Forty odd years ago, you may have bumped into a young lad who despite living on a council estate was also a boy scout, church choirboy, paper delivery lad, Air Cadet NCO and pupil at a “posh” Grammar school which includes Peter Bowles the actor and Dr. Harold Shipman, the mass murderer amongst its alumni. At the tender age of 23 he became a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy so he clearly had a penchant for uniforms. What a goody two-shoes you may have thought
Many of my then and future superiors didn’t share such opinions as he was also bolshie, a bossy-boots about whom one school report said “Give Graham an inch and he will take a mile”. This trait has done me more good than harm as I have no problem in taking risks, but it also meant that I thought I knew better. So if the MOT, tax or insurance ran out on my Lambretta, it wouldn’t hurt to let it slip a while if money could better be spent on booze and birds. I invariably got caught out though and spent a time at the magistrates’ court with my long suffering step-dad. It is more than ironic that I now pontificate on motoring law
My occasional cavalier attitude to minor points of law and a recent letter from a reader reminded me of the cocky adolescent that I was and I was furious with myself for regressing
An item in the CBN prompted a reader to contact me for clarification of the subject covered which claimed that an ex-pat driver had been fined for not using lights when it is compulsory to do so whilst driving along roads marked with orange lines. Well I confirmed that it was not all fools day and started checking this out. Trafico said that orange lines are not used, so we will assume that they were yellow ones that had had become discoloured or that the line marker got orange paint at a bargain price. Trafico further stated that the use of vehicle lights is only mandatory when they are needed to see or be seen or when a road sign says so, as at a tunnel entrance
The timing of this item was startling as I had just had another brush with the boys in green. Driving to a client’s house I somehow missed his turning; can’t remember now whether I was on the phone, reading the CBN or drinking a San Mig’, but miss it I did and was faced with a long journey on a winding road with a solid white line in the middle before I could retrace my steps.
Ahead on my left was a restaurant; some silly bugger behind me hit his horn as I slid over to the eatery’s forecourt to perform a U turn. Oddly enough I was then followed by a car that had done the same in front of me. This car followed me until I approached my turning, overtook then lit up its rear window announcing that the Guardia Civil would care for me to follow them. “Oh damn” (or something similar), an unmarked police car. “Hola. John?” The Spanish have difficulty with pronouncing
Graham, so my middle name is often used and they had clearly clocked me on their system before pulling me over. I was glad that nowadays I keep my ITV, road tax and insurance up to date. The €200 fine will be reduced if I pay it within 3 weeks. My self rage would have brought many a “never mind my boy” from my old vicar. What a prat I had been
Intermittent lines may be crossed to make a manoeuvre. White lines whether in the middle of the road or at the side are meant to literally keep us on the straight and narrow. Yeah I will try and remember that