Monday, December 31, 2007

Is The Law As Ass ???

Not The Law in general you know......just the following one, specifically.

Quitting. Ever heard of it - in terms of the UK Road Traffic Act ? I very much doubt it. It'd be a good trivia question around the campfire or dining room table for that matter.

I'll put you out of your misery - 'quitting' is when you leave your car unattended with the engine running. It's a capital offence in the UK and as well as having your head chopped off, your carcass dragged through the streets (but not by Brad Pitt) and your family members sent to Australia in disgrace, you can also be fined. And quite right too.

How dare you try and defrost your windows and warm up your LOCKED car on a freezing cold UK December's day - and not be in it at the same time. Off with your head.

Here is the relevant news article and you can read the numerous reader replies and cut your cloth accordingly. Yes I know it's the law and one can't pick and choose which ones to follow and which to break. In my case I'd NO idea there was such a law and of course ignorance of the law is no excuse. Classic.

The only reason I've any cause to call Mr. Hardman an idiot (apart from the fact that he allowed himself to be photographed with the worse possible Christmas presents in the world........ever) is that he was apparently given every opportunity to end his hideously unlawful behaviour but decided to live up to his surname by not doing so. His principals cost him £30.

I fully understand the amazement from the Canadian readers of the article as I've been there many times in winter and know that they warm up their unattended cars as a necessity. Hell even if they pop into a store, they'd never think to shut off their engines. Winter is brutal there.
Even here in the US of A you can buy remote starters at most good remote starter selling stores.

With a nifty remote control in your hand, you can start your car engine from the comfort of your bed, armchair or toilet seat in your house. The car will be toasty warm, the windows clear and all ready for you to drive off to work or wherever. Of course it might already have been driven off by a passing opportunist car thief and some may argue that that's what the law might've been created for in the first place.

But do we need a LAW to deal with this eventuality ? I mean I'd hope the law would clobber the thief (assuming he can be caught) with no regard to the car he or she stole having had it's engine running when they broke into it. So why fine the owner too ? In fact this owner was fined when no other crime had taken place.

Readers also commented on how insurance companies would deal with this - if the car was stolen of course. I'm not sure on this one. The car is locked and no keys are in the ingition. Yes the car CAN be driven off simply because the engine is already running but this requires the thief to break in first. I'm sure any insurance company would simply say the owner wasn't taking due care of his vehicle and so not want to pay up.

As some of you may know, my car was stolen from a petrol station forecourt after I'd gone in to pay and left it unlocked and with the keys in the ignition. Pretty stupid I know but thousands do it every day. My insurance company initially didn't want to pay out but I fought the case, got the ombudsman involved and eventually got slightly more than the full book value of the car.

I was Very fortunate.

So I'm kinda on the fence on this 'quitting' law. It's the law, so you gotta adhere to it. Should it be a law ? I don't think so.

Leave a comment by all means - if nothing else, it's a talking point on which to end the year.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you - and that includes you, Mr. Hardman.


Daphne said...

I've never heard of this "quitting" law. Shouldn't the law be more on the side of the poor motorist who - for whatever reason - has left his car engine running? Grrrrrrrrr!

Anonymous said...

Dumbest law I ever heard of. What is the purpose of it? Sounds like the same type of mentality the person who sued Dunkin Donuts because the coffee was too hot, or was it McD's? DUMB. These people have too much time on their hands.

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