Bang to rights

A fine mess

I’ve had it. One split second’s all it took
To bring that threatening letter in the post,
Informing me they’re going to throw the book
At me. They have the evidence. I’m toast.
Last week, they claim, they clocked me cruising by
At thirty-five, although the limit’s thirty.
They’ve got me cold: the camera doesn’t lie;
Just leaves me feeling stupid. Shameful. Dirty.
So now I have a choice: stump up the fine
And take three points; or spend three hours in school
To gain Awareness, learn to toe the line.
Whichever way you slice it, I’m a fool.
A momentary lapse, but it’s too late
To go back now, ease off – and concentrate.


It was a fair cop. It was evening, I’d been up since before six, and my brain was fried after a day of meetings discussing, editing and restructuring a 400-page document. Took my eye off the speedo, didn’t see the camera van lurking in the lay-by till it was too late. No excuse. First offence in 20 years, during which time I’m sure I’ve exceeded the speed limit on at least a couple of occasions…so, I’ll take it on the chin, hand over my hard-earned for a half-day’s Driver Awareness Training, and be more careful in future. It’s so easy to become complacent about driving; I’m already thinking that a wake-up call like this perhaps isn’t such a bad thing after all, and I definitely feel better about it for ‘fessing up here. As a wise man once said: experience might be the best teacher, but the costs of that kind of schoolin’ can run awful high. N.

12 thoughts on “Bang to rights

  1. Hi Nick
    Oww that is too bad, but three hours in school sounds like fun 🙂 I think it is the best option!

    This is a sonnet I think, it is always amazing to me how you manage to make your life a poem 🙂

    • I’m not sure what my Driver Awareness Training will consist of, but I’m sure it will be interesting, and instructive. The only problem is, I got the ticket over the county line in Hampshire, and I have to go back into that police area to do the course. Luckily I wasn’t working up in Yorkshire or somewhere! You’re right, this is a sonnet (yet again) – but what a lovely comment about making life a poem. I hadn’t really thought of it like that before, but I guess that’s what I try to do. Hope the weather’s better out on your island than it is here today!! N. xx

      • Weather is awful, like autumn. Lots of wind. Rain, hail, temp. that of a fridge.
        🙂 I think you must make a nice day out of the course and enjoy 🙂

  2. This is terrific, so well said, and you have the right attitude–May I just say that I’m very glad the scenario wasn’t a worse one: no wreck, with loss of limb or life. That’s the wake-up call, I think. (See, along with getting me as a blog follower, you get the dubious bonus of having someone who’ll fret over you–like a family member–for no extra cost!)

    • Absolutely – at least it was a clear road, no one else involved, and only myself to blame. And how wonderful to have transatlantic concern for my safety! I can also comfort myself with knowing I got a half-decent sonnet out of the whole miserable affair; it’s an ill wind, as they say. Thank you for your comment, as always. N.x

  3. Oh well, Nick. I haven’t had a ticket in years and years either, mostly because I try to stay within the legal limits. However, I too have caught myself thinking too intensely, and bang!, I’m over the limit. I’ve just been lucky those few times and haven’t been nabbed. When I am one of these days I’m going to remember this poem, put my head in my hands, and pay the fine without fuss. self recrimination, or bother. I’ll bet 100% of your readers relate to the sonnet.

    • Well, as I said, I know for a fact that I have years of undetected crime behind me! Not that I’m tearing about the place like a maniac – being a cyclist and parent, I’m generally pretty cautious – but it’s so easy to find oneself the odd 1 or 2 mph over the limit quite a lot of the time. And what’s most important is that the only person hurt in this case was me – and then it’s only my pride, and wallet of course, that are going to suffer any real harm! N.

  4. Oh Nick! A great poem – you have caught the feeling this gives us so well – I know!!! 🙂

    It only happened once to me a few years ago; I too was only doing 35 or 6.But it doesn’t matter does it!! However irate we feel it is breaking the limit and we have to pay the embarrassing and humiliating price! LOL:) I took the points and promised to be a good girl! 🙂

    On a more serious note, with the state of the roads these days (I mean the busyness) we need to be extra vigilant – it doesn’t take much for that dreadful irreversible accident to happen.

    Christine xx

    • Crummy, isn’t it? I feel such an idiot; usually I’m so careful, but this was just one of those momentary lapses, in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, I guess even 31 is breaking the limit, so what can you do? And you’re right, of course: at least there was no one else involved, and the only damage was to my pride – and, in due course, my wallet! (Plus, doing the Awareness training means I keep my clean licence – phew!) N.xx

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