Dear Chris Grayling

We at MotorPunk appreciate the hard work of your office. With an upper-second class Bachelor of Arts degree in history and background as TV producer you are clearly well qualified in managing the challenges of a large and complex transport network. Nonetheless, we MotorPunks thought you may appreciate a few suggestions for improving life for the UKs road users;

Speeding fines – If I am caught speeding, broadly speaking, I must pay a fine relative to the amount by which I exceeded the limit, and there is a ban for being considerably over the limit. This system is a financial disincentive. I suggest, Sir, that there should be some carrot to counterbalance this stick. There is currently no incentive to drive at speeds lower than the limit. 40mph in a 30 zone might mean a £100 fine, for example, so how about a £100 reward for being 10mph under the limit? Extrapolating this idea, in addition to being banned for doing 83mph outside a school (as if my Talbot could go that fast anyway!) we could have a reward of a ‘free licence’ for anyone found doing 5mph on a deserted M1 at midnight? Anyone with a ‘free licence’ could use this instead of having their licence revoked for other offences at a later date – a sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card, if you will.

The fixed costs of maintaining the speed camera network must be very high. Perhaps these cameras could generate extra revenue by acting as large ‘selfie sticks’ for passing cars. You could post a picture to the registered keeper of every car passing every camera with “SAMPLE” printed across it, with an offer of £5 to buy the original picture as a souvenir of their time on the A303 on a Bank Holiday Monday. Mousemats, mugs, tax discs – the commercial potential is endless.

Tax and Insurance – ANPR cameras and the few Police we have left on the roads help ensure that cars are taxed and insured. Being caught without either tax or insurance has its penalties. No tax can mean that a car is clamped, even 1980s prestige Saloon cars parked outside Kwik-Fit in Weston-super-Mare for less than half an hour. This is another case of ‘all stick and no carrot’. We believe that any vehicles which has been stopped for a random check and found to have road tax should be rewarded with perhaps another month’s tax for free. If the vehicle already has a full year’s tax (ie; not one of those direct debit pay monthly cheapskates) they could have 6 months free tax on top. And a set of mud flaps.

Unroadworthy vehicle – Fines for tyres with below the legal amount of tread are considerable, and unroadworthy vehicles can be seized and (for example) the occupants obliged to find alternative means of transport to TagoraFest2k17. Yet, on occasions where the car is inspected and found not to be unroadworthy there is no ‘carrot’. As a suggestion; four legally compliant tyres could mean a free can of tyre weld. No significant components hanging off could mean a free service and in cases where the car is flawless, to counterbalance “dangerous” cars being seized, the innocent motorist could be allowed to swap their Talbot with the Avon and Somerset Polices BMW X5 that has pulled them over.

Driving under the influence of alcohol – I spend vast amounts of time almost completely sober. When driving, I, like most other road users, appreciate that the effect of alcohol is detrimental to driving safety. When stopped and breathalysed I can expect a lengthy ban if I blow over 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, again. Why can’t we reward drivers for their sobriety? My suggestion; blow 20 and get a bottle of WKD Blue, blow 10 and get a bottle of Rosé and blow zero and get a party pack of Watneys Red Barrel, a bottle of Famous Grouse and a bag of pork scratchings.

We would be happy to elaborate on any of these suggestions and perhaps consider extending them to cover other areas of road safety, such as cycling, towing caravans and horse riders, should you see fit. I do not propose charging your department for any advice given, but if you’d ask the DVLA to consider scrubbing a few superfluous points from my licence I would be most grateful.


Boris de Catgune

Assistant Secretary of the Talbot Tagora owners club.


About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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