June 07, 2005

Not so fast Sailor

Snafu at Not Proud Of Britain (But Would Like To Be)has found this story about a sailor that was caught speeding as he returned to base. Personally I have a very different view on this as I don't think that the speeding laws are very good law anyway, particularly the way that they are rigidly and mechanically enforced as little more than a revenue raising exercise. Any law that is broken by the majority of the population that it covers is flawed, with these ones a particularly bad example (I could show you two roads within 100 yards of each other, both with a 60mph limit, one where going 90mph is perfectly safe, the other where any attempt to get over 30 is very unsafe and will probably destroy your vehicle).

I am therefore not happy that a man that was trying to get back to base in order to potentially put his life on the line for his country was fined. This is a case where quite clearly things are out of kilter, trying to avoid the much greater crime of not being on his ship when it sailed he ends up fined. More flexibility and a more just solution could have been found, probably involving a few words with his CPO about instilling proper time keeping. Luckily the driving ban will be over by the time he gets back, possibly an advantage of the inflexibility of automatic sentences in this case.


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