Friday, 2 October 2015

Speed Awareness

I got caught speeding. 
Everybody always has a very good reason for why they got caught speeding, generously peppered with mitigating circumstances.
But my story is simply general dopiness, with a little joie de vivre thrown in.
At the speed awareness course,  I and my fellow criminals queued to be registered.  There was the low hum of restrained British indignation.  The Indian Summer sun pulsed through the hotel blinds.  To have to give up a day like this!
Several of us stole glances at an extremely elderly woman, bent with age and with very sparse soft white hair.  Speeding eh?
When the policeman/driving instructor (I never disambiguated) looked at my licence he said,
“Oh, a doctor, what kind of a doctor!”
And I heard myself replying,
“Well clearly I was on my way to an organ transplant when I got caught speeding.”
The guy was staring at me. 
Fearing that I might be clapped in irons, I quickly amended,
“Just an academic doctor.”
Obviously, I then got picked on to answer a few questions in the session.  Smartarse!
At tea break (criminals get tea breaks?) everybody switched on their mobile phone like divers coming up for air.  Except me.  I call it mindfulness.  My family call it inconvenient.
Oh, and except the very elderly lady.  She told me her story in a cut glass accent.
“I was just leaving a wedding when it happened.  I hadn’t had anything to drink, you know – well, not very much.  I just felt light-hearted.  Light-hearted.  I think that was it.”
We went on to discuss the beautiful weather, then time was called.
As we made our way, she smiled up at me and said,
“It is wonderful though, isn’t it?”
“What is?”

“Speeding!” she replied happily.


  1. As a law graduate,this attitude to whether committing a strict liability offence makes you a 'criminal' is fascinating. It's often argued that strict liability offences don't really "count".

  2. We were definitely criminals, Dan.