Is there a part of you that feels even remotely sorry for CC Mereydd Hughes who, on November 21, will go to Wrexham magistrates court to find out what punishment awaits him, having been clocked doing 90mph in a 60mph limit while on holiday in May this year?
In the last few years Mereydd Hughes – in his role as Britain’s leading traffic policeman – has gone from being the saviour of the car enthusiast to the bane of anyone with a UK driving licence. When he replaced road-hating Richard Brunstrom as Britain’s top traffic cop CC Hughes made all the right noises about good driving being an essential part of the way forward. But unfortunately nothing much has changed since he took charge.
Still the cameras have come, and still the UK’s drivers have continued to get pinched for doing 36mph in 30mph limits, thereby upping their insurance premiums and soiling their otherwise clean criminal records. And that’s to say nothing of the even more ludicrous proposals for a zero tolerance ‘speed-kills’ campaign, accompanied by somewhat hypocritical claims that the police will hunt down drivers who fail to identify themselves – CC Hughes’ own constabulary having subsequently been identified as the worst offending constabularly in the land when it comes to this particular offence.
So do we hang CC Hughes on November 21, or should we feel sad that an apparently good man who tried to do the right thing has been caught out in a desperate twist of irony, and may well lose his job as a result?
If you, too, have lost your job or watched your insurance premiums spiral having been nabbed for doing not a lot wrong by a craftily placed GATSO camera, then I suspect you’ll be one of the many who want to throw away the key. And there are rumours gathering on the internet that thousands of aggrieved motorists will appear at Wrexham magistrates court on November 21 to gloat and do just that.
For the rest of us, though, maybe it’s an opportunity to take stock – and titter quietly – at a situation that’s literally become ridiculous. And in the process resist the temptation to gloat. Because next time, as they say, it could be you.