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|Denis Marshall Pickles
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:27
The Strong Arm of the Law
Chatting with friends the other day, the topic turned to the men in blue, the guardians of law and order. Someone mentioned the a number of motorists had been caught breaking the speed limit whilst driving on the road outside my house. No doubt they will now have received a polite request to cough up a not insignificant amount to pay the penalty fine and a number of points will have been added to their licence. Some may even have been offered the opportunity to attend a course run by the County Council for those who have offended for the first time and who have exceeded the speed limit by a mere fraction, as I was. i was captured on camera doing 34 mph on a road restricted to 30 mph. A bit rich I thought! And the cost of the course wasn't cheap. But I must admit that I learned why speeding is bad and since then I have tried to be a good boy. Not always easy when you are being tailgated by the driver behind you urging you to put your foot down.
I passed my test over 63 years ago and how things have changed in the intervening years. Traffic on the road must have increased over 50 times, cars are faster and far more reliable and have all kinds of sophisticated equipment! Only classic cars have a starting handle these days. And my first car, a Morris Minor 1000 bought new for £600, didn't even have a heater ( or did it? I can't remember to be honest). Which reminds me of my first encounter with the police on a traffic matter.
I had been the owner of my spanking brand new Morris Minor for all of two weeks when I set off on a grand adventure. I took my father from Sutton to Wembley Stadium to see the Rugby League Cup Final. Wigan beat Hull by a substantial margin and I saw Billy Boston score a magnificent try. My dad was enraptured. He' played the game as a professional for Keighley back in the 1920's. Ten bob a match he was paid with a bonus of two meat pies if they won, so he told me. Mind you, I don't think he particularly enjoyed the 400 mile round trip to Wembley and back though he never complained. I was running the car in, as you did in the olden days. I tried hard never to exceed 30 mph. Tedious? I'll say it was. The journey home seemed to take for ever. It was when we got close to home that I became the recipient of the attentions of the local Bobby. No, I wasn't speeding - just proceeding at a leisurely speed of 30 mph and in front of me the traffic lights at Steeton Top changed. Green, Amber .... red was next but I decided that I could get through on Amber. It certainly was not my intention to run the lights. But fate stepped in. On the other side of the lights, out into the road came a policeman, arm aloft signalling that I should stop. I did. Notebook an pencil in hand, he enquired, 'what colour were those lights when you went through?' 'Amber officer', I responded. He sucked his pencil and continued, 'And Amber means what?' 'Amber means stop' I replied smugly, 'but not if by stopping you will endanger other road users'. 'if you were going that fast you were speeding'. With that he folded his notebook, put it in his pocket, looked across at my dad who sat there quietly with a grin on his face and said, 'Just have a word with the lad Charlie'. And that was it. Afterwards, my dad told me that he and the policeman were both members of Crosshills Conservative Club. Would that happen now? Perhaps. But I'm sure that by dealing with my misdemeanour in that way made me respect the law far better than by hauling me through the courts.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 03:24
|Nice one Denis, been a while since you had a chat. Similar experience when younger, much younger! Now we get booked for nothing, I was booked when stopped at traffic lights and decided to pick up my mobile off the passenger seat and fold it up and adjust the fastener to put in my pocket. Showed it wasn't on or being used. "It was in your hand sir" $350 and 4 points! How are you, I have just got to 7 weeks after a full knee replacement, I would have no doubt spoken to you about, when I was last over your way with Alan. They say I am going OK.
Sutton - in - Craven
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 22:47
|Make your mind up, firstly you say :-
Some may even have been offered the opportunity to attend a course run by the County Council for those who have offended for the first time and who have exceeded the speed limit by a mere fraction, as I was. i was captured on camera doing 34 mph on a road restricted to 30 mph. A bit rich I thought! And the cost of the course wasn't cheap. But I must admit that I learned why speeding is bad and since then I have tried to be a good boy.
Followed by :
'my dad who sat there quietly with a grin on his face and said, 'Just have a word with the lad Charlie'. And that was it. Afterwards, my dad told me that he and the policeman were both members of Crosshills Conservative Club. Would that happen now? Perhaps. But I'm sure that by dealing with my misdemeanour in that way made me respect the law far better than by hauling me through the courts.'
Thursday, September 17, 2015 12:56
|A couple of years ago in Adelaide I was driving along at the permitted speed of 60 km/h. It was about 8.30am on a quiet Sunday morning with virtually no traffic around when I approached road works with a 25 km/h sign. No road workers on duty and I couldn’t be bothered to slow down, so I deviously glanced in my rear-view mirror to check if there was a police car behind. Nothing in sight except for a plain sedan car some distance back so I carried on driving through at 60 km/h.
For reasons unknown to myself I decided to slow down to 25 km/h half way through these road works.
Seconds later the plain sedan car some distance back was now right on my tail, headlights on full beam with the sound of a high pitched screaming siren that pierced the stillness of a beautiful Adelaide Sunday morning and reverberated all the way to my wallet in my left pocket.
It went something like "eeeeeee", "eeeoooeeeooo", "weeeoooeee", "whoop, whoop, whoop", "wooo, wooo, wooo" (from memory!)
Anyway I pulled over and a single female officer got out of the police car and made her way to my driver’s window. She would have been in her late 30s or early 40s, short stockily built with sawn-off dyed blond hair. Her face was already weathered from excess sun exposure and she was wearing a heavy duty leather jacket and bovver boots.
The first thing she did was breathalyze me. That’s when I noticed the tatts on the inside of her wrists that the leather jacket was presumably trying to cover up. I got the distinct impression that she’d just eaten some raw liver for breakfast and that I was going to be her mid-morning snack.
All clear on the breathalyzer, next was the driver’s license check. She wandered back to the unmarked squad car and seemed to take forever to do the check. Meanwhile I sat with my head slumped on the steering wheel trying to work out how much the fine was going to be, $350....$400….maybe more.
Next thing she reappeared, gave my driver’s license back and uttered 2 words – “all good”. I was flabbergasted!
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