We all know that speeding is illegal and of course, potentially dangerous. Many of us would also admit that we have broken speed limits and that we have consciously done so. Even lawmakers such as MP’s, Police Officers and Judges are caught speeding, so its not just Joe Public that seems to take the view that on certain occasions and in certain locations, at certain times, speeding is OK?
This is supported by a recent poll that revealed nearly half of drivers admit to flashing their lights to warn an oncoming motorist that there is a speed trap ahead and that can only be to prevent them from getting caught and fined, thereby effectively helping them avoiding breaking the law, however nearly 20% of those that did flash, said it was for safety reasons, to avoid a collision as drivers break heavily on seeing the speed trap.
The poll carried out by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) which asked over 4,800 drivers said, as you might expect, “that these speeding drivers deserve to be caught and fined” and from that I assume they don’t believe drivers should be warned.
The poll comes after a driver was fined £175 last month after flashing his lights to warn several oncoming motorists that there was a speed trap ahead. Despite that, findings of the poll also produced an interesting result here, as nearly 70% of those asked believed the driver that warned the other drivers shouldn’t be prosecuted for doing so. The driver that was prosecuted felt he was warning oncoming drivers of a hazard, however the court clearly didn’t believe that and in addition to the fine, the driver was ordered to pay a further £250 in costs.
If you drive any mileage at all, there will have been some point where you’ve been flashed by another motorist to give you warning and if I was I speeding, I would have been glad of that and whilst I accept that none of us should break the speeding laws, fact is 100,000’s of us do, either consciously, or by mistake. Isn’t flashing someone to get them to slow down a responsible thing to do? Or would the powers that be rather those drivers continued to speed over the oncoming piece of road and therefore, do something it’s claimed is dangerous “for longer”.
Surely, the fact that a driver had maybe had a narrow escape, thanks to the motorist coming towards them will be a salutary reminder to them that these things are everywhere and that they shouldn’t break the speeding laws and in some ways, I guess getting away without being caught, simply because an oncoming motorist warned you, must make you realise how lucky you have been and I would suggest it would slow you down and frankly, I don’t know what more 3 penalty points and a £60 fine would have done to improve on that.
Finally, warning oncoming drivers about the presence of a speed trap isn’t a new thing. How many of you remember the ‘AA Salute’ given by AA patrolman as he passed you on the road? Well, it dates back to the start of the last century, back when speed limits were 12mph, when it’s said Police would lie in ambush and use a stopwatch to judge if a driver was speeding and would arrest any motorists who broke the speed limit. The A.A., being the organisation for the motorists, would station a patrolman between the lurking Police and the oncoming traffic and when they spotted an A.A. member (all had membership badges on the front of their cars), they would salute the driver, which effectively warned them that they were approaching a speed trap. However, even then, it was an offence to warn oncoming drivers and indeed, an A.A. patrolman was prosecuted, so the A.A. decided on a new tactic, which was to salute ‘every’ member they saw, but, if there happened to be a speed trap ahead, the A.A. patrolman would ‘not’ salute. The member was then supposed to stop and ask the patrolman why they hadn’t saluted, but I don’t suppose many did, as it was common knowledge why they didn’t.
OK, back to 2011 and the bottom line is a driver has been prosecuted for warning an oncoming motorist of a speed trap and you should ‘of course’ be conscious of that if you are contemplating doing the same.