Wednesday 29 July 2009

so how do I feel?

Well, foolish, definitely in the wrong, and resigned to paying £60 as punishment for my crime. I had been so surprised to find that Jesmond Road, normally so traffic-choked that you can listen to an entire episode of The Archers before you reach the next set of lights, was almost vehicle free that I had put my foot down, and my 38 mph were captured for posterity by the speed trap van. I knew I'd been caught. It was a fair cop, guv'nor.

It was also my first such transgression since I was stopped by a traffic policeman about 26 years ago, for doing just the same speed, after which I became less cavalier about speed limits. Not that I have ever been a girl racer, you understand - normally I am the despair of passengers from pacier cities (naming no names, although he is now back in London) for pootling gently along within the speed limit, harsh braking or lane-dodging unknown to my boring little grandad-cardi-coloured car.

But when this fierce-looking notice arrived through the post today, I felt a bit frightened - Intended Prosecution? Me? A criminal? A flagrant law-breaker? Well, yes, I supposed I was. I thought the form was complicated, not user-friendly, and would be difficult for the less-literate to fathom out. It took me several readings to work out what I had to do and what would happen next, and I've been able to read for quite a long time.

My friend K the stern magistrate came for tea and dropscones in the afternoon, and told me that many people ended up in court because they hadn't understood the form or which of the numerous instructions, threats and admonitions they must follow, and hadn't sent the form back at all. Though how anyone could ignore such a scary form seemed odd to me.

So my form has been filled in and will go in the post when the summer weather improves enough to go out without a canoe. I will get some points on my licence, if anyone can work out how to put them on what is a threadbare, heavily-seamed and grubby scrap of paper, and I will Definitely Not Do It Again. I will be a model pootler once more. Boy racer passengers can sit on their hands and say nothing.

1 comment:

mountainear said...

Been there done that. Next shock to the system will be getting one of those new-fangled 2 part licenses - probably part of your 'punishment'.

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