Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I don't mean to be all Angry of Laytown

But I'm listening to people on the radio saying that people should be made to wear winter tyres on their cars because councils and local authorities can't be expected to clear the roads. It should be the law, people are saying.

Maybe it should. But it is currently the law that you have to have working headlights on your car, and people don't bother obeying that. And that you should observe the speed limit, not drive on your emergency tyre, turn your fog lights off when it's not foggy, not throw litter out of the car window, etc. etc. etc., and nobody bothers with any of these. This wouldn't annoy me so much (we all break minor laws, after all. Just the other evening I was driving home from the city behind a guy from Cork who I assumed was lost, when after a while I realised he was just driving at 30 kph, like you're supposed to in the centre of Dublin. I'd never seen anyone actually do this. I certainly don't do it), but not only do I see gardai break these minor laws all the time themselves, I very rarely see them stop anyone for speeding, and I never, ever see them stop anyone around me for broken lights, cracked windscreens, dodgy driving, or any other minor infraction.

Good, you might say. Let them get out there and catch some proper criminals. Well yes. Fine. But it's stopping people for minor offences that lets you pick up guys like this, who are on the run from prison or have "99 previous convictions, 92 of which were for driving offences".

Well, maybe it is very right-wing of me. Maybe. But every time I'm dazzled by a single headlight set on high-beam (because one headlight on high-beam is the exact same, safety-wise, as two headlights on dipped), a common occurrence at this time of year, it makes me think of the money that could be collected from fining these eejits, and how that might bring in enough to grit the road a bit, maybe.

Moan moan moan. Grumpy of Laytown.

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