the points have been cleared as the license was returned. i.e. if you were to get points in 2007 (for 3 years) and then were banned from driving in 2009 for 18 months then after the ban has expired the points will have also cleared from the license.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: liberalism

    "..you cannot call yourself a liberal or believe that you practice liberal politics if you force your will on other people.."

    Utter bollocks.

    You can call yourself a liberal if your beliefs and politics are liberal in relation to the state of freedom in the society in which you live.

    Most people's understanding of liberalism is that it is about the most freedom for the most people - and most people want to be free of the fear of being raped and murdered and in order to prevent those things society has to exert some force to impose that consensual desire on those who would perpetrate such things.

    To most sane people Liberalism means "if you aren't oppressing someone else we won't oppress you", not "anything goes".

    Stop fannying about - if you believe in anarchy just admit it and don't moan if you get your wish and on day-one you or your loved ones are raped and murdered because to stop that would be infringing some murdering rapist's right to do whatever the hell they want.

    Arse.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter bollocks...

    Society needs some basic rules for people to follow or else there is no society. Something like the 10-commandments. For society to work society itself cannot tolerate people breaking those rules. Thou shall not speed is not really one of the traditional commandments and I doubt even if the commandments were updated for modern times something so petty would make it on to the list.

    How does your logic apply when it comes to street security cameras. Is it liberal or authoritarian for the government to spy on you? I feel as though it's an infringement of your human rights to not be able to go about your daily business without being watched. You could say it doesn't matter if you're not doing anything wrong..! But that's the sort of attitude that allows heavy-handed, nanny-state government to carry on building up to the point where we have total lock-down. When it gets to that stage they will have removed all forms of appeal so there is no way back and you end up with caged animals behaving like caged animals (i.e. your killers and rapists)

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