Man, I got a speeding ticket. Or, I’m about to get one. Guess I was a little too excited about my race day out at Thruxton. I got nabbed by one of the many speed cameras in Wiltshire on the way to the track! The picture above is me in action, as downloaded from the convenientWiltshire & Swindon Safety Camera Partnership site. I got a letter telling me to go there and verify if it was me.
I don’t drive that fast. Well, actually Rebecca at SEOmoz did occasionally have a death grip on the door of my Mini and inquired about the local speed limit when she was here a few weeks ago. But honest, I don’t think it’s that bad. It can’t really be.
My last speeding ticket was like 15 years ago when I was heading to Zion National Park in my old Honda Del Sol convertible. Such a nice car. Such a mean cop, just across the border in Utah. And everyone finds is funny when someone named Danny Sullivan gets a speeding ticket, let me tell you. You know, the other one who actually races cars and won the Indy 500. I sometime imagine him doing a search on his name thinking, who the F- is this other guy dominating the search results. Sorry, Danny — it’s a different type of track on the internet. And the court clerks laugh at me, not you.
Since that ticket, nada. I typically drive like only 10 percent over the speed limit if I’m going to exceed it at all because somehow, I heard the speed camera only kick in above that level. Occasionally, I even have my GPS that screams at me if I’m near a speed camera. But I know where all the ones are in our area, so it’s not that useful.
Ah — but this was a mobile speed camera! They parked along the road and caught me heading by, 82 mph in a 70 zone. Here’s what they looked like:
See the white van? There’s a guy in there with a laser-based speed camera. Here’s me:
It tells you I’m doing 82 mph on a road that, the speed camera site tells me, has an average speed of 83 mph. I was average. Note the car on my tail. Fair to say, I’m not the fastest out there. In fact, I’m pretty sure I moved over to let the other car pass. I also probably saved him from getting a ticket.
Sadly, there seems no mention of traffic school, so common in California where it is a necessity to ensure people can keep their licenses. No license, practically no life, not in Southern California. Up in the north of England, Mike Grehan got to go to traffic school. So far, nothing here in the Beautiful South suggests this is an option for me.
Instead, now that I’ve sent back the letter saying yes, I was driving the car, I should receive notice I’m getting 3 penalty points on my license plus a 60 pound fine ($120). The fine’s not that bad. Penalty points suck. Get 12 in all, and you lose your license.
The best part about Britain is they actually put the infraction on your license. A driver’s license is this big piece of paper that also comes with a photo license. Technically, you don’t have a license unless you have both parts (but unlike California, you don’t have to have your license with you when you drive). I’m going to have to send the license in, then they’ll put the infraction on the paper and send it back to me. Four years from now, I can have it removed.
Well, point made. I’m driving slower now even on the giant empty road where the speed was totally fine and I was average. Average!