Motoring seems to be increasingly erratic, The Insider reckons.
Use of a handheld mobile phone whilst driving will also attract an increased fine, now set at £90 rather than the previous £60. Illegal since 2007, I still see plenty of people using handheld mobiles, but not enough traffic police to pull them over and collect the fines. Increasing the fine won’t act as a deterrent unless there are more resources to catch them in the act.
Also in the news I understand that dedicated traffic courts are to be set up to prosecute minor motoring offences, although I would take issue with the copywriter who suggested that jumping a traffic light is a minor indiscretion. On my regular commute there is one busy junction where frequently two, and sometimes four, cars jump the opposing lights when ours are green, and there are enough accidents that I’m surprised cameras haven’t been installed as a deterrent.
It seems that jumping traffic lights is suddenly an acceptable thing to do – do these people have no sense of their own mortality? And why is it always the people who have otherwise been driving at a glacial pace who leap to warp speed at the sight of a red light?
The DVLA has advised that due to a high volume of transactions, it may take longer than usual to deal with an application to purchase or transfer a cherished registration. Strange then, that the backlog of cherished registrations should have come about during the 13 plate era? Of course DVLA will say it’s due to a change in procedure as they switch all operations to Swansea and close down their local branches. Incidentally, with that thought in mind, did anyone else see that the branches are to have occasional half day closures for training in how to close down their own branch? Really?
And finally this month, the recent suggestion that thousands of speeding convictions could be overturned due to a technical loophole leaves me open-mouthed in disbelief. The loophole is based on the premise that the variable speed limit numbers flashing up on motorway overhead gantries were not using the approved font. There was no suggestion the font was unreadable, or even less readable than the correct font.
The fact is that all of those people were speeding, in conditions which were considered dangerous enough to request a lower limit in order to ease bunching of congested traffic and thus potentially avoid accidents.
Has the world gone quite mad?