hang on a mo, Ivanhoe.... it was probably a good thing they did tow your vehicle that fateful Sunday evening... "finishing your last pint"... how many had you put away before that? The use of "last" suggests to me that multiple pints were downed that evening.... Probably a good thing they didn't breath-test you.
I can only hope your washer fluid reservoir in the car was full too - I hear that the police now have the right to prise open people's bonnets to check if the water is present, and if not you get 3 points. Good to hear that the rozzers haven't lost sight of the big issues.
Haven't been caught by Southwark yet, though I have paid my fair share of Westminster fines. (Once when I had a flat tyre and had gone to phone for help.)
But Wandsworth kindly seem to have torn up a ticket I got in May in Battersea Park. My daughter had gone to a five year olds party there and the hosts, amazingly, left dead on time and before all the kids had been collected. A letter explaining that I was faced with abandoning small children in the Park and feeding the meter, or waiting till the last of the parents had arrived, did the trick.
So someone, somewhere has a heart.
What worries me is the proliferation of bus lane, traffic light and speed cameras. I really try my best to keep to the rules but inevitably you sometimes get it wrong and get caught. But at £60.00 a throw it is really becoming a hidden tax and an extra cost of living in London. There is nowhere else in Britain I particularly want to live, but am increasingly wondering how long we can afford to stay here.
I can confirm that in Paris, they do have parking wardens on every street corner... Saying that, I did enjoy collecting about 200 parking tickets there, and never paying any of them... makes me think I should buy my car from the continent next time, and just make sure it doesn't get towed over here. I have to say, I do use bus lanes on occasion, and am fully prepared to pay for the fine when I finally get caught. A possible £40.- to get to my destination faster is a good investment. I don't pay speed camera fines either, ever since I found out that a nice policeman somewhere in the west-midlands found a very good defense in court for these.
Firstly, it wasn't my car that got towed away while I was several pints into a good night in Bath. (Bath was such a crowded city, and with so many parking restrictions, and so many good pubs, that I never took a car into the centre)
I agree with the bus lane complaints. On the one hand you can adopt the policy of just-don't-go-in-a-bus-lane-ever, but that means that (for the time they're not in action) you're needlessly out in the centre of the road (mind you, as a scooteur it seems to me that all cars think their default position is as close to the centre line as possible, but that's another story).
On the other hand, the variety of times and exceptions on bus lanes on even a single main road is barmy and you have to try VERY hard not to fall foul of them.
If I ride to work on one route I can scoot in (some but not all of the) bus lanes, and the lanes (again, just some of them) are 24hrs. If I go another way, it's only cycles and taxis (and buses) allowed in the bus lanes, but they're 7-10am and 4-7pm. I daren't try another way to work, in case I discover even more diversity in the bus lane rules!
Why is it that drivers seem to be the most hard done by? Everyone else is not allowed to break the speed limit, except them; Nobody else is allowed to park just where they fell like it, except them. All drivers are capable of reading parking signs and the speedometer, I hope, therwise they shouldn['t be driving. However I do feel the clamp is the most pointless invention ever created. If a vehicle is parked where it shouln't be and is suposedly causing an obstruction, clamping it will only prolong the problem. If it is not causing an obstruction, then why is it a no parking zone?
bless you John (but don't you realise....it's all a conspiracy....everyone else gets away with it....those pesky wardens are out to get ME...and all I was doing was just bending the rules a tiny bit....for my poor disabled mother...and the orphans...andandandand)
But is it really just the motorists that break the law whilst everyone else goes around adjusting their collective halos? Cyclist running red lights, leaving their bikes where they dropped them, motorcyclists mounting pavements, covering or removing tax discs to avoid penalty. No I don't think this is necessarily a case of motorists whinging, but there is a definite leftish movement that seems to associate having a car and using a car with being more than faintly well off, and therefore ripe for a fine.
I'm not saying their out to get ME, they're just out to get their commission in hope of receiving that Vauxhall Nova come year-end [I believe that's what Westminster's offering this year]. I mean.... come on, what a sh1te prize. If you're going to get all competitive in your ticket writing, you'd want to walk away with a better set of wheels than that wouldn't you?
At the end of the day, Ivanhoe is right, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. We need to draw a line in the sand - we cannot allow ourselves to tolerate even the most minor of infringements if we are to build the master state in England's green and pleasant land. Violent crime and the like are too tricky and by jove too darned dangerous - some of those guys are completely cuckoo. It makes sense to start with something to get the ball rolling. You guys have won me round, I don't know what I was thinking before.
Roll on the totalitarian state, 1984, video cameras on every corner and full e-mail logging for everyone.... ve must not let zeze dispicable law-breakers get avay viv anyzing.