Saturday 14 April 2012

Not the "moment of madness" defence again

The Former Bristol Evening Post has an article about someone disqualified from driving, caught by the police's ANPR camera in an unmarked car and then going for a sprint round Hanham, nearly hitting an oncoming cyclist and then crashing into bollards.

IT "was a moment of madness"

Some observations

  1. There's nothing wrong with nearly hitting an oncoming cyclist, in fact is a common and necessary operation in our cities.
  2. Bollards are the cause of many of the accidents in our cities.
  3. ANPR camera recognition hooked up to insurance and registration checkers are another example of the surveillance and nanny state at work. That's a bit like those in house baby-intercoms, for anyone  wondering what a "surveillance nanny state is".
Our key observation is this though: that moment of madness defence is getting ever  more boring. 

If you look at its origin, being caught in engaging in consensual sex in a public place -and who doesn't do that from time to time?- what it really means is "it is unfortunate that this particular time  I was caught by a police force who consider what I was doing to be illegal". The probability of being caught with your kit off in public is surprisingly low, based on our experiments, so the M-o-M defence is pretty weak there. We say:  own up and say 'so what?'.

Which is precisely what the driver should have done here. Disqualified, no insurance, unregistered car, driving badly: so what?

As it is the judged has recognised the "moment of madness" defence is wearing thin:

 "This was more than a moment of madness. It was six or seven minutes of extremely bad driving. It's pure luck you didn't injure or kill someone."

Again, six to seven minutes of extremely bad driving where it pure luck you didn't injure or kill someone? That's the school run summarised in a single sentence.

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