For many people, the only time they will face the full wrath of the law during their entire lives will be as a result of driving a car.
In no other aspect of modern life are so many decent and honest people targetted by so many excessive and unreasonable rules and regulations.
In no other aspect of modern life would we tolerate it.
Law is what the government use to treat as criminals otherwise law-abiding citizens who drive cars.
Now we are not suggesting that the law never needs to be applied to drivers, of course it does; but the way the law is applied to drivers is often unjust, excessive, and comes from a culture which believes drivers are guilty and the authorities only have to find out what it is they are guilty of.
- Why is there no defence against 'speeding'? The issue should be whether there was any danger to anyone, not whether you were exceeding some nominal speed. Why should you not be able to argue that the speed limit in force on the road was not appropriate at the time of the 'offence'?
- Why should you get a higher penalty for speeding on a motorway (max £2500) than any other road (max £1000), when motorways are our safest roads? Don't they realise there are no pedestrians on motorways? They fine you more simply because they can, reason has nothing to do with it.
- Why should you be banned for doing over 100 on a motorway, even if it was at 5 o'clock in the morning on a dry deserted stretch with good visibility?
(NB This penalty does not apply to those who have the Home Secretary or a Chief Constable in the back seat.)
- The percentage of speeding cases reported that go to prosecution and conviction is close to 100%, while
reported violent crimes leading to prosecution and conviction total only 25%.
- Whilst the ABD obviously does not condone drink-driving, take a look at how our drink-driving laws compare with other countries:
- France — For illegal but low blood alcohol levels, one is not automatically banned
- Germany — The person must be shown not to be able to control their vehicle (a judge famously acquitted a man on this charge after he evaded highly trained police pursuit drivers for over an hour, stating that to do this his driving could not have been impaired)
- USA — suspects take simple sobriety tests first before anything heavier takes place.
- Why do so many offences carry a minimum or fixed number of points? This prevents magistrates from using their discretion to award points that are in proportion to the seriousness of the incident. "Motor racing on the highway" carries anything between 3 and 11 points. Why do all other offences not carry such a wide range of points?
- Why should you get a minimum of 5 points for failing to report an accident (even if it is only a scratch) when you only get 3 points for driving the wrong way on a motorway! If you accidentally bump into another car, cause a tiny scratch, and fail to report it, they can technically imprison you for god's sake! But have the same minor bump on a supermarket car park and the law doesn't want to know.
Compare the 5 points with the penalty for stealing a car which carries a minimum of 3 points; and even causing death by dangerous driving has a minimum of 3 points — good to see they have a sense of perspective isn't it?
Write off someone's car and leave your details, and the law isn't interested; but cause a scratch and drive off, and they'll throw the book at you. The law is utterly irrational.
- Is it right that drivers should be prosecuted for not reporting an accident? You may well think it is, but let's compare how drivers are treated, with how others are treated:
Someone who accidentally knocks over and smashes something in a shop is not prosecuted if they fail to report it. If identified they may be charged for the damage, but they are not prosecuted for not reporting it. Even rapists, murderers, and terrorists are not prosecuted for 'not reporting' their crime, they are only prosecuted for the crime itself. The idea of prosecuting them for not telling the police about it is laughable. Yet such double punishment is exactly what happens to drivers.
- The fact that there is no offence for which 1 point can be awarded is a clear indication that the points system is unrealistic and unjust. Every offence should have a scale of points starting at zero. Certainly there should be guidelines to ensure consistency across the country, but the present system is clearly totally unfair.
- Drivers banned from driving inevitably have to serve the full term of their ban. This rigid enforcement of the original sentence does not of course apply to burglars, child molesters, murderers, rapists, and terrorists.
- For most non-serious first offences a warning or caution would normally be issued, but for motorists (e.g. speeding) this rarely happens, now that police traffic officers have been replaced by roadside mugging machines.
- SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) is a disgrace. It is basically a threat that if you don't tell the authorities that you are not going to use your car (i.e. it doesn't need a licence) they can fine you up to £1000. So you have some old car that comes to the end of it's life, it's only worth a hundred quid, and you decide not to renew the tax disk and stop using the car; but you forget to tell the DVLA, they threaten you with a £1000 fine.
Would we tolerate such a threat with regard to TV licences? ("If you don't tell us you've got rid of your TV, we'll fine you £1000.")
The DVLA have such a vile attitude towards drivers that they can't even send you a letter thanking you for declaring SORN without threatening you: "You should not use your vehicle or keep it on a public road while the SORN is in force. If you do, the maximum penalty is a £5,000 fine and imprisonment." They then go on to describe the ambiguity of what constitutes a 'public road'.
We're not suggesting that those who dump old cars by the road shouldn't be dealt with by the law; but the idea you can be fined for not telling the powers that be that you are not using your car parked on your property is just plain vindictive. Once again, the inability of the authorities to deal with criminals is being used an excuse to bombard the public with petty bureaucracy and obnoxious threats.
- You've all seen the TV commercials showing a car being towed away and crushed. Why do we sit back and tolerate these vile and evil threats? Would we tolerate it from the mafia?
Of course those who seek to maliciously avoid their responsibilities should be dealt with; but the manner in which the motoring public is bombarded with threats is obscene.
- We can all think of places where double yellow lines have been placed purely to discourage car use, not because there is any safety issue; bus lanes are installed contrary to public opinion; perfectly usable roads are closed to all but politically acceptable vehicles. The law is abused to force drivers into submitting to these malicious obstructions of the public highway.
- Meanwhile, the government is dragging it's feet in getting rid of cowboy clampers, who are basically running an extortion racket. It actively encourages parking parasites who operate purely to make money. It fails to deal adequately with theft of, and from, vehicles. Stolen cars are left abandoned at the roadside to be further vandalized.
- If you are unfortunate enough to be mugged, your first thought would be to call the police; but who can you call when you are mugged of £60 by a speed camera lurking behind a bush on a deserted road?
The police are supposed to protect people from muggers, not carry out the mugging themselves.
- Not content with the size of the existing stick they can bash drivers with, some politicians want an even bigger one!
The previous government's plans included:
- 23 in a 20 limit will get you 7 points and a £60 fine, despite the fact that speedometers are only accurate to 10%.
- 76 to 85mph on a 70mph motorway will get you 15 points and a £90 fine, despite motorways being our safest roads.
- 20 points will result in an automatic ban.
- Courts will not be allowed to impose a punishment less than that of a fixed penalty. You will be denied any right to defend yourself and obtain a more lenient penalty. You will effectively be punished for having the audacity to defend yourself.
- New laws targetted at drivers are dreamed up by the anti-car zealots in government and the civil service.
|"If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law."
Winston Churchill, 1931
- No matter how safe a driver you may consider yourself, no matter how many years you've been driving with an unblemished record, make no mistake — they are out to get you!
"We are insane on the subject of road accidents, and as a result of that insanity our whole approach is fundamentally wrong, and we are trying to solve the wrong problem. Our law and propaganda are not really based on the wish to stop accidents, but are solely concerned with revenge on the driver, without respect to whether he is guilty. It is thought that this is all we need do to stop accidents. But it is not, it can only cause more.
As the law is abused more and more, drivers who have had clean licences for many years suddenly find themsleves getting points, threatening their jobs and livelyhoods. They may find themselves taken to court and suffer being treated like a criminal. Such victims know that the law is being abused but are afraid to speak out because the government has created a culture in which anyone who dares to speak out is attacked with statistics of child pedestrian fatalities — they are effectively accused of being a child murderer. In fact, it is those who heinously abuse such tragedies to further their political aims who are truly evil.
|"The criminal justice system has got it all out of kilter.
We treat the motorist like a pariah and the burglar like a victim"
Glen Smythe, Metropolitan Police Federation. 2001-04-26
The government rightly condemns bullying in schools, but enthusiastically indulges in the bullying of drivers, and incites the police and local authorities to do likewise. The law is being abused to enforce political ideology, to force people out of their cars and onto public transport.
100 new laws aimed at drivers — none at itinerants
Consider if you will how easy it now is for the police to tow away your car because it is illegally parked, has no MOT, or no Tax disk, or because they don't like the music you are playing. They can then demand huge sums for you to get back your property. It is nothing more than legalised theft and extortion.
Compare this with how long it takes the police to deal with travellers who have dumped themselves and their vehicles on public or private land. The police have to apply for a court order. The process can take weeks. There are no laws that allow them to act immediately.
The plethora of new laws that make it so easy to prosecute drivers have not been borne out of necessity, but purely out of the evil desire to persecute drivers.
|“Custody rates for some quite petty offending have quadrupled, motoring offences for example. ...
They don't need to be in jail in such numbers”
Martin Narey, head of the Prison Service.
As a result of this abuse, respect for the law in general is being systematically eroded. In time this will have grave consequencies for the whole of our society.
|"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 1770
Join the ABD and help us to campaign against unreasonable laws directed at drivers!
First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.'
Pastor Martin Niemoller
Concentration Camp Survivor
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Promoting effective road safety instead of the criminalisation of safe driving
Elsewhere on the ABD website:
ABD Press Releases about Law
"If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law."