Last month the Sussex police were good enough to write to me. Her letter began: "Notice of Intended Persecution." That caught my attention.
It went on to say, "It is intended to take action against the driver of a motor vehicle …" – and gave a license plate that was exactly the same as mine.
Apparently it had been picked up by a police camera doing 36 mph in a 30 mph zone near Brighton.
Yes, I was, no question about it. A fair cop.
Sussex Police told me last month that my car was caught by a police camera at a speed of 60 km / h in a 30 km / h zone near Brighton (pictured)
To avoid prosecution, the Sussex Police gave me a choice: pay £ 100 and get three points wagered on my previously clean license, or pay £ 90 and take a “speed awareness” course upon graduation even wiped away the three dots before they were issued.
I called my insurance company and they told me that if I lost my zero rating, my annual premium could go up to £ 250.
An easy decision. And even easier because of Covid-19.
Under normal circumstances, I would have had to drive a full hour from my home (at the permitted speed) to Maidstone and then spend four hours in the company of up to 23 other criminal drivers taking the course.
Now, however, the courses are run online – via Zoom – and only last two and a half hours (on the grounds that there is nothing more than people can manage on screen).
So last Wednesday I found myself in the virtual company of eight other "volunteers". Only two of the group were women which was the ratio I expected.
What surprised me was that only one of us could be remotely described as young – and he seemed a long way from a young racing driver in personality. Perhaps this was because the speed awareness course is only intended for those who are just above the limit when maneuvering.
Our National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) instructor was a former police officer with an impressive mustache on the handlebars.
To avoid prosecution, the Sussex Police gave me a choice: pay £ 100 and get three points wagered on my previously clean license, or pay £ 90 and take a "speed awareness" class.
Early on, he told us how he had to visit houses several times to tell someone that a family member was not coming back after being killed in a "collision" (as police now report) in what they once called "accidents" ). That made us sit up.
We also received a fascinating lesson in physics. A film was shown by a trained driver on a racetrack under perfect, dry driving conditions. He would drive at certain speeds and then brake hard at a signal.
At a speed of 48 km / h, it took him 23 meters to bring the car to a stop.
The same exercise was then done while driving the car at 31 mph. At the point on the track where he had previously come to rest, his car was still going at 8 mph: enough to change the rear end of a car that might have been on a real road in front of him (and really bad difference to any pedestrian).
It's been a long time since I did physics in school, so this effect of only 1 km / h over the 30 km / h limit came as a surprise to me.
I was less surprised by the consequences when the test driver did the same braking exercise at a speed of 100 km / h and a speed of 100 km / h.
On the 70 mile test, it took the rider 96 meters to stop. But when he braked at 80 mph, his car was still moving at 39 mph at the point where it stopped in the 70 mph test.
More from Dominic Lawson for the Daily Mail …
These were the easy parts of the course: we just had to watch.
Less comfortable was the section where we were asked to explain why we exceeded the speed limit and then to imagine whether we had injured or killed someone as a result. We were then again asked to tell the group what we would feel. It was almost as if I had stumbled into a meeting of "anonymous speeders".
Two of the participants said they exceeded the speed limit because they had a “tailgate” – or in other words, it was really someone else's fault. Since we all got along so well, I thought it best not to point it out – and in any case it was the instructor's job to do so if someone does.
But he remained diligent, not judgmental, merely recommending that it would be best for him (or, less plausibly, for her) to be persistently pursued by another driver to overtake and "allow someone else's problem, not yours" . .
Either way, the two and a half hours went by remarkably quickly – just like the time in learning things. In the end, our instructor told us (almost like a priest delivering absolution) that our points had been awarded. We'd get a letter from the Sussex Police to that effect.
Before he signed off, he told us that he didn't want to see either of us again. If we were insulted again within three years, we would under no circumstances be eligible for another speed awareness course and would have to take the points on our license.
Our National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) instructor was a former police officer with an impressive mustache on the handlebars
Two days later, my wife Rosa told me that I had received a letter from the police (it said this on the envelope).
It's quick, I said: This will tell me that I attended the NDORS course and everything is fine.
You should open it anyway, she replied. I did it like this. It was the Kent Police, not the Sussex boys. And it began: "Prosecution Notice … for the alleged 30-mile overspeeding offense on the A267: the vehicle speed was 36 mph."
I had done it again for three days on November 30th In front I took the speed awareness course.
"Does it say what you thought" asked my wife? "No," I said weakly. "It doesn't say what I thought."
Then I told Rosa what was in the letter. I have seldom seen her laugh so much. That was fair enough as I had previously told her how healing I had found the message of the Speed Awareness Course.
And I honestly have an officer.
Kronenschreiber is royally hypocritical
Last week, thanks to analysis by the Guardian, we learned that the number of people who turn down an honor from the Queen – most for political reasons or for reasons of republicanism – has more than doubled in the past nine years.
But someone who without hesitation accepted the honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2015 was Peter Morgan.
Yes, Peter Morgan: the creator and writer of The Crown who most profitably spread falsehoods and defamations about the Queen and her family.
Peter Morgan, creator and author of The Crown, accepted the honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2015
Allegedly it was just a "dramatic license" required to bring the story to a global audience through Netflix. In fact, Morgan had an agenda that went beyond simply wanting to upgrade its ratings.
In an interview with the Sunday Times three years ago, he said the Queen was "a woman of limited intelligence" (in fact, none of us have unlimited intelligence, not even Mr Morgan); He added that she and her family are like a "mutating virus" and that the monarchy as an institution is "insane".
And in 2019 he described the monarchy as "unreasonable". . . so damn ridiculous & # 39 ;.
The popular Netflix series has most profitably broadcast falsehoods and defamations about the Queen and her family
Morgan's views are not alien: Republicanism is a perfectly respectable position. But those remarks make me wonder not only if his portrayal of the royal family in The Crown was both insidiously politically and personally cruel, but why he wanted to roll over to Buckingham Palace to garner a gimmick, the praise of which was in large part from you come from an association with an institution he despises.
My preliminary conclusion is that he is a stinking hypocrite whose vanity is greater than his principles.
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