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Speed Trap

Posted on Saturday 31st March 2007 at 00:00
A couple of nights ago, a friend of mine got flashed by a speed camera doing over 50 in a 30mph zone. It wasn't as bad an offense as it might sound, given that it was the middle of the night and presumably not in a residential area, as few of those have roads sufficiently straight to allow such speed. As well as being very bad news for her, it was also rather unsettling for me as well.

Although I'd travelled with various 'young? drivers before, she was the first of my immediate friends to pass her driving test and therefore the first with whom I spent a lot of time on the road. She'd actually been driving for a whole two years before I myself was awarded a full license and therefore I'd spent many hours in her passenger seat, on the way to and from various places, watching how she drove as she gained confidence and experience.

She and I have a lot in common with regards to driving. For a start, we are both passionate about it, both as a means of getting about when we want to, and as a hobby in its own right. We both had the same driving instructor, although not at the same time, and we both drive different models of the same car.

My friend is what you might call a girl racer. She's not reckless by any means, but she does enjoy driving at speed whenever she gets the chance. It has to be said that we have this in common as well, although I'm not as comfortable with breaking the rules as she seems to be. When I started driving I was keen to emulate her style, confidence and skill, since she is without a doubt a highly competent driver and as such, I benchmarked myself against her.

I used to justify any minor speeding with the argument that she'd been driving faster than I do for a lot longer and had never been caught, nor had any sort of accident to speak of. This was my safety net, my guard against any guilt at disobeying the overzealous and absurd speed limits that we seem to have been cursed with in this country.

And now she has been caught and I don't have that argument to protect me. What now? Am I going to have to start sticking to the speed limit like an anally retentive grandmother, out for a Sunday drive without her glasses and seemingly oblivious to the fact that the world is a much faster place than it used to be, where people don't have time to slow down for something as insignificant as the law, or a stupid child who has run out into the road after a ball, because its parents are too damn ignorant to lock their bastard brat away until it has grown some common sense?

If that is the sort of driving your humble narrator must resort to, then you'll be seeing a lot more of a sad and deprived Ignorminious, or maybe not, since he'll be running too damn late all the time to be able to fit in a blog, even on a Sunday.

I hate living in a nanny state.

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