Judge, jury, and executioner


This government seems determined to rid of our basic rights and freedoms. They have tried large scale changes such as the introduction of ID cards, the 42 day detention of terrorist suspects and the abolition of the double jeopardy rule.

They have ripped up the rulebook which protects the British public and was once an integral part of its identity. There was a time when Britain was a beacon of justice in the world. The latest erosion of our rights comes with the announcement that the police will be given the power to issue on-the-spot fines for ‘careless’ driving without the proceedings ever being taken to court. What happened to the principles of being innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial?

Other issues can be raised from this absurd new piece of legislation. For example, there are no set guidelines for what constitutes careless driving, the judgement is entirely left to the judgement of the police officer – a police officer acting as judge, jury, and executioner – whatever happened to a separation of powers?

Leaving aside the fundamental intrusions of this new rule, its efficacy will be questionable to say the least. The most efficient way to help people drive more safely is not by forcing and tightening the rules and regulations upon them, but instead to relax the rules, allowing them to drive safely and concentration solely on the road. A scheme that has removed all the road signs, has been piloted in the German town of Bohmte with great success.